Cats compete in two meets, finish strong

On April 7, a select group of University of Vermont men’s and women’s track and field athletes competed in the Duke Invitational, while the rest of the team competed at the George Davis Invitational hosted by UMass Lowell in Lowell, Mass.

The Duke Invitational hosted more than 50 schools at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C.

On the field side, sophomore Brittany St. Clair placed second in the long jump with a mark of 5.30 meters – St. Clair’s personal best. Seton Hill’s Alexis Hawkins, who managed a 5.32-meter jump, topped St. Clair for first place.

In track, the 4×100-meter relay team of St. Clair, which consisted of senior Michele Langone, junior Mary Krug and sophomore Tess Cioffredi, won its division. The Vermont women’s 4×100-meter finished seventh overall in the tournament with a time of 50.01 seconds.

Junior Mitchell Switzer represented the men’s side of the Vermont team by earning a 23.10 time in the 200-meter dash and placing 26th overall.

In Massachusetts on the same day at the George Davis Invitational, the rest of the Vermont men and women’s track and field team competed and earned multiple victories.

In the 1,500-meter run, sophomore Yolanda Ngarambe captured the top title with a time of 4:37.16. Teammate junior Julie McGilpin followed Ngarambe with a time of 4:37.70 to grab second place. Both McGilpin and Ngarambe were top-10 finishes in the 400-meter dash, placing second and eighth respectively.

In the 3,000 steeplechase, junior Kirsten Weberg earned the top spot with a time of 10:53.74. The women’s side continued dominating with a sixth overall finish in the 4×100 relay.

On the men’s side, senior Connor Jennings went second overall in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 15:00.00. Teammate junior Ethan McBrien earned fifth in the race.

In the men’s 4×100 relay, the men finished second in their heat and seventh overall with a time of 44.63.

On the field side at UMass Lowell, senior captain Chris Lemieux placed sixth in men’s javelin. Sophomore Tyler Parent also grabbed a top-10 finish by earning ninth place.

In the high jump, sophomore Aaron Tenney cleared a height of 1.85 meters and finished sixth overall in his division. Mickey Krug, a first-year, earned sixth place in the long jump. Juniors Varpilah Chase and Chris Ogletree went fifth and seventh respectively in the triple jump.

Senior Lisa Bunn finished in eighth place in the women’s hammer throw, while first-year Cassie Marion made a 10.71 mark in the triple jump to earn ninth overall.

“At UMass Lowell, I was impressed with rookies Mallory Duncan and Matt Feeley in the 400-meter hurdles, our horizontal jump performances, Nick DeLuna in the 800,” head track and field coach Matt Belfield said. ” [Also with] Connor Jennings winning the 5K, Kirsten Weberg’s win in the steeplechase, and the 1-2 finish – with very good times – by Yolanda Ngarambe and Julie McGilpin in the 1,500.”

While all different grade levels represented by earning placements in events, first-year athletes made their mark on the tournament. Multiple first-years had impressive performances including Krug, Feeley, and Duncan, who took eighth and ninth in the men’s 110-meter hurdles respectively.

“It is always encouraging when the younger members of our team begin making a contribution at an America East level,” Belfield said. “New athletes pushing the veterans is another important aspect of any team’s continued development. It helps everyone do better when there is a challenge from within the team.”

Vermont men and women’s track and field will travel to Dartmouth Saturday, April 14 to compete at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H.