JULIE KENYON, Copy Editor—The indoor track erupted with excitement as Denison and NCAC athletes competed this Friday and Saturday at conference finals. Team mates joined together lining the entirety of the 200 meter indoor track shoulder to shoulder to watch the final event on Saturday, the mens and womens 4×400 meter relay, to witness which teams would snatch 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for the 2020 conference meet.
Triple jumpers Jake Coplin’20, James Dixie ‘20 and Angelo Ricci ‘23 headed off the day with a bang with Coplin ‘20 securing 2nd, Ricci placing 3rd and Dixie ‘20 coming in 5th in the pit. On the opposite side of the track, Bryce Stricker’20 showcased immense strength throwing 16.13 meters to bring home his first conference champion title.
The women and men’s 5K headed off the running events of the day with Keanan Ginell’22 securing second with a PR time of 15:37.02. On the women’s side, sophomore Emily Wilson’22 brings home 6th place scoring 3 points for Big Red.
Prelims for sprints and hurdles continued for the duration of Friday as Denison freshmen Charlie Webb and Erin Anderson and junior Molly Smith advanced into finals for the 60M hurdles (Webb ‘23) women’s 400m dash (Anderson’23) and the 800m (Smith’21). The mens and womens distance medley capped off the day securing a 4th place finish for the men and an 8th place finish for the women.
Ryan Fleming ‘20 led Denison on the final day of conference in high jump placing 3rd clearing 1.91 meters. Over in pole vault, first year Danielle Wydick launched herself into 4th place clearing a height of 3.04 meters. At 12 p.m. thrower and conference champion Stricker’20 placed 5th in shot put whilst Dixie’20 secures 8th and Ricci’23 placing 4th in long jump. After a successful day in the fielding events, the attention of the meet turns back to the running events.
The gun fires signaling the start of the running events for saturday. Ben Foster ‘20 secures 2nd place in the mile and followed by Webb’23 who placed 4th this year shattering the school record and his personal best time (8.59). During the women’s 400m final, Anderson ‘23 secures a 3rd place finish at her first conference championship meet with a time of 1:01.64. Smith’21 takes home a 7th place finish scoring 2 points for the women’s team.
The day continues with the mens and womens 3,000 meter where Keanan Ginell ‘22 and Ben Foster ‘20 placed 4th and 7th. Denison women Sarah Radziewicz ‘21 placed 8th with a time of 10:51.72.
The 4×400 meter relay culminates in what it means to be a track athlete, and what teamwork looks like for the Denison track and field team . Out of the gates Lance Tobasky ‘23 jockeys for position setting his team mates up for success in the preceding legs of the relay. Swiftly handing the baton to freshman Ben Rumsfield ‘23 the second leg proves to be just as crucial as the first in not just keeping the pace, but cutting of competition. In the final 10 meters Rumsfield surges past Allegheny seconds before his handoff to Charlie Webb ‘23 who, with the help from his teammates and fans, shifts into second gear elevating the synergy within the indoor track. Clocking in a split time of 51.293, Webb sets up anchor leg, Jack Ruddy’20, for success in the crucial finishing moments of the relay that secured the men’s team a 3rd place finish overall at Conference.
Both the Denison mens and womens 4×400 relays’ stood as symbols for what the Denison Track and Field Team stands for: grit, commitment and energy. As the indoor season closes with outstanding finishes by both the mens and womens team, they continue to look ahead to what is next for the 2020 outdoor season that starts in two weeks.