Men and women’s track take a run at RPI

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By Thomas Scott

This past weekend, Union’s Men and Women’s Outdoor Track team took part in an invitational at RPI. Jen Ventrella ‘16  took third place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and Katherine Pouliot  ‘16 ranked fourth with the javelin. Placing first, Dylan Schuck ‘14 achieved a distance of 55.75 meters with the javelin.

This placement permits him to take part in the ECAC championships on May 16 and 17.

The previous weekend the team journeyed to Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J. Bethany Crowe ‘13 achieved seventh place in the finals for the 400-meter hurdle.  Crowe also participatedin the  4×100 meter relay along with Madeline Frieze ‘15, Hannah Najar ‘16 and Shea Barickman ‘16. The group earned eighth place.

The men’s team earned distinction in the 5,000-meter run when Jesse Coull ‘16 finished second and Gabe Sturges ‘13 placed third.

The team often makes long trips in order to take part in events. The team will have to travel as far as Canton to take part in the New York State Collegiate Track Conference on May 3 and 4. Canton is more than 200 miles away from Union.

This Saturday, the track team will participate in the Liberty League championships in Poughkeepsie.

The reason the Dutchmen and women must trek to other schools is because Union’s track facilities are not suitable for hosting other schools, said team Captain Josh Davis ‘13.

The Roadrunner invitational, held at Ramapo took place more than 133 miles from Union.

According to Davis, it was “the first time [the team had] ever been there,” and it was “one of the bigger meets” in which the team has competed. The event drew in 21 other schools.

Despite the presence of Division I teams, the Dutchmen and Dutchwomen “gave it [their] all” said Davis.

Davis himself was injured at the Roadrunner invitational. Allegedly, he “was … 30 meters away from the finish line” when he “felt something pop.”

He managed to limp past the finish line, only to collapse soon afterward.

“I was in so much pain,” said Davis. Even though he wasn’t able to run at RPI, Davis hopes to be back on the track soon. “A lot of people have been getting hurt here and there,” claimed Davis.

The occurrence of injuries has to do with the state of the facilities and the equipment available to the track team, asserted Davis. The team captain added that “track doesn’t … have the type of funding that other sports do.” Apparently team members “get injured from the indoor track all the time.” What’s more, “A typical indoor track is 200 meters,” he said, but Union’s indoor track is only about “160 meters, [which] means the turns are even smaller.” This means that “if you run on an inside lane … your ankles will … get messed up,” Davis alleged.

Despite constraints presented by limited resources, “we make do with what we have,” he asserted. Moreover, the “coaches are awesome” and are “always pushing for us to do our best” attested Davis.

All of the team’s efforts and achievements this early in term certainly lends cadence to the notion that track is, as Davis phrased it “not just running in circles.”

Bonnie Deyo ‘16 and Cyndee Somera ‘16 placed 10th and 11th respectively in the long jump. Deyo also achieved sixth place in the triple jump. Najar made it into the top 10 category for the 800-meter dash.

Tosin Kazeem ‘15 and Ricco Pierre ‘15 took third and fifth place respectively in the 100-meter dash. Brian Hazzard ‘15 and Michael Messier ‘15 achieved 10th place and 12th place. Pierre also ranked 15th in the 200-meter dash. Vinny Vivenzio ‘14 earned 10th place in the hammer throw. Mitchell Finitz ‘16 took part in the 3,000-meter steeplechase along with Connor Gagliardi ‘16. Finitz placed fourth, while Gagliardi placed seventh.

Despite several impactful injuries, it is clear that both teams will continue to push through. With all this excitement, be sure to take a trip out to the track and support your running, jumping, throwing, vaulting, sprinting, Dutchmen and Dutchwomen.

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