Men’s indoor track breaks record at All-Ohio meet
4x200-meter relay team sets a new mark.
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 02:02
As men’s track and field co-captain Jake Fishbein ’13 said, “In Kenyon track and field, every year you have a chance to make history.” At the All-Ohio Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship this past weekend at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, four Lords did just that, setting a school record in the 4x200-meter relay.
The Lords track and field team slotted into 16th place out of 18 teams competing, earning a total of eight points. The meet was an invitational: the season’s top individuals and top relay teams across the state competed.
The University of Mount Union (111.50 points), Ohio Wesleyan University (73 points) and host Otterbein (49 points) picked up spots one through three, respectively.
Kenyon only sent 12 athletes total to the meet. “We didn’t have a ton of qualifiers,” Sam Lagasse ’16 said. Lagasse ran the individual 5,000-meter race and finished sixth out of 16 runners. “In terms of team scoring we didn’t have a runner in every event, so our team score was not really a priority.”
The meet was more a gauge of progress and potential, according to Head Coach Duane Gomez. “You want to compete really well and show that you do belong there,” Gomez said.
Lagasse earned his keep in the 5,000-meter, a 25 lap race that he finished in 15:33.47, dropping 18 from his previous best time. “I knew [the race] would be close. I just wanted to remain within the top half for at least the first two miles of the race and then see how much I had left for the last mile,” Lagasse said. “Where I am at now is definitely where I wanted to be at this point in the season.”
The distance medley relay team finished seventh in the 4,000-meter event with a time of 10:45.89, improving on their last outing by about three seconds. Willy Friedlander ’14 ran 400 meters, Ulises Arbelo ’16 ran 800 meters, Nat Fox ’16 ran 1,200 meters and Sean Smith ’16 ran the mile. Fox said that the young team has room for improvement. “We are definitely not at our peak potential yet. I am 100-percent certain that nobody is at their peak potential,” he said. “I see myself making very small improvements, but improvements nonetheless. I see myself as about to turn the corner. … I think that is also something the rest of the team will see.”
Gomez was genuinely pleased with the distance medley team. “For three [first years] to run like that under pressure of higher competition,” he said, “I am very impressed with them. We have a good future with those guys.”
The 4x200-meter relay team — Fishbein, Carlo Gagliardo ’13 Joey Cordle ’14 and Noah Winters ’15 — went into the meet ranked 10th. The Lords left in sixth place with a Kenyon record-breaking time of 1:32.77, shattering the old record of 1:33.16 set two seasons ago.
“Everything on the day of the meet seemed to be going wrong,” Fishbein said. “We were all very tired. I wasn’t expecting much when we got on the track.”
Fishbein added, “I was talking to Carlo [before the race], and he was like, ‘We just need to go out and run our hardest, prove that we can get through this adversity. It’s not about breaking the record now; let’s just run as hard as we can.’” In a 4x200, four runners each run 200 meters. The second runner has to dash to the cut line and reach the first lane, as that lane has the shortest distance. “We got [to the cut line] first, and we stayed in front the whole time,” Fishbein said. “We say it every year that, in Kenyon track and field, every year you have a chance to make history.”
Fox described the overall trend of the season in terms of the athletes’ preparation for each meet, and the team’s readiness for what lies ahead. “There’s this peak and trough cycle, where you work hard and you go to the trough, but then when you come out of the trough and you rest, then you are just a little bit better than you were at the beginning,” he said. “And then you go back down and then you go up again. Over the course of the season, you want to do this peak-trough cycle enough so that at the end of the season you are at your maximum potential. You are right on the knife’s edge. It’s a great feeling.”
The Lords will next host the Kenyon College Classic in Gambier on Saturday, Feb. 16. “This meet is a really good milestone to get ready for Conference [Championships on March 1],” Gomez said. “You see the best in the conference competition and the best in Ohio. It gets you ready for that big atmosphere, the championship atmosphere.”