Rossi Relays Provide Practice for Sagehen Track and Field

This past Saturday found the Pomona College campus—particularly in the vicinity of Strehle Track—fairly quiet, as the Pomona-Pitzer men’s track and field team was without definitive competition. Nonetheless, the Sagecocks found a way to keep themselves occupied during what is usually a day-long affair concerned with improving conference rankings.

The Rossi Relays are held annually at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, just north of Sixth Street. With the exception of individual sprint events (the 100-meter and 110-meter hurdles) and a single distance event (the 3000-meter race), it is a day dedicated to team achievement, four men at a time. Additionally, a high level of local competition—including the appearance of University of Southern California’s very strong Division I program—ensures fast relay times in events ranging from the 4×400-meter race to the distance medley relay. The Sagehens were one squad that found success in this environment, as a few athletes chose to partake in what was otherwise an optional competition.

To get things going and to start bringing their four-year careers at P-P to a resounding close, an all-senior crew of James Muller PO ’13, Dominick Reinhold PO ’13, David Erf PO ’13, and Alex Johnson PZ ’13 ran the distance medley relay in which the athletes compete over 1200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, and 1600 meters sequentially. With respective splits of 3:18, 52 seconds, 2:08, and 4:34, the seniors showed that even at this early stage in the season, they do indeed have some wheels on which to circle the oval. Their performance was good enough for a 10:53 final relay time and 14th place.

Meanwhile, the upstart, all-freshman squad of Corey Purcella PO ’16, Andrew Kolzcynski PO ’16, Andrew Palmer PO ’16, and Steven Ory PO ’16 tried to make things more interesting by challenging the senior squad head-to-head. However, like many in the Southern California sun after the multiple days of rain, the first-years wilted a bit when faced with the forceful determination of the seniors, as they fell two seconds back on the first leg of the relay, with Purcella running a 3:20, and never made up any more ground. Subsequent splits of 54 seconds by Kolzcynski, 2:06 by Palmer in the 800, and 4:38 by Ory in the metric mile meant finishing a little bit more than six seconds behind their elders but still in a respectable 11:00 total time, good for 17th place overall.

Finally, to finish off the day, John Fowler PO ’16 ran his first race of the season, a 3k solo endeavor. Fowler showed he is in a strong position to make the season anything he wants it to be, squeaking into fifth place in 8:59 and just nipping a CMS athlete to the line.

However, just because this past weekend was low-key for those who needed to get a first race in for the season or wanted to indulge in a sentimental relay race doesn’t mean the harriers have been forsaking their training. Look for them to really make some noise this coming weekend as they partake in their first conference meet at home against Occidental College, Chapman University, Whittier College, and University of La Verne at 11 a.m.

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