Tensions were high as the Denison men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the annual Big Red Invitational on Friday April 26. At this annual event, Denison competes with the other NCAC schools and the Big Red came to perform.

With the season winding down, the team geared up for one of the final meets of the season, and they were ready for the competition.

The men’s team secured five top three finishes in the invitational with the women’s team claiming seven top five finishes.

The women’s impressive outing was led in part by Marlja Pavlick ‘22, who currently holds the school record for javelin. She was able to win first overall in the event and helped surge the women’s team to success.

With the men, they were led by a pair of field victories. Ryan Fleming ‘20 won first place in the high jump while David Carter ‘19 was first in the triple jump.

The team credits the success to what sophomore thrower Grant Balogh ‘21 states as “realizing that the team has something special that teams in the past haven’t had. A lot of our talent is being produced in the weight room and in practice and we have to put our own motivations to the side and work together for the betterment of the team.” Balogh continues how “the team has finally come together as a full team and haven’t let injuries hurt them. Outside of track, the team has became a family. The increase in team chemistry motivates the team to do better. Multiple records have been broken this year as a result of the chemistry we have had this year.”

Senior Niall Clancey ‘19 led the men to a third place victory in the 1,500 meter event. Regarding the state of the team and reexamining the final season of his career, he claims that “it’s weird knowing that I’m almost done with this team. They have become such a part of my life and have really pushed me to be not only better at track, but as a person. This team is special, and I’m glad I could’ve been a part of it.”

The women’s team operated similarly this season. Tommy Solberg ‘21 says how “this year the team chemistry is at an all time high as a result of the team bonding we have. Our events all have stronger people in these events, which in turn leads to better results. Even though the girls team is considered small, we have been mighty. We have been through it all, and yet we push ourselves each and everyday to be better, as a group.”

The Big Red aren’t done yet, as decathlon athlete James Dixie ‘20 brought home fourth place in the NCAC combined events championship meet. The school record holder and the Big Red will return to action next Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, when they compete in the 2019 NCAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.