Track starts spring season off with a bang

Boasting high marks at the Ramapo College Northeast Challenge, the Lions opened up their spring track & field season on Saturday, March 30 with some impressive showings.

The 400-meter hurdle dash belonged to the College, as sophomore Erik Moutenot won the event with a time of 56.50, while junior Emily Kulcyk won on the women’s side, crossing the line with a time of 1:06.20.

Moutenot makes a clean leap over the hurdle. (Photo courtesy if the Sports Information Desk)

This challenge marked the first outdoor meet for the freshmen on the team, who have long careers ahead of them.

In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, junior Katie Knight won with a fast time of 15.62, followed by freshman Christine Seddon, who earned third with 16.77.

“My nerves got the best of me,” Seddon said. “I ran over the first hurdle with my wrong leg, but all things considered it was a great opening day and I know I have so much room to improve.”

Seddon is also looking forward to senior hurdler Brielle Doremus returning back from an injury.

“If all goes well, the three of us will surprise a lot of people,” Seddon said.

Another event won by the College was the 800-meter, where sophomore Robert Palmarozza finished with a time of 1:58.11.

The long-distance runners also had outstanding performances on the track with freshman Robert Guiducci, who had a great race in the 3000-meter, taking third with a time of 9:05.67.

Another third place finish came in the 1500-meter race with sophomore Liz Johnson, who ran a time of 4:51.37, followed by fifth place, senior Cathy Goncalves (4:56.83), who has been working her way back from injury.

Off the track and on the field, with no surprises, senior Steve D’Aiutolo won the triple jump with a distance of 14.04 meters, starting off the season on the right foot, as he is looking to become an All-American at Nationals this year.

The 400-meter dash was also an area of success for the Lions, as D’Aiutolo took second in the event with a quick time of 50.10, the fastest among the collegiate runners at the meet. Sophomore T.J. Kelly and junior Michael Spekhardt finished not far behind, taking fourth and fifth, respectively.

On the women’s side, sophomore Katelyn Ary took second in the event, crossing the finish line at 58.56, while senior Michelle Cascio placed fifth in the race at 1:02.49.

Cascio was also a third place finisher in the 200-meter dash, crossing the finish at 26.48, while Spekhardt took second for the men, clocking a time of 22.64.

The high jump was dominated, once again, by junior Brigit Roemer, topping the field with a jump of 1.63 meters.

The College took second in the long jump with junior Erica Roberts jumping 5.51 meters.

The weight team added significant points, with senior Mary Chismar placing second in the shot put (11.73 meters), followed by fourth place freshman rookie Kristen VanBenschoten (10.52 meters). The men’s side also had a fourth place finish in the event with sophomore Abayomi Arowolo toss a distance of 12.44 meters.

The College managed to take third place in the hammer throw with sophomore Joan Hales recording a top mark of 31.52 meters.

In his second 400-meter run of the day, Moutenot had another great race as one of the members of the winning 4×400-meter relay team, alongside Spekhardt, D’Aiutolo and Kelly, with a time of 3:23.12.

“It was great winning the relay for our heat and the meet overall,” Spekhardt said. “We split up into two relay teams and we both got the batons at the same time. Our relay just went out with the mindset that even though we had teammates in our heat, we were there to beat everyone regardless of uniforms.”

The Lions will continue their spring season at the Sam Howell Invitational hosted by Princeton University on Friday, April 5.