The Home Stretch: Track and Field runners achieve personal records at New Balance Invitational

AJ Traub

Although some may say the team as a whole had a subpar performance, several individuals posted personal records.

Lafayette traveled to the Armory Track & Field Center to compete in the New Balance Invitational on Sunday. The team as a whole placed 24th out of 31 teams, but several Leopards had some achievements.

Sophomore Emily Moore posted her personal best in the 5000 meter, good for eighth place in the event.

“My performance definitely met my expectation because I was really hoping I could break 17:30, so I was really happy that I could do that,” Moore said. “It was the first time I ran the 5k indoors, so it’s nice to get a personal best, but also a place to look for improvement for the next meet. We put in a lot of hard work and a lot of training this year, so I had a lot of confidence going into the race.”

Sophomore Tom Strand also achieved a personal best in the 500 meter.

“The way I looked at it was that I got a personal best, but I would have liked to see a faster time,” Strand said. “I ran alone the whole race, so it’s good for the situation. It was my first time at the Armory. It’s just another benchmark to improve off of. At the Patriot Leagues, I know I’m going to be faster. It’s a placeholder for now to get into a faster heat at the championships.”

Sophomore Samira Sujack ran her personal best in the 1000 meter, sophomore Caroline Harmon reached top 10 in school history with her 5:10.78 mile run, junior Matt Weintraub placed eighth in the 3000 meter and senior Drew Davis finished 14th of 70 sprinters in the 400 meter, highlighting a productive day for Lafayette.

“We’re still getting there,” Davis said. “We’re approaching the end of the season, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. This past meet was like a stepping stone. We had a lot of great performances, but we’re still improving greatly to reach where we need to be to compete at Patriot Leagues.”

Davis teamed up with fellow seniors Tessa Broholm and Kelly Reager and freshman Crosby Spiess to post the ninth best score in school history in the 4×400 relay.

“It was special,” Davis said. “I didn’t know that we’d clinched that ninth spot in school history until I saw it on the school website. We’ve all been competing hard this year. Just wanting to put down a time that’s higher on the list later in the season.”

The team of junior Alexa Kwapinski, Broholm, Reager and Harmon impressed in the distance medley relay, finishing fifth and posting the second best time in Lafayette history.

“Our girls’ [distance medley relay] did really well and I was really happy for them,” Moore said. “It was really cool to watch them qualify for ECACs.”

Next for the Leopards are the Fast Track National Invite on Friday and the Monmouth Invite on Saturday. It will be the last chance for Leopards to qualify for championships if they haven’t already.

“As a team goal, we want to see more people go to Boston this year,” Moore said. “A lot of girls are really close, so it would be great to see them hit the qualifying standards and get the chance to compete at Patriot Leagues.”

The team has high goals for the Patriot Leagues.

“Boston’s track is a banked track, and it’s one of the faster tracks in the nation,” Strand said. “So we are going to see a lot more fast times and a bunch of personal records. That’s a meet I’ll be inspired to run at.”