The Colorado College track and field team finished up the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships with nine individuals topping the podium and multiple athletes setting personal records.
Sophomore Henry Baldwin had another successful weekend at the SCAC championships, capturing the high jump victory for the second year in a row. He won the event with a personal record jump of 6’7.5” which placed him 22nd overall in Division III.
“It was both thrilling and nerve-wracking to repeat as conference champion,” said Baldwin. “Based on the seeding, I was assuming I could win easily with 6’4”. I won with only 6’1.5” last year, but that wasn’t good enough to reach the podium last Saturday.” Baldwin realized he would have to PR to win. “I knew I was in for a real competition when we were reaching 6’5” with half the field left in the competition,” he said. At 1.97m things got wild, according to Baldwin. TLU’s jumper got over in two attempts, whereas Baldwin only got over on his third and final attempt. The bar was set at 2.02m (6’7.5”), and Baldwin knew he had to clear it because Texas Lutheran University had him beat on failed attempts. “I just trusted in my training and told myself that I would not lose,” Baldwin said. “I cleared the PR height on my first attempt, TLU failed, and the rest is history.”
Meanwhile, senior Katie Sandfort reigned supreme over the women’s distance events last weekend. She dominated the 10k Friday night, placing first for the second year in a row. Sandfort finished 11 seconds in front of runner-up, junior Haley McFadden of Trinity University with a time of 39:8.49 seconds. Teammates senior Allie Crimmins and junior Kelsey Maxwell finished third and fourth, respectively.
Saturday morning senior Leah Wessler took the 5k title for the second year in a row, with Sandfort .3 seconds behind. Then in the 1500-meter race, Sandfort won her second title of the meet with a personal record time of 4:51.63, four seconds in front of any competition.
“The 1,500 was around an hour after the 5k on Saturday morning, so I was much more nervous about doing well in that race,” said Sandfort. “I was tired and I knew it would hurt pretty badly, so I made it my goal to just hang on to the leaders for as long as I could.” Sandfort was surprised that she never lost momentum during the race, and it especially surprised her that she had so much left to kick in the last 400 meters of the race. “I honestly have no idea how I did that. I’m pretty sure it was the fastest that I have ever moved.”
Senior Conor Terhune secured the 3,000m steeplechase title with a season best time of 9:52.57, scorching his competition by 21 seconds. “On the day of the event I felt unusually great,” said Terhune. “My family came down from New Hampshire to watch me race. Their presence was both relaxing and invigorating, which was exactly what I needed.”
The woman’s team also won the final race of the day—the 4x400m relay, setting a school record time in the process. First-year Liza Huschle, and juniors Ayla Loper, Duranya Freeman and Asmeda Spalding-Aguirre earned CC’s first-ever SCAC title in the event with a school-record time of 4:00.48, surpassing the previous record of 4:02.3 set in 1998.
“The 4×4 is a gutsy race because everyone is exhausted from their individual events and is just running on adrenaline,” Freeman said. Huschle and Loper, who ran the first and second legs of the relay, gave the team a great start. “We were in second at that point and during my leg I was able to make up some ground on the Trinity girl in first,” Freeman said. “Asmeda [Spalding-Aguirre] had an absolutely phenomenal anchor leg and was able to pass Trinity in the final 50 meters. It was such a thrilling race to be a part of and one of my best track memories ever.”
Sophomore thrower Jules Stanely was the first Colorado College athlete to win the woman’s javelin title with a huck of 121 feet.
“If I’m honest, I was completely unprepared for the heat in Texas,” said Stanley. “When I was competing I started to pass out because I just couldn’t deal with the heat.” Stanley’s coaches and teammates tried to help by giving her ice and Gatorade, which gave her enough energy to keep throwing. On Stanely’s fifth throw, she threw the javelin 36.91 meters. “I remember just before that fifth throw thinking that it didn’t matter if I passed out after that throw, I just needed to get it in and put my entire self into it,” Stanley said. “I guess that was thanks to my javelin coach Kevin Brown and his mentality.”
Two Tigers took all-SCAC honors in the women’s 800m, with Freeman coming in second with a season best and first-year Annabel Driussi coming in third.
In the men’s 800m, first-year Ethan Brand-LaBarge took third with a time of 1:58.83.
Asmeda Spalding-Aguirre podiumed with a second place finish in the 400m with a personal record of 58.06.
Junior John Hatch and sophomore Trevor Hightower also reached the podium, finishing second and third, respectively, in the men’s triple jump. Hatch also placed third in the men’s long jump with a 22’11.5” effort.
First-year pole vaulter David Figel made the podium with a third place finish.
Ayla Loper finished third in the high jump (5’) and joined Huschle, Swanson and junior Samantha Gilbert in the 4×100 relay team that finished third.
Gilbert finished in a tie for fourth in the 100-meter dash and tied the school record with a time of 12.70 seconds, first set in 1983.
The Tigers continue their season at the Occidental Classic on Saturday, May 6 in Los Angeles.
Don’t blink, or you might miss them.