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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Track and field falls to Lehigh despite several impressive finishes

The track and field team warms up for its rivalry match against Lehigh last Saturday. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

This past Saturday, the track and field team faced Lehigh for a dual meet. Lehigh emerged victorious, taking the women’s competition 108.5-72.5 and the men’s 118-60.

“This is a really big event, and it’s an opportunity that not many schools and athletes have … We should feel really grateful that we have the ability to compete in a rivalry like this and be able to represent our school … no matter which way it goes,” freshman pole vaulter Ben Hill said. “The entire week before that, the meet was all I could think of. I was just so excited for it.”

The women’s team swept the podium in the weight throw, as seniors Grace O’Mara and Solape Fakorede took first and second place (49′ 1.75″, 49′ .25″), respectively. Sophomore Erin O’Leary finished behind them in third (48′ 7.25″).

Replicating their success in the weight throw, O’Mara and Fakorede once again placed first and second, respectively, in shot put (41′ 1″, 38′ 7.50″).

Overall, the sophomore women had a good day. Julia Greeley finished tied for second place in the pole vault (12′ .50″), Angel Awono finished third in the 60-meter hurdles (9.13) and Nava Chevan took home second in the 500-meter run (1:19.19). 

Freshman Maeve Waldron also had a standout performance as she won the 200-meter dash (26.19) and secured second in the 60-meter dash (7.98).

Junior Lily Dineen finished second in the 800-meter run (2:21.95), while senior Alex Avery placed third in the 1000-meter run ( 3:01.85). Senior Becky Hartman won the 3000-meter run (10:14.34) and freshman Ashleigh Lustgarten finished right behind her in second (10:15.59).

The men’s side also saw some standout individual performances in Saturday’s loss.

Senior Andrew Swiniarski won the weight throw (57′ 9.50″), which moved him up to number four on the all-time list for Lafayette men’s throwing. Another senior, Fischer Biggs, finished third in the shot put (47′ 2.50″).

Freshman Roman Conca had an impressive performance, finishing victorious in the 60-meter dash (7.05) and the 200-meter dash (22.99).

“He’s one of the fastest kids I’ve ever seen,” Hill said of Conca. “He scored a total ten points for our team, which is crazy for a freshman.”

Conca’s classmate Titan Casey took home second in the 800-meter run (1:56.71).

Sophomore Jack Lynett was also a strong competitor, finishing third in both the pole vault (14′ 4.50″) and the triple jump (42′ 4″). Classmate A.J. Sanford II placed third in the 1000-meter run (2:32.42), too. 

Senior Bobby Oehrlein came in second in the 3000-meter run (8:33.71) with sophomore Emil Arangala finishing right behind in third (8:44.41). 

“That was one of the most electric races,” Hill said. “On that final lap, everybody was following him around the track screaming. [Oehrlein] came in second, but it was super close.”

Hill also had a memorable day, as he surpassed his personal record in the pole vault by much more than he expected.

“I came in knowing that I needed to show out and do better than I had been doing before,” Hill said. “The whole team was surrounding the runway … I remember going over the bar and everybody started screaming. It was the craziest thing. It was the best feeling, being a part of the team and then having that support for such a huge event.”

Despite impressive performances from the Leopards, the Mountain Hawks came out on top. Hill explained that Lehigh has about twice the amount of athletes Lafayette has, which could influence the quality of talent on their team.

Up next for the Leopards is the Rutgers Invite in New York this weekend. Hill said that based on the qualifying standards for the meet, only a select few athletes from Lafayette will attend.

“This week is just putting our noses down and grinding, focusing on what we need to do better,” Hill said.

Correction 03/09/2023: A previous version of this article stated that freshman Maeve Waldron finished the 200-meter in 16.19 seconds. She finished with a time of 26.19 seconds.

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About the Contributor
Caroline McParland
Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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