Track team tramples the field

Women defend title in ‘dramatic, crushing fashion’

Last weekend, the Queen’s men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to Canton, N.Y., to defend their titles at the St. Lawrence University Open Championships. Both the men’s and women’s
sides entered as defending champions, with the women as two-time champs.

The women’s team dominated the field, collecting 235 points and 24 medals (11 gold, 7 silver and 6
bronze) to win the event for the third year running. Their point total also set a new record for this meet, far surpassing the previous mark of 196 they accumulated last year. The Gaels also recorded 34
personal bests in the tournament, and defeated the second-place hosts from St. Lawrence by a 102-point margin.

“The women absolutely destroyed the competition,” head coach Melody Torcolacci said. “They set a new team record and meet record for the most points ever. It was a nice ‘three-peat,’ and in very dramatic, crushing fashion.”

The men’s side was less successful, but still earned ten medals (4 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze) and recorded 108 points to finish in third place.

“[The men’s team] had a solid meet but just not a spectacular meet,” Torcolacci said. “We lost a fair number [of athletes] on the men’s side with graduation, and some holes were definitely obvious.”
The combined men’s and women’s medal count was 34. It was Queen’s second best total ever, behind the 38 they won last year at the same tournament. The squad also beat their previous record of 14 combined gold medals from one tournament, collecting 15 in this event.

Seven Gaels recorded performances strong enough to make or improve their standing on the Queen’s list of all-time top ten performances in their event. Notable among these were the efforts of Lisa McCutcheon and Michele Krech, who each recorded a time of 8.73 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles.
Krech’s time was in the preliminary round, while McCutcheon recorded hers in the final to claim the gold. These were the third-best times in this event in Gaels’ track and field history. McCutcheon said the training camp in Florida she attended this year was a major factor in her success.

“I’m hoping to get a little higher [on the all-time list] before I leave,” she added. The women’s gold medals were won by Danae Benjamin in long jump and triple jump, Dupe Oyewumi in the 55-metre dash, McCutcheon in the 55-metre hurdles, Joanna Stanisz in the 200-metres, Laura Andrighetti in
the 500-metres, Leslie Sexton in the 3000-metres, Alison Larocque in high jump, Iris Roman in pole vault, and the 4 x 200-metre and 4 x 400-metre relay teams. On the men’s side, the four gold medals were won by David Burr in the 500-metre, Justin Hall in the 800-metre, Brian Wilson in the 55-metre hurdles, and the men’s relay team in the 4 x 400-metre competition. Burr, who won gold in both the 500 metres and the relay, also recorded the fifth-best all-time performance by a Queen’s student in the event.

“It’s taken a lot of training to get to this point,” Burr said. “The meet went really well, and I felt great, but I think that I canstill improve.”

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