A spring in their steps: Track and field records 14 personal bests in first outdoor meet of the season

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Sophomore Tyler Hubeny earned 10th place all time for Lafayette in the 110-meter hurdles (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

AJ Traub

Lafayette track and field teams continued their spring season with the first outdoor meet of the year on March 16 and 17. According to the Charlotte 49ers website, this year’s 49er Classic was the biggest one ever, with “about 90 schools with nearly 4,000 athletes.” Plenty of Leopards performed well, with the team nabbing 12 finishes in the top-15.

Highlights of the meet include top-10 all-time finishes in the Lafayette record books by freshman Gabi Galletta and sophomore Tyler Hubeny, senior Dave McGriff winning the discus and hammer events and 14 personal bests.

Galletta’s 17:50.32 time in the 5000m earned her 9th all-time at Lafayette and 11th at the 49er Classic.

“I was told when I finished the race that I made the top ten list,” Galletta said. “I was excited because my goal was to get 18 minutes, so I was really happy to have achieved that goal, and getting the top-10 was an added bonus.”

As Galletta is a freshman, her feat comes in her first collegiate outdoor meet.

“It’s a huge honor to be on that list because there are a lot of really committed and inspiring runners who are on that list,” Galletta said. “It’s very nice to know that I am up there and headed in the direction they were.”

Hubeny, after earning the #4 spot in the heptathlon in Lafayette’s records in February, makes his mark this time in the 110m hurdles. His 15.06s time is good for 10th place in Lafayette history, and 19th at the Classic.

“I crossed the finish line and looked at the scoreboard for my time. It was 15.06 and I knew that was a [personal record] by a quarter second, which was huge for me,” Hubeny said. “I’ve been working towards this for a long time. All of last year I’ve been working towards breaking the top-10 list for 110 hurdles.”

McGriff’s discus throw went 51.63m, and he followed it up with a hammer throw of 55.77m.

“It makes everyone else very motivated,” Galletta said of McGriff’s victories. “To have someone who is definitely going to score points for us, it encourages us to try and score points as well.”

It’s not the first time the senior has been a leader for the team.

“[McGriff is] always there cheering us on no matter what event it is,” Hubeny said. “It’s fun to watch someone who is as good as he is in our sport. He brings new energy to the team.”

Personal bests on the day included Hubeny and Galletta, as well as juniors Amy Hewlett, Colleen Cass and Morgan Maves; sophomores Crosby Spiess, Katie Mozzochi, Tom Moore and Calvin Schneck; and freshmen James Dailey, Sam Fishbein and Olivia Barney.

“It’s kind of like a starting point for us and we can really just improve from here,” Galletta said. “Everyone’s goals are going to be to improve their times and to score at Patriot Leagues.”

Up next for the Leopards will be a 7-way meet at home on March 31 to continue the outdoor season.

“The team in general is excited for [the] outdoor [season] because we tend to do better in outdoor, and we get to add in some more events,” Hubeny said.

Disclaimer: Amy Hewlett is the sports editor and did not edit the content of this article.