By Nicole DeStefano
The women’s and men’s track team proved they are headed on the right track this season by posting numerous personal best performances this past weekend, Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2, at Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va.
The meet was highlighted by senior Tyler Grimm’s performance in the 10,000-meter race. Grimm took his starting stance on the track, wearing a purple wristband that reads “Keep the Turnover Going,” in support of his former assistant coach, Chris Curto, and his success in battling cancer.
“To ‘Keep the Turnover Going’ means to keep moving fast, even when the times get tough,” Grimm said. “Ever since sophomore year, I’ve worn this wristband and it has served as a reminder to never give up, even in the hardest races, like the 10,000-meter.”
There is no doubt that Grimm followed this advice throughout his race — he finished with a time of 31:57.69, landing him on a list of the College’s “Top Five Performances Since 2000” for the 10,000-meter event.
“Upon crossing the finish line and realizing my time, all I could feel was pure elation and happiness,” Grimm said. “As a freshman, I can remember looking up at the list as it hung on our locker room bulletin board, feeling that those times were unattainable for me… This put things in perspective for me, as if my training had come full circle from freshmen to senior year. I think it serves as a great example that if you set your goals early and work hard enough to get them, nothing is out of reach.”
Freshman Matt Saponara contributed to the success on the distance side by clocking a 15:25.28 finish in the un-seeded 5,000-meter race, placing eighth out of 33 competitors and improved his personal best time by nearly five seconds.
Saponara wasn’t the only freshman to step-up big for the Lions. Noah Osterhus finished 12th out of 34 runners in the 800-meter race, crossing the finish line in 1:53.52.
Senior Laron Day put forth a tremendous effort in the 400-meter hurdles, sprinting to a 54.86 finish and placing 15th out of 55 opponents.
The Lady Lions showed their dominance on the track, as well. Freshman Erin Holzbaur topped all of the Division III competitors and placed 16th overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:15.94.
Freshman Natalie Cooper added to the women’s success in the distance events when she placed 26th out of 47 runners in the 5,000-meter event. Cooper ran a personal best of 18:50.10, improving her previous time by 20 seconds.
In the 1,500-meter race, two personal bests were run. Freshman Madeleine Tattory and Abigail Faith placed 24th and 50th place out of 61 runners, respectively, with Tattory clocking in at 4:51.28 and Faith finishing at 4:59.77.
On the sprints side, senior Joy Spriggs ran a time of 26.18 to take 69th place out of 106 runners in the 200-meter dash. Spriggs returned to the track to finish 55th out of 102 competitors in the 400-meter race, clocking in at 59.53, followed by a personal best finish of 59.72 by sophomore Emily Mead.
“It was really exciting watching so many individuals run personal best times,” Mead said. “The whole team performed well and it’ll be fun to see how we perform on our own track at our first home meet next weekend.”