5C Track and Field Teams Face Off in Rossi Relays

The first sixth street rivalry meet of the track and field season took place at the 19th Annual Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Rossi Relays Feb. 28, allowing both teams the chance to perform together on their home turf. While the Sagehens viewed Saturday as practice for future meets and
focused their energies on individual events, the Stags pulled out all the stops to
begin the season, stacking relay teams to go their fastest.

The
4x800m relay race showcased the impressive skill
and organization of the CMS runners. By the end of the relay’s first leg, the
Athenas had a lead of almost 90 meters on all other competitors, and finished
with a 50-meter lead and 10 seconds under the team record.

The
Stags’ 4x800m relay won with an equally impressive lead, an outcome its
members attributed to the relay’s composition compared to past relays.

“Last
year we didn’t have a real A-team,” mid-distance runner Ryan Jones HM ’16 said. “We didn’t [have] our
four fastest people; we [only] had two really fast people.”

This
year, the 4x800m was composed of CMS’s four fastest runners in the 800m. However,
the relay’s speedy lineup led to a lack of competition with the other teams,
which, according to its members, dampened the relay’s potential for its best
performance.

“By
the time that the second person on our team got the baton, we had a lead on
everybody. It was weird just running by ourselves,” Jones said.

Jones’ teammate, mid-distance runner Mac Hightower CM ’16, concurred.

“We
were running alone,” Hightower said. “On your second lap, when
you’re tired with no one there, you won’t run faster.”

On
the other hand, the 4x800m relays for the PPTF teams were constructed
largely for the sake of practice and experimented with the stacking of its members.

“We
had three distance runners and one sprinter [in the relay],” distance runner Maya Weigel PO ’17 said. “For a lot
of us, it was the first time running the 800, so it was hard to judge exactly
where we were in the relay.”

Despite
the untested lineup, the P-P women still placed third. The P-P
men’s relay, however, was a challenge for the sprinters running it and
placed tenth.

“The
sprinters went out there and gave a good effort,” distance runner John Fowler PO’16 said. “That
was a bit over-distance for those guys, but they were just using this as a
training day.”

Fowler
explained that for P-P, the purpose of the meet was individual practice. This paid off for Fowler, who he placed second in his individual event, the 3000m run. He viewed the smaller meet as a chance to warm-up for running in higher-stake meets in the coming weeks. 

“It’s one of the early season tune-up meets in a
lot of ways,” Fowler said. “I wasn’t
able to race two weeks ago because my shin was bothering me a little bit, so it
was an opportunity for me to get another race in before the real season
started. I wanted to get some race experience
and get ready to race hard at [a meet] in two weeks.”

After the relatively laid back nature of the Rossi Relays, Fowler noted that the PPTF team will come out to race in its entirety in future meets. 

“A
lot of the team didn’t race this weekend,” Fowler said. “Our first SCIAC meet is this weekend,
so we’re resting up for that a little bit. Next weekend is totally
team-oriented.”

The PPTF men and women’s teams will both compete in the SCIAC Quad meet at the University of La Verne March 7. On the same day, the Stags and Athenas will attend the other SCIAC Quad meet at the University of Redlands.

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