Before last weekend’s Pomona-Pitzer Invite, head women’s track and field coach Kirk Reynolds warned his team that the easy, early days of competition were over.
Reynold’s words rang true as the cold Saturday dawned. Competitor’s tents stood in every corner of the track as the Sagehens played host to athletes from Division III, Division I and one Canadian school. While chilled spectators shivered and fought for the warm coffee and sizzling hot dogs at the snack shack, the PPTF were fired up and ready for the day of events.
They ran and threw and jumped better than they had all year, slaughtering personal bests. To start off the meet, Erin Delaria PO ’15 ran a strong 1500 meter race. Known for starting off fast and dropping back, her teammates were electrified to see her at the front of the pack until the very end, finishing second in her heat with a time of 5:09.72. This multi-talented Delaria also claimed second place in her flight of the pole vault with a 9’8”. Stephanie Micham PO ’15 upheld the distance runner’s strong image by running a 2:20.98 and finishing second in her heat of the 800.
It is no surprise the Alex Oxborough-Yankus PZ ’14 and Katie Barton PO ’15 performed strongly in their respective events. Oxborough-Yankus improved her personal best in the hammer, throwing 114’11”, which not only put her second in her flight, but placed her 9th on the P-P all-time list. Though not a personal best, Barton clocked a strong time of 67.95. Additionally, another one of P-P’s hurdlers, Hanna Levin PO ’14, finished third in her section of the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 16.98, just off of her season’s best.
The women’s 5000 meter race was brutally postponed by an hour. Bitterly resenting the twenty-four heats of the 200 meter dash, the 5k ladies knew that despite the setback they had to compete well or it meant failing to meet their goals. The ladies came through for the PPTF forces while the meager lights shining on the blue Strehle track gently illuminated the path before them. All six competitors, Annie Lydens PO ’13, Claire Brickson PO ’14, Shelley Chestler PO ’12, Kayla Eland PZ ’12, Kaya LeGrand PO ’15 and Annie Niehaus PO ’14, won seasonal bests.
Leslie Canter PZ ’12 stepped up as the top competitor for PPTF Saturday. She battled over barriers, against both collegiate and professional athletes, to come in sixth overall in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Her time, 11:41.73, won her the Pomona-Pitzer school record. After competing in the steeplechase the past two years, Canter was excited to finally eclipse the school record.
Even with the good showing at the Pomona-Pitzer Invite, the impending force of the SCIAC Championship looms ahead April 27 and 28, just over the wall of this next restful weekend. While the Sagehens will look to build on their success this weekend, they’ll have to prove themselves against SCIAC’s elite soon enough.