Tribe Squads Lead After Day One of CAA Championships
TOWSON, Md. – Tribe rookie Emily Stites smashed the previous 10k meet record as William and Mary made strong statements on both the men’s and women’s sides on day one of the CAA Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Championships on Friday at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md.
The Tribe men will enter Saturday’s second day of action with a sizeable lead after posting 87 points on Friday. Northeastern sits in second with 43 points and UNCW is a close third with 40 points.
The W&M women will also take a substantial lead into Saturday behind a 76.50-point opening day performance. Defending champion James Madison finished Friday with 42 points and Delaware is third with 37.50 points. Northeastern picked up 34 points on the day and is followed by UNC Wilmington (18) and Towson (14).
Both Tribe teams dominated in Friday’s distance events, opening up the evening with a strong showing in the 5,000 Meters. Junior Josh Hardin pulled ahead early and kept a comfortable lead throughout to pace a pack of four Tribe runners in the top six with a time of 14:13.80. Senior Alex McGrath crossed the line close behind in a time of 14:17.62.
It was more of the same for the Tribe in the women’s portion of the 5k, with freshman Meghan McGovern turning in a facility record time of 16:34.10 to lead a 1-2-3 W&M sweep. Junior Elaina Balouris (16:34.11) finished just one-hundredth of a second behind McGovern in what was a photo finish, while Carolyn Hennessey recorded a time of 17:04.21 to take third.
The 10,000 Meters would follow, with Hardin and McGrath turning right back around from their 5k finishes to complete a tough feat. Hardin crossed the line in a time of 30:17.64 to lock up his second gold of the night and McGrath finished right behind in 30:20.94 to wrap up the runner-up spot. The Tribe would again fill the top four point-scoring slots in the race.
Stites easily won the women’s 10k with a time of 34:15.49, crushing the previous conference meet record (35:43.56) by 1:28 in the process. The JMU tandem of freshman Jenna Flickinger (34:40.33) and senior Katie Gorman (35:20.66) rounded out the top three.
Field action made up the majority of the point-scoring events on Friday, with W&M again fairing well. Tribe rookie Robert Smutsky rolled to victory in the javelin by more than eight meters (66.02m) and classmate Katie Johnston followed suit on the women’s side with a throw of 43.82m.
Redshirt senior Natalie Baird continued W&M’s winning ways in the throws with a toss of 49.09 meters in the hammer, while Northeastern junior Max Milder notched a throw of 56.38m for his second-straight conference title in the men’s event.
The Huskies’ Nia Howard (5.91m) topped runner-up Amira Idris of Delaware by two-hundredths of a meter to lock up the win in the long jump, with the Seahawks’ Cameron Walton capturing gold on the men’s side with a jump of 7.46m.
Mason freshman Jasmine Moser nearly eclipsed the 4-meter mark in the pole vault with her winning leap of 3.96m, while Tribe rookie Austin Vegas (4.65m) and classmate Derek O’Connell (4.65m) took the top two spots for the Tribe in the men’s vault.
The conference meet continues on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the decathletes running the 110 Meter Hurdles. Field events get underway at 10 a.m. with the women’s shot put and track finals are set to start at 12:45 p.m. with the Men’s 4x100 Meter Relay.
Men’s Team Standings
1. William and Mary 87
2. Northeastern 43
3. UNCW 40
Women’s Team Standings
1. William and Mary 76.50
2. James Madison 42
3. Delaware 37.50
4. Northeastern 34
5. UNCW 18
6. Towson 14