NEW LONDON, Conn. - In their final meet before next weekend's University Athletic Association (UAA) Outdoor Track & Field Championship hosted by the University of Chicago, the Judges enjoyed some beautiful weather for the Silfen Invitational at Connecticut College's David & Lyn Silfen Track & Field, situated right on the Thames River. Working off of momentum from last weekend's meet at Amherst College, the Judges won 5 events (the women's pole vault, the men's 400 meters, the men's 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter relays, as well as the men's decathlon). These wins, supported by many other top-8 scorers, earned the men's team 4th and the women's team 8th overall.
In her second collegiate win, her first being her debut performance—the high jump at the Reggie Poyau Invitational, rookie Willa Moen (Ashland, Ore. / Ashland) won the women's pole vault, clearing a nearly 20-centimeter personal best 3.25 meters (10 feet, 8 inches). In doing so, Moen earned 10 points towards the team's total and qualified for both the Division III New England Outdoor Track & Field Championship as well as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Outdoor Track & Field Championship. She is now ranked twelfth in the DIII New England region and fourteenth for ECACs. In the UAA, Moen is right in the mix, ranked 7th in what looks to be a competitive fight for the top-8 places. Moen also placed 8th in the high jump to score another point by clearing 1.43m (4' 8.25").
Undefeated in the 400 meters this season, senior Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore. / York School, Canada) again won the 400 meters, running an outdoor best 48.71 seconds; only 3 hundredths of a second off of his all-time best. Gourde's time, which now leads the UAA, was set running into a vicious headwind on the home stretch. The 400 meters runner-up at indoor UAAs, next weekend's rematch is sure to be a highlight of the meet. Beyond the UAA Championship, Gourde is ranked 4th in the DIII New England region, 5th in the ECAC, eleventh for the All-New England (NEICAAA) Championship, and sixty-ninth for the IC4A Championship (Division I's ECAC competition,for which he has met the qualifying standard), and twenty-seventh nationally in Division III. As the anchor leg of the men's 4x400 meter relay, Gourde was instrumental in their win.
In fact, the men's relays dominated, winning the 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter relays. Gourde's anchor leg in the 4x400 meter secured the win for the Judges, following bold legs from rookie Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Westminster Academy), and seniors Nick Wactor (Oakland, Calif. / Head-Royce) and Jeremy Wilson (Elizabeth, N.J. / Elizabeth). The team ran 3:25.78 for another 10 points, ranking them 5th in the UAA. Like their counterparts in the 4x400 meter relay, the men's 4x100 meter relay, consisting of rookie Lorenzo Maddox (Atlanta, Ga. / Maynard Jackson) and sophomores Henry McDonald (Weymouth, Mass. / Weymouth), Michael Kroker (Aumsville, Ore. / Cascade), and Regan Charie (Topsfield, Mass. / Masconomet Regional), won the event and ended up ranked 5th in the UAA. Nearly dipping under 44 seconds with their time of 44.03 during their second time competing in the event together, the Judges hope that the third time's the charm at UAAs. In addition to the men's near-sweep of the relays, the women also found success in the 4x400 meter relay, placing 2nd with a time 4:11.08. Rookie Lydia Harris (Damariscotta, Maine / Lincoln Academy) and sophomore Maya Sands-Bliss (Williamsburg, Mass. / Amherst Regional) secured good positioning for the Judges for sophomore Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East) and rookie anchor Madeline Hayman (Worcester, Mass. / Burncoat) to make tactical moves later on in the race.
The final event win was perhaps the most grueling: the performance of sophomore Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass. / King Phillip Regional) in the men's decathlon with a grand total of 5743 points. The two-day competition started with 5 events Friday afternoon and resumed promptly the next morning. At the end of day one, Allan walked away with 3 new PRs. Allan set a PR in the 100 meters with a time of 11.77 seconds, then going onto jump 6.74m (22' 1.5") in the long jump, and then going onto throw 11.92m (39' 1.25") in the shot put. He came back the next day to score big in the 110 meter high hurdles with a run of 15.86 seconds and to PR in the javelin throw 41.49m (136' 1"). This was a beastly performance from Jack Allan, as not only did he win, but he is ranked 3rd in the DIII New England region, 8th in the ECAC, and twenty-first nationally in Division III. Further, his massive long jump PR situates him as the top seed going into this weekend's UAA Championship. Allan is also ranked 6th in the 110 meter high hurdles, 8th in high jump, and fourteenth in shot put.
