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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

What to expect at Track and Field Patriot League Championship

Team members pose after a strong 4×400 performance at the 2023 indoor Patriot League Championships. (Photo courtesy of Lily Dineen ’24)

The Track and Field team will travel to Lehigh University this weekend where they will compete on their biggest stage of the season. 

After a season full of top-ten times and personal bests, the athletes are making their final attempts at improving their marks to place in the outdoor Patriot League Championship. Here’s who and what to look out for this weekend.

The weekend starts Friday morning with the longest race — the men’s and women’s 10,000m.

For the women, the Leopards have two competitors who could do some damage. Senior Becky Hartman will run her first 10k of the season after taking home first place in the 5k against Lehigh in April. That performance placed Hartman at second all-time in the event. Senior Dannah Javens will make her 10,000m debut on Friday to cap off a comeback season after a career of injuries, including stress fracturing both her femurs at the same time. 

Despite the Championship being the highest level of competition of the season, Hartman noted that the Leopards have ample room to score points. In order to score, an athlete or relay must finish in the top eight of an event.

“We have potential to score in a lot of relays, and potential to get people into the finals,” Hartman said of the team.

Regarding her own performance, Hartman simply said, “I would like to score.” She achieved this at the 2023 indoor Patriot League Championships, finishing fifth in the 5000m. 

The men’s 4x800m runs on Friday as well. Sophomore A.J. Sanford and first-years Quinn Worrell, Teddy Robertson and Titan Casey will lace up for their first 4×800 of the season. With all four boasting strong individual 800m times, they could be competitive. 

Sanford and Worrell will also run in the 1500m preliminary round on Friday. Sanford placed 3rd at Bucknell last month and Worrell’s performance in the event earlier this season placed him ninth all-time in Lafayette history, priming them for this weekend’s competition.

On the field, the Leopards will look to score on Friday in the javelin and hammer throws as well as in the pole vault.

Sophomore Erin O’Leary finished second with a 48.78m in the hammer throw last week. O’Leary holds the eighth all-time spot in the hammer.

Sophomore Julia Greeley has been putting up solid performances in the pole vault, becoming the second-best vaulter in Lafayette history last month with a 3.70m performance. Senior Annie Hathaway ranks fifth all-time with a 3.55m performance this season. They both vault on Friday.

Sophomore Jack Lynett put together a sixth all-time performance and first-place finish last week at the Covert Classic, and will vault Friday as well.

Senior Andrew Swiniarski is the Leopard’s top hammer thrower, having recently thrown a personal best of 56.66m earlier this season, a sixth all-time mark. 

Also throwing the hammer is senior Andrew Bowsher, who threw a personal best of 54.84m for third place and eighth all-time against Lehigh last month. 

“I feel a lot more confident than in previous years,” Bowsher said. “I’m ranked in a good position to score points and throw further than I ever have.”

The discus throwers have a chance to score on Saturday, too. Bowsher and Swiniarski have both put up PRs in the event this season. 

“There’s a chance in the disk, for sure,” Bowsher said, highlighting that the team has an advantage at Lehigh. “[It] could be a bit of an upset … we have thrown at Lehigh a lot this season, and everyone has thrown well at Lehigh the past few times.”

Senior Solape Fakorede will also throw the discus on Saturday after finishing third at Bucknell last month and securing a sixth all-time slot against Lehigh in April.

On the track, finals for Friday’s individual events will take place on Saturday.

Also competing on Saturday is the women’s 4x400m, composed of sophomore Nava Chevan, first-years Maeve Waldron and Elena Malone and senior Alex Avery, who are coming off of a finals qualification at Penn Relays last week. 

“Outdoor is our specialty — we’re a lot deeper in the outdoor,” Bowsher said of the spring season. “The way the team’s progressing, we have a good shot at scoring a lot of points this weekend.”

“The whole season leads up to this,” Hartman added. “The goal has been to qualify for leagues and score points for the team.”

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