Hidden away on the southeast corner of Pomona’s campus lies the majestic blue Strehle Track. On several Saturdays throughout the spring, exciting meets take place in this tucked away corner of campus, unbeknownst to the average Pomona student. If you’ve missed earlier opportunities, you can still enjoy the SCIAC championships, which are to be held today and tomorrow at Pomona. It promises to be an exciting way to spend the afternoon and a chance to check out Pomona’s fastest and strongest Sagehens run, jump and throw against their SCIAC competitors.
Unlike previous seasons where all of the SCIAC teams met at SCIAC Invite, SCIAC Multi-Duals and SCIAC Championships, the format of the dual meet schedule this year has left the championships as the first and only meet in which athletes from every team will be present, and every team will score against each other.
Rose Haag PO ‘10, who will be running the 5K on Saturday afternoon, said this has allowed competitive spirit to peak for SCIACs.
She said, “I haven’t had an aggressive race this season so I’m ready to get out there and be aggressive.”
As a senior, Haag also commented on the personal rivalries that have built up among SCIAC competitors after running against the same runners at meet after meet, year after year. “Last year at multi-duals, I had a bit of a tiff with an Oxy runner who elbowed me at the finish line. The last time we raced this season, I beat her by 0.03 seconds. I hope she is in the 5K on Saturday.”
In addition to presenting the opportunity to watch long-standing rivalries, SCIAC champs offers an opportunity to see some of the best track and field athletes of Division III compete right here in Claremont.
Both today and tomorrow, there will be two jumping and two throwing events. Ellie Chestnut PO ’10, who holds one of the best performances in the nation for the javelin, will compete in the hammer throw on Friday and the javelin on Saturday.
The preliminaries for all running events will occur on Friday afternoon. Only a certain number of runners from each preliminary event will advance to the finals on Saturday. The exceptions to this are the steeple-chase, which will only have a final held on Friday afternoon, and the 5K, which will only have a final on Saturday afternoon.
Running stars Alicia Freese PO ’10 and Clair McGroder PO ’10, who have both qualified for nationals in their respective events will be competing on both Friday and Saturday. Freese will run in the 1,500 and 5,000 meter races, and McGroder will compete in the 400 and 200 meter open races in addition both the 4×100 and 4×400 meter races.
All of the competitors hope to be cheered on by their fellow Sagehens. In case the excitement of the athletic events isn’t enough, McGroder offers additional incentive. She promises there will be some new tattoos (permanent or temporary) and hairdos to check out as well. The complete schedule for all events can be found on the Track and Field page of Pomona’s athletic website.