Allan was joined in the multievents by junior Jessie Moore (Rye, N.Y. / Rye) who competed in the women's heptathlon. Moore earned 8th with 3279 points, ultimately situating herself as 8th in the DIII New England region and 4th in the ECAC. During the heptathlon, Moore set an outdoor best in long jump of 4.48m (14' 8.5") and a personal best in shot put of 8.81m (28' 11").
Though no Judge won the event, the 5000 meters was possibly the Judges' best event overall. Senior Maddie Dolins (Highland Park, Ill. / Highland Park) earned 7th with a 7 second PR of 17:38.07 which ranks her 2nd in the UAA, 4th in the DIII New England region, 12th in the ECAC, and forty-first at the All-New England (NEICAAA) Championship. On the men's side, junior Mitchell Hutton (Villa Park, Calif. / Villa Park) earned 5th with a PR of 14:49.67 which ranks him 3rd in the UAA, 5th in the DIII New England region, 1st in the ECAC, and twenty-fourth at the All-New England (NEICAAA) Championship. Fellow junior Liam Garvey (West Springfield, Mass. / West Springfield) ran 15:09.39 for twelfth overall. This ranks him twelfth in the UAA, twenty-first in the DIII New England region, and eighteenth in the ECAC. Ryan Stender (Amherst, Mass. / Amherst Regional), another junior, made his season debut with a run of 15:24.29 to qualify for the DIII New England Championship.
On the track, six other Judges scored. Three Judges earned fifth in their respective events: Regan Charie (23.37 seconds) in the 200 meters, rookie Lydia Harris in the 400 meter hurdles (1:10.54), and sophomore Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass. / North Quincy) in the 3000 meter steeplechase (11:33.02). Bryson's steeplechase debut ranks her 5th in the UAA, eleventh in the DIII New England region, and twelfth for ECACs. Three sophomores rounded out the Judges' scorers on the track: Doyin Ogundiran's 2:18.80 in the 800 meters for 6th place, Maya Sand-Bliss's PR 1:01.67 in the 400 meters for 7th place, and Henry McDonald's 16.61 second 110 meter high hurdles for 8th place.
In the field, the Judges found success both in the throws and in the jumps. In the throws, sophomore Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass. / Greenfield) had quite the day, placing 2nd in discus and 4th in shot put. In discus, Grote threw a massive PR of 41.61m (136' 6"), improving upon his previous best of 38.71m (127' 0"). This mark ranks him 5th in the UAA and twelfth in the DIII New England region. In shot put, Grote set another PR of 13.20m (43' 3.75"). In addition, junior Jordin Carter (Fort Wayne, Ind. / R. Nelson Snyder) placed 7th in the hammer throw with a PR of 39.40m (129' 3") which ranks her sixth in the UAA.
In addition to Jack Allan's long jump PR that would have won the open long jump and Willa Moen's pole vault win, there were several other scorers in the jumps. In the triple jump, Churchill Perry placed 2nd with a jump of 13.68m (44' 10.75"). This ranks him second in the UAA, 8th in the DIII New England region, and thirteenth in the ECAC. Senior Mark Franklin (Auburn, N.H. / Pinkerton Academy) scored third in the high jump by clearing 1.83m (6' 0"). Rookie Aaron Corin (Sudbury, Mass. / Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) earned third in the pole vault by clearing 3.80m (12' 5.5"). In the long jump, Henry McDonald jumped 6.11m (20' 0.5") for 7th place and rookie Kayla Fahey (Kingston, Mass. / Silver Lake Regional) jumped 4.85m (15' 11") for 8th place.
At Outdoor UAAs this weekend, the Judges look to improve upon the men's 6th place finish and the women's 7th place finish at Indoor UAAs.
By Henry McDonald '19