The weather was warming up on Saturday, April 13 in Springfield, showing the first signs of the coming spring. And while the weather was slowly creeping up, Springfield College women’s and men’s track and field were racing ahead as they hosted WPI and Coast Guard in a three-team meet.
For the women, sophomore Amanda Martin and senior Laurie Jenkins helped lead the Pride to a meet victory with dominant performances in the triple jump, long jump, 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash.
On the men’s side, sophomore Ken Toal and senior Anthony Salvucci put together impressive individual performances in the 100 meter dash and the 3000 meter steeplechase, respectively.
Martin, the NEWMAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week, grabbed victories in the long jump and the triple jump. In the long jump, Martin took the crown with a leap of 17-feet-½ inches and the triple jump with a leap of 36-feet-11-inches.
“I just made sure I got plenty of rest the night before,” said Martin. “I’ve been facing some recent hamstring problems, so I was just proud that I could go out there and compete as well as I did without any problems.”
Jenkins, like Martin, also grabbed two individual victories on the day by winning both the 100 and the 200 meter dashes. In the 100, Jenkins finished with a time of 12.39, just .23 seconds better than senior Crystal Davis. In the 200, Jenkins ended with a time of 25.62. Jenkins also played a large role in the Pride’s 4×100 meter relay with a winning time of 48.92.
“I’m really excited about my performances at the meet,” said Jenkins. “I ran new all-time personal records in the 100 [meters] and the 200 [meters], and I’m on the national list for both.”
As well as setting personal bests, Jenkins is inching closer and closer to school records. The school mark for the 100 meter is 12.0 set by Janet Williams in 1985, and again by Tamara Stokes in 1987. Williams and Stokes also own the school record for the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.6.
“I’m not far from the school records,” Jenkins points out. “It’s awesome that I’m at the end of my senior year and I’m running faster than I ever have.”
As a whole, the Springfield women’s team tallied victories in the 100 meter and 20 meter dashes, the 800 meter run won by junior Gabby Gaudreault with a time of 2:17.95, the 4×100 and the 4×400 meter relays, and the pole vault won by senior Rhian Duggan with a vault of 10-feet-6-inches.
For the men, both Toal and Salvucci qualified for New England’s with their individual victories. In the 100 meter, Toal finished with a time of 11.17, .05 seconds ahead of Ditton Kawalya of WPI.
“My performance…had me speechless and smiling all day,” said Toal, who also finished fourth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.23, .39 seconds behind winner Stephen Kocienski of WPI. “I was so happy that I had huge PR’s [personal records] in the 100 and 200. All the hard work and extra time I had been putting in was starting to pay off. Having great teammates and coaches that support me made it even better.”
For Salvucci, the steeplechase was a new challenge, but one that the senior was able to overcome by winning the event with a time of 9:26.98, and with a winning margin just north of 23 seconds.
“Because I am not used to doing the steeplechase, I practiced some hurdle drills during the week to make sure I was ready for it,” pointed out Salvucci. “I’m happy with my performance. All things considered, I ran a personal best by about 10 seconds and was able to get the win for my team.”
As a team, Springfield grabbed victories in the 100 meter dash, the 3000 meter steeplechase, the long jump, won by sophomore Tim Johansmeyer with a jump of 6.17 meters, the shot put, won by Brandon Hammerstrom with a throw of 13.16 meters and the hammer throw won by junior John Dayton with a toss of 53.00 meters, all en route to a third-place finish in the meet.
“I will try and continue to keep my training at a high intensity along with keeping my body healthy,” said Salvucci. “This can be a stressful time of year for most students, and I’m a big believer in saving some time to have fun and relax.”
Both seniors, Salvucci and Jenkins will look to make the most out of their last season.
“We’ve got seven meets left,” said Jenkins. “So for the next six weeks I plan on putting in the time on the track and weight room, as well as the pool for some nice cross training so I can finish off my career as a tracklete.”
As the finish line comes into sight and the temperature sneaks up, Springfield will continue to run hard and compete to finish off the season on a positive note.