The men and women’s indoor track and field teams darted out of the blocks this weekend as they started their season at the first Associated Colleges of the Midwest Invitational, hosted by the Pioneers. The women won the three-team field, scoring 115 points to top Coe’s 93 and Knox’s 69. The men finished second with 144.2 points, falling to Carleton’s 166 points but defeating Coe’s 124 and Knox’s 89.

Zack Angel ’15, Lex Mundell ’16 and Evan Griffith ’15 run strides during Thursday’s practice.
Photo by Avery Rowlison

“I think the girls’ team was really strong [at the ACM]. I mean, it was the first meet. We’ve only had roughly three weeks of training under our belt, so to come out with not a whole lot of other girls from the other teams to run with, a lot of girls ran PRs [personal records]. Overall, we were just really proud of each other,” said distance runner Diana Seer ’15.

Some of this pride came from indoor records set by Emily Clennon ’14 and Nora Bresette Buccino ’16. Clennon sprinted the 60-meter dash in 8.52 seconds, beating her own record from last year. Bresette Buccino set the mark for 60-meter hurdles with a 10.64 during preliminaries.

Besides Clennon, Grinnell had several other event champions. Stephanie Rouse ’13 won the mile with a time of 5:24.19, Seer won the 3000m in 11:10.19, Alison Bayly ’15 won the 5000m in 20:17.11 and Eloise Miller ’15 won the triple jump with a mark of 35-3 3/4. Clennon, Christine Ajinjeru ’14, Miller and Elsa Goldman ’15 posted a 1:53.11 mark in the 4×200-meter relay to claim the title. Seer, Jesse McNealy ’16, Toni Androski ’16 and Rouse won the distance medley relay with a time of 13:32.79.

Tomorrow, February 9, the Pioneers will host the Darren Young Classic, starting at 10 a.m., which is a much larger meet with more competition.

“I’m so excited [for Saturday’s meet] and a little scared because a lot of these teams are nationally ranked,” Seer said.

Though the ACM wasn’t very competitive, the men’s team was also pleased with the result this past Saturday.

“I was pretty happy with it,” said Will Freeman, head men’s coach.

The men won four individual events and one relay on Saturday, including two individual titles from Gavin Warnock ’14. Warnock jumped 20-3 1/2 in the long jump and 41-3 3/4 in the triple jump for two first place finishes. Nate Kolacia ’16 won the 800m with a time of 1:57.63, good for the sixth fastest in school history. Zack Angel ’15 won the 600m in 1:26.1. Dixon Romeo ’16, David Garwood ’13, Ed Hardman ’16 and Warnock also finished first in the 4×200-meter relay, clocking in at 1:35.80.

“It was a good meet for judging where we are,” Warnock said. “The relays went very well; we had some great relays. There were some great sprints, too. It was an enjoyable meet.”

The men’s team is also preparing for Saturday’s Darren Young Classic.

“This a very, very talented group of teams coming in here, so the competition will be enormous,” Freeman said.

“We prepare a little bit more for the Darren Young because it’s a bigger meet and it’s home, so we try to look our best for that meet. And it’s great competition-wise because we have some nationally ranked teams; some really great teams come in, so it’s nice to have that competition. It’s really great to push us in that sense,” Warnock said.

The Pioneers have only the Darren Young Classic and the Wartburg College Invitational before the Midwest Conference Indoor Championships, but have high hopes for the season.

“We feel great about the group. They’re working hard. They’re very disciplined and a fun group to work with—both men and women,” Freeman said.