The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s and women’s track and field team (M: 3, W: 4) has had another unbelievable season. Whether they were competing in sprints and hurdles, pole vaults and long jumps, or shot put and discus, members of the team have placed in, if not won, many of the events.
With strong performances all season long from the athletes, including Tyra Abraham SC ’18, Michael Wagenveld CM ’18, and Vaiva Palunas SC ’17, the Stags-Athenas entered the SCIAC Multi-Dual No. 2 meet at the University of Redlands on Saturday, Apr. 2. The team competed against SCIAC rivals La Verne, Chapman University, Redlands, and Whittier College, the women ready to validate their first-place ranking in the conference, the men only two dual points behind conference leader Occidental College (M:5).
“I feel like a lot of people have been progressing really well, even at the last track meet we had,” said Abraham, who broke the SCIAC conference 100-meter dash record (11.70). Her race was also the 10th fastest recorded time in Division-III history. Additionally, Abraham finished first in the 200-meter dash (25.09), and placed first in the 4×100 meter relay with teammates Brittany Griffin CM ’19, Aiyanna Cameron-Lewis CM ’18, and Sabrine Griffith CM ’19.
CMS runner Cameron-Lewis took first in the 400-meter dash (56.65), while Carmen Mejia SC ’17 won the 1500-meter run (4:46.33). Bryn McKillop SC ’18 placed first in the 5000-meter run, Griffith won the 100-meter hurdles, and Becca Stewart SC ’18 came out on top in the 400-meter hurdles (1:06.10).
Palunas also dominated for CMS in the women’s shot put and discus throw, taking first in both events (12.41 m and 46.40 m, respectively). Her performance in the discus throw not only broke the SCIAC record; it also granted her the top national D-III ranking in the event. Emily Bassett CM ’18 took home first in the women hammer throw (52.65 m) to conclude an immensely successful weekend showing for the women’s team. Bassett is ranked third nationally in Division-III for this event.
The meet also reflected the team’s collective progress and growth throughout the season: Every single one of the Athenas competing in the 200-meter dash recorded personal records for themselves.
The men also delivered on Saturday, with first-place finishes from Joshua Sealand HM ’17 in the 800-meter run (1:56.71), Evan Molineux CM ’16 in the 1500-meter run (4:00.04), and J.P. Kiefer CM ’18 in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Additionally, Wagenveld took first in the pole vault (4.91 m), and Alex Rich HM ’16 won the discus throw (44.04 m). Needless to say, the CMS men’s team dominated the meet.
The team’s diligent work on and off the field has led not only to record-breaking performances, but also to a level of team bonding. Abraham says that “being around each other and supporting each other and telling each other that we’re going to have a good race” reaffirms the importance of comaradery. And they know that all their work will pay off as they approach the SCIAC Championships on Apr. 29 and 30.
In preparation for this monumental meet, CMS track and field will also be competing in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational Saturday, Apr. 9. Additionally, the team will participate in The Bryan Clay Invite at Azusa Pacific University Thursday and Friday Apr. 14 and 15, and compete against SCIAC rivals La Verne, Chapman, Pomona-Pitzer and California Lutheran University in a meet hosted by La Verne on Saturday, Apr. 16.
The entire team is looking forward to these final meets as opportunities to showcase its growth. Going in to the meets, Abraham declared, “We’ve worked all season for this, and what happens, happens. It’s gonna be awesome just to see everyone PR-ing and running their best at the end of the season.”