South Carolina Sun Does Not Stop Track and Field
Coming off a great indoor season, the Oberlin track and field team continues to take huge steps in the right direction as the Yeomen and Yeowomen transition to outdoor action.
Oberlin closed the indoor part of the season on a high, with the men placing eighth and the women third at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship held at Denison University on March 2 and 3. Sophomore Flannery Cerbin deservedly stood in the limelight at the end of the championship, as she broke school and meet records for the mile and earned honors as the Most Valuable Runner for the middle distance races.
Oberlin also claimed victory in the women’s distance medley, finishing in only 13:00.37. As the outdoor season kicks off, the team looks to pick up where it left off as the Oberlin athletes brace the open air and experience the pros and cons associated with the unregulated atmosphere of the outdoors.
During spring break, while most of the student body relaxed and let off some of the steam that had built up during the first half of the semester, our track stars worked hard to make sure they remained on the right foot, ready for the outdoor season.
The greater part of the team went down to South Carolina for a week-long training session that would eventually conclude with competition at the Asics Invitational hosted by Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
At the Asics Invitational, Oberlin athletes went up against NCAA Division I opposition and were able to prove their worth against some of the nation’s finest. Sophomore Maddy Davis-Hayes — with a performance described by junior teammate Cory Myers as “outstanding” — claimed victory in the 5000 meters as she set a new Oberlin record, completing the race in 17:33.98. Davis-Hayes finished ahead of the next runner by just under a minute and became an NCAA provisional qualifier by more than six seconds.
Sophomore Kyle Taljan was named athlete of the week for NCAC men’s field events as he broke the Oberlin decathlon record, scoring 4,863 points and finishing in seventh place overall. Junior Kate Cook joined in on the record setting action as she broke the Oberlin College hammer record with a throw 10.36 meters in the shot put.
Overall, the trip down south was a successful one for the Oberlin athletes who were able to train without the distractions of schoolwork and other responsibilities that accompany the school year.
First-year pole-vaulter Denison Goodrich-Schlenker acknowledged this fact, saying, “Spring break was a great opportunity to focus on training without the added stresses of having classes and homework. The meet over the weekend also gave the team the chance to compete among Division I athletes, providing a new level of competition that really pushed individuals to do their best.” By putting her athletics at par with her academics, Goodrich-Schlenker brings to light the love Oberlin athletes have for their various sports and the drive they have for success.
South Carolina was not all work for the athletes. They were able to have fun as they spent time with each other off the track. For some athletes, this was one of most important things about the trip as the team members got to better know each other and establish bonds that will be valuable for collective success.
“Getting to hang out with team members was a very important part of the trip for me,” Myers stated. “We got to bond with each other and I think this is something that should be encouraged on all sports’ future trips.” The team went to the zoo in South Carolina and also paid a visit to a team member’s grandmother.
The Oberlin track and field team competes next on Saturday, April 7 at the Case Western Reserve University Invite in Cleveland.