The final tune up before the Patriot League Championships went a lot like the rest of the regular season for the Lafayette track and field team: robust individual performances marred by a depleted pandemic roster.
The Leopards competed at the John & Carol Covert Classic in Bethlehem last Saturday, which consisted of seven teams including Lehigh, Bucknell, Binghamton, Muhlenberg, Monmouth and Loyola. There was no team scoring at the meet.
The pandemic-plagued season has been tough on the Leopards as nearly half of the team has been out for a wide variety of reasons.
“As an individual sport, both the men’s and women’s teams have put up incredible marks, despite the challenges we have faced,” said senior Olivia Barney. “I recognize that when you look at the overall score it may not seem that positive, but that is only due to our low number of athletes this semester, not due to the quality of the team.”
Barney knows a thing or two about high marks herself: on Saturday, she placed second in the discus with a best throw of 41.12 meters and followed that up with a fifth place finish in the shot put with a 12.35 meter toss. Barney has been on a tear this spring, recently scoring over half of the women’s points at the Lehigh Easter races.
“At each meet, I hope to do better, and this meet was no different,” Barney said. “Although I did not perform personal bests, my throws were competitive.”
Following Barney’s lead in the throwing events were sophomores Grace O’Mara and Meredith McGee. O’Mara placed third in the discus and eighth in the shot put, with best throws of 40.51 and 11.78 meters, respectively. McGee’s top mark in the hammer throw traveled 44.51 meters, good for eighth place, while O’Mara finished ninth in the same event with a 41.07 meter toss.
Senior Katie Ullmann rounded out the field events with a second place finish in the high jump with a best leap of 1.60 meters, while senior Julia Knowles earned eighth in the pole vault with a 3.05 meter jump.
In the running events, sophomore Katie Riley placed sixth in the 1500-meter run in 4:55.20. Behind Riley was senior Liv Palma (ninth), freshman Emma Lorey (10th), and senior Emily Becker (12th). Palma ran a 5:01.14, Lorey ran a 5:04.79 and Becker rounded out the Leopards’ top performers with a time of 5:10.09.
In the 800-meter run, senior Lizzie Harmon earned ninth and freshmen Mikayla Randall placed 12th with times of 2:20.34 and 2:21.12, respectively.
On the men’s side, junior Dylan Drescher finished fourth in the javelin with a 50.57 meter toss, while sophomore Mark Sabin placed eighth in the pole vault with a top mark of 4.20 meters. In the 5,000-meter run, junior Tim Larsen ran a time of 16:21.20, good for seventh place.
The Leopards will quickly turn their attention to the Patriot League Championships which start this afternoon and run through Saturday. After a spring full of invitationals and open meets, the team is acutely aware of the challenge that lies ahead – but the objective remains the same.
“The goal is to go into the Patriot League Championship with as much energy and speed as I can bring,” Barney said. “I know what to do, I just have to do it.”
The Leopards travel to West Point, N.Y., for the Patriot League Championships all day today and tomorrow.