Team Chemistry Assists in Breaking Records
Through the rain, snow and sleet of January in Oberlin, track and field presses on to complete their indoor season. During Winter Term, track and field athletes were spotted running outdoors in large groups, reported to the athletic directors for hogging the weight room and often kicked out of Stevenson for stealing all of the ice in an attempt to soothe their sore muscles. Thank goodness none of this was in vain — Oberlin track and field has really taken off.
During Winter Term the team participated in three track meets, including one hosted at Oberlin. Many of the school’s records were broken, and teammates grew closer with the intensity of practice and workouts. “We have great team chemistry. We have worked very hard together during Winter Term and, now that the results are coming in, we are loving it,” said first-year Derrick Dennis, who runs 55- and 200- meter dashes.
Track and field’s first Winter Term meet, also the first home meet of the season, had many highlights. These included senior Anna Chernin setting a new school record for the women’s 500 meter dash at 1:20.24, first-year Melissa DeLombaert finishing first in triple jump with a mark of 32’-3½” (9.84 meters) and junior Conor Doss winning the mile with a time of 4:34.90.
After their home meet, track and field traveled on January 26 to the Case Western Reserve Invitational. First-year Josh Gallagher set a new school record in the men’s weight throw. He covered 39-03¼ with a 28-pound weight. Meanwhile, sophomore Clara Shaw clocked in at 5:21.19 for the women’s mile, earning second place, and senior Christa Wagner received fourth place in the 800-meter dash at 2:25.89.
DeLombaert, who competes in triple jump and hurdles, said, “Overall the team has been doing really well during Winter Term. We have a lot of depth this year.”
After their tune-up at Case Western, the team headed to Denison University for a conference meet on February 2. The men’s distance medley relay (DMR) at an inspiring 10:46.10. The men’s DMR team — comprised of junior Ryan King, sophomore Seth Wimberly, senior Andrew Pike and Doss — set a new school record of 10:46.10. On the women’s side, Alex Petek, Shaw, Wagner and Hillary Tipton zoomed into first place for the women’s 4-x-800 meter relay with a time of 9:59.80. At the end of the night the Yeowomen earned second place with a final score of 82.50 points, and the Yeomen received sixth with a score of 43.
Because of their performances at the Denison meet, first-year Joanna Johnson and senior Marie Barnett were named North Coast Athletic Conference co-distance runners of the week. Johnson smashed the women’s 5000-meter at 18:31.67, and Barnett took second at 18:51.01.
“We showed a lot of potential. We are now a force in the conference. People are starting to notice, because, let’s face it, they have no other choice,” said first-year Peter Morris who runs the 4x200, 400 and 4x400 relays.
Oberlin College indoor track and field hosts their next meet February 8 at 6 p.m.