Track team begins indoor season
While many students spent the winter break resting and recuperating from the fall semester, the track and field team was training for a handful of meets that took place before the spring semester even began.
During the winter, the team participates in indoor competition rather than the traditional outdoor format. Although some events can transfer from outdoors to indoors, there are many events that do not. Indoor events consist of the 60m, 200m, 400m, 500m, 800m, 1000m, Mile, Weight Throw, 60m Hurdles, Distance Medley Relay and the 4x400m and 4x800m Relays.
When asked whether he prefers indoors or outdoors, senior sprinter Michael Smitelli had a clear-cut answer.
“I prefer outdoor track. With wider turns and fresher air, outdoor track is much more enjoyable,”Smitelli said. “Also, outdoor track let’s me compete in my favorite event: the 4x100m Relay.”
Although many events are different, Smitelli said the preparation for indoor and outdoor track is typically the same, unless you focus on a different event.
During winter break, the track and field team competed in four separate events. The first was the Rutgers Invitational, where the Leopards had some strong performances as well as a few individual victories.
JarrelBobb, a senior, finished second out of 22 runners in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.26, which was only .14 seconds off of the school record. Juniors Kelly Reager (2:19.49) and Brigid McGill (10:57.79) brought home the two victories for Lafayette, winning in the 800m and 3000m, respectively.
The next weekend consisted of three events: the Kutztown Golden Bear Invitational, the Spartan Regional Preview and the Great Dane Classic. Sophomore Sam Cutrone led the field at the Golden Bear Invitational with a personal record of 4,059 points in the decathlon.
Friday’s Spartan Regional Preview saw the Leopards obtain three second-place finishes. Junior Austin Wiles finished second in the high jump with a season high, 6′ 6 3/4″. Senior Amelia Ayers was the runner-up in the 400m with a new personal record time of 2:22.64. Patrick Corcoran, a junior, continued with the trend and broke his personal record with a weight toss of 54’7”.
Saturday’s Great Dane Classic was not as kind to the Leopards, except for one in particular. Senior Devin Smith posted a time of 55.96 in the 400m, which was good enough for sixth out of 83 runners. Smith posted an ECAC-qualifying time and beat out several runners from power conference schools such as St. John’s, Villanova and Delaware.
This past weekend, after being postponed a couple of times, the Leopards were finally able to compete against Lehigh in their annual indoor competition. Although Bobb and Smith took home four and two victories, respectively, the Lehigh men and women’s team still managed to win the duel. One area where the Leopards did succeed, however, was in the weight throw where Corcoran and sophomores Dave McGriff and Dan Sweitzer all finished in the top three.
Now roughly halfway through the indoor season, the team has its eyes on one mission.
“The goal is score as high as possible as a team at the Patriot League Championship,” Smitelli said.
If the team maintains its recent success, this should be an attainable goal when the Leopards travel up to Boston in late February to compete in the Patriot League Indoor Championships.