Indoor track teams establish 26 new school records during season

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Indoor track teams establish 26 new school records during season

Megan Battaglia

Junior Austin Markley pole vaults over the bar in the MIAA/IAAM championship meet. Markley was the MIAA champion in the triple jump and crushed the school record along the way.

Miranda Ripken, Sports Editor

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During the men’s and women’s indoor track championship meet last Friday, JC finished their season by adding on to the list of people setting new school records. Overall, 26 new school records were set, the most they have set in a season since their inaugural season 10 years ago. The women finished fourth, despite missing a few runners to the Spanish Exchange trip. The men’s team finished fifth, their highest finish to date in one of the strongest leagues in the state, according to track and field coach Rob Torres.

“I am pleased for the most part, even though some events didn’t go as we expected or wanted. Nearly everyone in the mile had a personal record. The big surprise was the women’s 4 by 400. They crushed the school record and it wasn’t even the fastest four people on paper,” Torres said.

Junior Austin Markley is the newest MIAA champion, winning the triple jump and surpassing the school record with a jump of 40’ 10.5”. This was the second time in the team’s 10-year history that a JC runner has won this event. Markley also set a school record in the 55 meter sprint with a 6.4-second run. In the 300 meter sprint, Markley finished second and set a new personal record.

“I was really surprised with the result [in the triple jump] because it was only my second time doing it and I did well,” Markley said.

“That was the last of the four events that I expected him to win,” Torres said.

Senior Ben Pickett also earned points for the men’s team by placing third in the 3200 meter run and tying his personal record of 9:53.15.

For the women, junior Rebecca Driver was the highest point-collector of the season. In the championship meet, Driver tied for second in the high jump with a five foot jump. Senior Heather Kirwan placed third in the pole vault with a eight-foot vault.

Senior Holly Cook ran in two distance races – the 3200 meter and the 1600 meter – and the 4 by 800 meter relay. In the individual events, she placed third and second, respectively, while setting a personal record in the latter. Her relay team, which also included sophomores Kristen Kohles and Meredith Haggerty and junior Caroline Haggerty, placed third and tied the season best. Kohles set a new personal record in her stretch of the race.

“Practices build up your stamina a lot, especially for distance runners. Each race was a new race so I just focused on the next one. I thought the girls 4 by 800 team did very well. We had a strong relay team. For the mile and two mile I was hoping to run better races, but overall it was good season,” Cook said.

Meredith, Caroline, and Kohles also ran in the 4 by 400 meter relay with junior Annamarie Morris. This team set a new school record of 4:16.7 and finished fourth.

Senior T’Keyah Libson topped Driver in the 55 meter hurdle race by a hundredth of a second, and finished seventh. Both runners set new personal records, and Libson was short of the school record by a tenth of a second.

“I’m not too upset about [missing the record]. I feel as though every event was important. I wanted my team to do well and we did. Since this is my last year running indoor season, every event was made memorable in one way or another. The most important thing to me was having fun, beating other teams, and ending the season with a band,” Libson said.

The women’s indoor track team finished fourth overall and, with the addition of the Spanish Exchange runners, the outdoor season will have a different result. The men’s team placed the highest they have ever placed due to the combined effort of Markley, Pickett, and the other men who earned points for JC.

Miranda Ripken is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and