The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps track and field team competed at peak intensity this past weekend at both the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa and at the University of La Verne in the final meets before SCIAC championships begin next weekend. While only a small portion of the team made it out to Azusa for the Invitational on Thursday, Apr. 14, and Friday, Apr. 15, everyone participated in Saturday's meet against La Verne, Chapman University, California Lutheran University, and Pomona-Pitzer.
Both the Stags and the Athenas had outstanding individual performances at the meets. Pole-vaulter Michael Wagenvold CM '18 set a new CMS record on Saturday, finishing at a stunning 5.00m/16-04. Wagenvold is ranked No. 6 nationally, and he was not the only one to break records. Tyra Abrahams SC '18 also set a SCIAC and CMS record, running a 11.91 100-meter dash on both Friday and Saturday. Vaiva Palunas SC '17 broke her own SCIAC and CMS record in the discus again, this time at 47.35m/155-04. Finally, Joshua Sealand HM '18 ran the 1500-meter race at 3:47:34, setting a CMS record and putting himself at No. 5 all-time in SCIAC.
The 82 degree weather did not seem to deter the CMS track and field athletes. The energy of the meet was lower than usual across all teams, but CMS pushed through, handling the unpleasant conditions more successfully than their competitors.
The Bryan Clay Invitational meet on Thursday and Friday was a great simulation of what nationals will be like for those who qualify. Last year, 13 members of the CMS track and field team qualified for nationals, an impressive feat for a small team. Division I athletes also competed at Bryan Clay, increasing the intensity and providing a much-needed challenge for CMS.
Saturday’s meet at La Verne was a little more casual. This was against athletes that CMS was very familiar with, and the team was tired from a long week. Several had competed just the day before, but they still managed to give it their all. Abrahams, for example, crossed the finish line after the 100-meter race at the exact same time as she did the day before, down to the same hundredth of a second.
According to Abrahams, preparation for the conference championships won’t change too much in terms of their training regimen. Why? It’s worked so well for them already, so they just want to keep up the strong efforts and positive outcomes. The season won’t be over for Abrahams after that, though. She will be competing at Nationals in May, where she hopes to earn All American status by ranking as one of the top eight 100-meter runners in the country.
The Stags and Athenas will next compete on Apr. 29 and 30, in the SCIAC Championships at Occidental College. Friday, Apr. 29, is the preliminaries, where all the athletes run each of their events. Depending on how well they do on the 29th, they will then have the chance to continue on to the next day. The top eight competitors from each event will then compete again on Apr. 30.