Women’s distance medley team shatters records

The women’s track and field distance medley team broke ODAC and school records last weekend.


The Washington and Lee women’s distance medley relay team found tremendous success at the Camel City Invitational breaking not only the school record for the race but the ODAC Conference record as well.

With a time of 12:10:92, the team of Maggie Seybold, ’19, Samantha Yates, ’19, Dana Lee, ’17, and Catherine Fonvielle, ’17, beat the previous mark by almost 18 seconds.

Running the 1200-meter leg was Seybold with a time of 3:42:44 handed the baton off to Lee who ran a 0:58:39 split for the 400-meter leg. The baton was then passed to Fonvielle who ran a 2:22:82 split for the 800-meter leg and then Yates finished it off with a time of 5:07:27 for the 1600-meter final leg.

In discussing the team’s expectations going into the race, Assistant Coach Mike Dager said, “Going in to the race at JDL, the individual times of the four athletes indicated we could run somewhere between 12:09 and 12:12, so the result wasn’t unexpected.”

Even though the team knew they had put in the work to be successful, the team still needed everyone to perform when the time came.

Head Coach Dana Freeman described the race as “[a] unique relay being that it combines runners from both the sprints and distance groups.”

Freeman continued to praise the team for their performance.

“These four women physically prepared in different ways based upon their own individual events,” she said. “However, the confidence to know they could achieve this time came from seeing that they could individually run the times and knowing they would be running for more than just their own self in the relay.”

This team wishes to continue their success as their season continues. Despite breaking the school and conference records, there is still work to be done to qualify for the NCAA National Championship.

“The NCAA accepts 12 relay teams for the national championship,” Dager said. “In order to qualify for nationals a DMR generally has to dip below 12:00.”

In fact, 11:59.91 was the last time accepted in the meet last year. However, this team believes they can do it.

“Everyone believes with a little more training and in the right setting that sort of time is possible,” Dager said.

Going forward now, Freeman described the goals for not only this relay team, but the team as a whole.

“One of our team’s goals is to battle for the conference title,” she said. “However, they know they have to put in the work before they can focus on the place, which is what these women do on a daily basis.”

The dedication and determination seems to be the reason for the success of the Gennies this season.

“The 30 members of the team motivate, challenge, and hold each other accountable,” Freeman said. “The energy we see at practice and at competitions this time of year is just so much fun to witness”.

And what often people do not realize about competing in track and field events is how long the season is.

“Track and field is a long season when you combine cross country, indoor track and outdoor track,” Freeman said. “By the end of the season, this team will know why they worked so hard.”

The 2017 Indoor ODAC Championship is Feb. 26 at Roanoke College and the Outdoor Championship is April 21 and 22.