Track and field team readies for conference championship meet with final regular season invitationals

Sophomore Autumn Sands (1) placed second out of 56 runners in the 3000-meter run. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

The Lafayette track and field team posted seven personal bests and six top-three finishes at the Monmouth Invitational and Fast Track National Invite meets last weekend. Senior Crosby Spiess earned the top spot in the 400-meter dash at Monmouth with her time of 1:00:48, narrowly beating the second place finisher by .05 seconds for Lafayette’s only event win of the weekend.

“At this point in the season we are just focusing on fine-tuning things,” Spiess wrote in an email. “All of the hard work has been done throughout the fall and winter when we run our hardest workouts and lifts. Now we are just focusing on getting in the right headspace and getting excited.”

Also on the women’s side at Monmouth, sophomore Jill Warabak placed second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.13 seconds and senior Kate Mozzochi earned sixth in the same event in 9.35 seconds. Freshman Annie Hathaway finished in a three-way tie for second place in pole vault, while Mozzochi teamed with junior Emily Becker, sophomore Portia McKoy and freshman Eliana Liebman for a second place finish in the 4×400 meter relay.

Senior Zoe Peerman and Becker recorded a pair of fourth place finishes in the high jump and 800-meter run, respectively, to round out the top performers for the women.

On the men’s side at Monmouth, freshmen Andrew Massaro and Robert Oerhlein earned fourth place finishes in the 1,000-meter run and mile run, respectively, with personal best times of 2:42.49 and 4:24.27. Three other personal bests were recorded in the mile run by junior Ryan Branch (5th, 4:25.85), sophomore Austin Barry (6th, 4:27.81) and junior Michael Neeson (8th, 4:30.1).

The last personal best came from freshman Adrian Biggs who earned 11th in the shot put with a top throw of 13.81 meters. Junior Sam Fishbein (5th, 15.33 meters) and sophomore Casey McCollum (10th, 13.83 meters) also competed in shot put.

Sophomore Greg Bove placed second in the 400-meter dash in 51.39 seconds and fifth in the 200-meter dash in 23.26 seconds, while junior Daniel Hullihan earned fifth in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:10.99. Junior Brian Kaufmann finished fourth in triple jump with a best leap of 13.23 meters and eighth in long jump with a top mark of 6.61 meters, and sophomore Jesse Schmeizer placed sixth in the 800-meter run in 2:00.00.

“With Patriot League championships just around the corner, everyone is trying to peak to maximize their performances at the championships,” sophomore Chris Baylor wrote in an email. “Everyone has raised their intensity at practice, trying to get the best out of their teammates. It is a great thing to see.”

The Leopards also sent two runners to the Fast Track National Invite in Staten Island, N.Y., last weekend. For the women, sophomore Autumn Sands recorded a second place finish out of 56 runners in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:05.10, nearly a personal best. For the men, senior Calvin Schneck had a sixth place finish out of 23 runners in the 800-meter run, recording an indoor personal best time of 1:55.65.

Lafayette now has just one more competition remaining before the Patriot League indoor championship meet next weekend.

“While we do get very excited for the league meet and definitely feel the extra pressure of the championship, I like to remind myself and my teammates that it is still another track meet,” Spiess wrote. “We have all been to dozens of track meets before and we know what to do and how to perform well.”

The Leopards travel to Lewisburg, Pa., today for the Bucknell Tune Up before the Patriot League championship meet starts next Saturday in Bethlehem.

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