Women’s and men’s track and field compete at championships at Boston University

From+left+to+right%3A+junior+Amy+Hewlett%2C+senior+Alexa+Kwapinski%2C+sophomore+Crosby+Speiss%2C+junior+Caroline+Harmon+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Michele+Curcio%29

From left to right: junior Amy Hewlett, senior Alexa Kwapinski, sophomore Crosby Speiss, junior Caroline Harmon (Photo Courtesy of Michele Curcio)

Daniel Figler

Lafayette women’s and men’s track and field teams competed at Boston University in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) championships, respectively. Athletes had to qualify in order to participate in the events, and the Leopards who made the trip had an impressive overall showing.

The women’s 4×800 relay team of junior Amy Hewlett, senior Alexa Kwapinski, sophomore Crosby Spiess and junior Caroline Harmon had a time of 8:58.78 in the preliminaries. This time crushed the previous school record by seven seconds and advanced them to the finals. Caroline’s sister, freshman Elizabeth Harmon, anchored the final heat in her place and the team finished with a time of 9:04.82. They finished eighth in a tight finish, earning the team All-East honors.

The women’s distance medley team qualified for the ECAC championships after leaving their marks at the New Balance Invitational meet. The team of Kwapinski, Hewlett, Spiess and sophomore Margaret Schiazza finished second at the New Balance Invite with a time of 11:57.07. The team of freshman Elizabeth Harmon, junior Charlotte Gacek, junior Caroline Harmon and freshman Gabi Galletta finished 20th in the event with a time of 12:14.48.

Senior David McGriff finished 2nd at the Patriot League Championships in the weight throw and had big plans for the IC4A championship this weekend. He finished 10th with a distance of 17.27m, almost a meter short of his previous performance.

“It was a pretty up and down weekend for me,” McGriff said. “I wanted to get the school record in the weight throw on Saturday, but I laid a huge egg instead.”

Instead of dwelling his shortcomings, McGriff came back the next day and impressed many during the shot put. He had qualified for the both the weight throw and the shot put for a consecutive season. The senior put up a personal best distance of 16.02m which was good enough for 15th place. This distance is the fourth best in Lafayette history.

When asked about the team’s performance this past weekend, head coach Michele Curcio was focused on their potential and growth.

“Our youth on the women’s side shows a bright future for the team,” Curcio wrote in an email. “We switched Caroline Harmon for Elizabeth Harmon in the finals and still ran under the old school record. Alexa [Kwapinski] is our only senior and our women’s middle distance/distance group is very deep as we ran both a 4x800m and distance medley relay at the ECAC Championships.”

Curcio said she sees strong veteran leadership and development among underclassmen on the men’s team.

“Our men’s team has nine seniors so there was a strong leadership component, but we also saw the development of outstanding younger student-athletes,” she wrote. “Sophomore Tyler Hubeny, sophomore Calvin Schneck and freshman Sam Fishbein all scored individually at the [Patriot League] Championships. Our jumps/vault group all have individuals who have scored in the past with Steve Young, Mike Thorne and Matt Beck previously scoring at the [Patriot] League Championships.”

Curcio described the process of getting ready for the spring season as a “back-to-basics” period for everyone.

“As we transition to the outdoor season, we try to provide a bit of down time for both teams,” she wrote. “Usually the week after the Indoor Championships is very low key and they will have four to five days off.”

The teams performed well at the ECAC and IC4A championships, but Curcio is excited to see more from team, especially senior David McGriff.

“Our goals are always to try to win events, heats and flights during every competition,” she wrote. “David McGriff is the two-time defending Patriot League Champion in the discus, so he will try to add a 3rd title. We also hope that he will score high in the hammer and shot put.”

David McGriff said he’s anticipating more nonstop competition.

“We need to be on game starting in a little more than a week or so as soon as the indoor season ends,” McGriff said. “There isn’t really any time to unwind. It’s less of an end of a season than it is halftime of a five-month-long game.”

The track and field teams will compete next at the 49er Classic at UNC Charlotte the weekend of March 16.

Disclaimer: Amy Hewlett is the sports editor of The Lafayette. She did not edit this article.