The women’s track & field team split up this past Saturday, as the throwers traveled to Westminster College to compete and the rest of the team traveled to the University of Mount Union.
Although the entire team didn’t compete together at one meet, head coach Jason Falvo said collectively the team performed well.
“It was a good meet with everyone; I was happy with the whole team,” said Falvo. “It was one of the best full-team meets since I’ve been here.”
Falvo said that he believes that as a whole, the team is in a good position with time winding down to the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championships held April 28-29.
The throws squad at Westminster was led by junior Addy Knetzer, who took first place in the shot put, fifth in the discus and sixth in the javelin. Knetzer’s efforts earned her the second consecutive PAC Field Athlete of the Week and her top throw of 12.9 meters, or 42 feet and 7.5 inches, currently sits 23rd in all of Division III.
“Well she’s throwing further right now than she probably ever has here,” said Falvo. “Addy has put a bigger emphasis on track this year and we can see the hard work that she put in; she should have confidence, she’s really excited about track and we’re really excited about her.”
Although Knetzer threw a personal best in the shot put at the meet, Falvo believes she still has room for improvement.
“She’s a national level candidate in the shot put,” Falvo said. “Being 23rd in the country right now, and being that they usually take 22 to nationals, it’s a really good thing. She’s probably in a place where she can do it, she needs to get a little bit better and throw a little bit better than she has, but she’s competing right so we feel good.”
Freshman Carli Polczynski’s javelin throw of 36.7 meters, or 120 feet 6 inches, was good enough for first place at the Westminster Invitational. Her throw was almost three feet better than her previous best, which landed her the top spot in the Carnegie Mellon Invite earlier this season.
Falvo said that her progression to this point has been great and that he can’t wait to see how she continues to improve.
“[Carli is] doing what we expected her to do,” said Falvo. “She was a good athlete in high school and coming into college she’s doing similar things. We’re definitely excited for her progression – she’s improving her technique so we’re really excited about her.”
At Mount Union, senior Katie Latimer led the Yellow Jackets on the track as she claimed second place in the 3,000-meter steeple, with a time of 11:15. This time currently sits 14th in Division III.
Falvo has high expectations for Katie Latimer as she heads into her final stretch as a member of the Waynesburg University track & field team.
“She’s 15 seconds ahead of where she was last year…so she’s ahead of the curve,” said Falvo.
Senior Emily Latimer finished first in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:03 and junior Julie Gerber finished in third. The two ran together for most of the race until the end when Emily Latimer was able to pull away and secure first place.
“When you have two runners like Emily and Julie that are highly competitive…it’s good to have a training partner, it’s nice to have someone whose pace is the same,” said Falvo. “It’s nice to have them both healthy – they keep pushing each other, they challenge each other and they race each other hard, and it’s exciting and great for our program to see them race like that.”
Sophomore Teghan Simonton finished in the eighth spot in the event, after crossing the line in 19:03.
While the majority of campus will leave for Easter Break this weekend, the track & field team will be competing Saturday, April 15, at the Walsh Invitational at Walsh University. The team will take the full squad to Walsh.
Falvo said the team’s focus at the meet Saturday doesn’t change due to Easter Break.
“We are going up there with a purpose,” Falvo said.