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Track and field enjoys strong performances at the Black and Gold Challenge

Bad weather resulted in a delayed start to the Black & Gold Challenge at the University of Central Florida in Orlando two Saturdays ago for men and women’s track and field teams. The Tigers nonetheless pulled out an impressive performance. Sophomore Kennedy O’Dell and senior Brielle Rowe earned the first and second place titles in flight one of the discus and finished eighth and ninth overall.

More than one second ahead of the rest of the competition, the 4x100m relay time of freshman Charles Volker, freshman Josh Billington, senior Dan McCord and sophomore Carrington Akosa won the event at 40.56.

Indoor Ivy Hep champion junior Ray Mennin won the 400, while sophomore Josh Freeman followed shortly after in fourth place.

Sophomore Mitchel Charles was the runner-up in the discus, and teammate sophomore James Burns won section 2 of the 110m hurdles and was sixth overall. Burns also threw a PR in the discus.

McCord is proud of his team’s recent performance. “It was a great start to the season after winning the indoor Ivy League championship,” McCord said. “Our 4x100m relay with Charlie Volker, Josh Billington, Carrington Akosa and I posted the number one time in the league, running 40.56, which is also the fourth fastest time in school history. Also many of our 400m runners opened led the season well especially Ray Mennin, coming off his indoor 400m title. He ran a smooth 47.9 after a hard week of training in Orlando, Fla.”

On the following Friday and Saturday, the women’s team sent junior Allison Harris and senior Sara Ronde to the University of North Florida Spring Break Invitational in Jacksonville. Harris took first place in the pole vault, and finished third in the 100m hurdles. Ronde leapt to 5.30m in the long jump, finishing in tenth.

Seniors Taylor Morgan and Kerry Krause competed for the women’s track and field team on day one of the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the University of Texas on Wednesday. Morgan placed 18thin the heptathlon, while Krause placed 28th.

Both the men and women have a busy week this week, sending athletes to four separate meets across the country: day two of the Texas Relays in Austin, the Florida Relays in Gainesville, the Stanford Invitational in California and Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

McCord is looking forward to the outdoor Ivy League Championship and the NCAA tournament. “Our goals this year are the same as they are every year. We aim to win the outdoor Ivy League Championship. After we accomplish that goal, the next step is to qualify as many athletes as possible for the NCAA national championship in Eugene, Ore. I’ve been once before in my Princeton career and there’s nothing better than competing at the highest level of the sport.”

As a senior, one of his central focuses is to lead his team in accomplishing its goals. “As an senior on the team, I’m trusted to be a leader to the younger guys and set an example on and off the track. I’ve been on the team for a long time and have a lot of wisdom to impart to the freshman and sophomores on the team who are new to Division I track and field.”