Men’s track team wins ODAC title

For the first time in 28 years, the men’s track and field team brought home the ODAC trophy and took first place in five events.

Photo courtesy of W&L Generals Athletics

Photo courtesy of W&L Generals Athletics

Kathryn Young

The Washington and Lee men’s track and field team snagged the 2017 Old Dominion Athletic Conference title for the first time in 28 years. They competed at the Kerr-Creggar Field House in Salem, Va., on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The men took first place out of nine teams with 165 points. They defeated Bridgewater College who totaled 146 points and won the title last season. Eastern Mennonite College took third with 89 points.

The Generals had five overall winners at the meet. This marked the first time W&L has had five different competitors take the top spot in an individual event since 1985.

All competitors and relay members that finished in the Top Three in events received All-ODAC accolades.

Shep Sims, ’20, also received personal honors, sharing Co-Rookie of the meet with Lynchburg College’s David Moore. Sims took first in the pole vault, leaping 4.3m.

Rob Jones, ’17, joined Sims in the top four for the pole vault, placing second with 4.00m, and Drew Pranka, ’19, snagged fourth with a jump of 3.85m. Pranka also scored points for the Generals in the 60m hurdles, taking second with a time of 8.48 seconds.

Captain Ian McDonald, ’17, took first place and set a new meet record in the mile with a time of 4:18.64. McDonald was one of five Generals to score in the mile, totaling 24 points. MacKenzye Leroy, ’18, took third, Cooper Baird, ’19, took fourth, Alex Dolwick, ’19, took seventh, and Patrick Hunter, ’19, rounded out the top eight with 4:44.06.

The Generals also made their mark in the 5,000m race. Mac Strehler, ’17, placed first with a time of 15:02.84, while teammate Phillip Harmon, ’17, took fifth. Hunter snagged sixth, while Austin Kinne, ’20, finished eighth with 15:54.59.

In the 3000m race, three Generals earned points. McDonald finished second with a time of 8:49.65, Leroy claimed third place and Strehler snagged fourth.

The Generals wont first and second in the shotput. Patrick Robertson, ’17, won the event with a throw of 14.91m, and Jay Roberts, ’20, took second with a toss of 14.44m.

Davis Turner, ’17, claimed the top spot in the high jump with a leap of 1.94m. Har- rison DeKnight, ’17, also scored in the event, taking seventh. Turner also scored in the long jump with a 6.41m leap, and DeKnight snagged sixth in the triple jump at 12.96m.

In the 800m race, Jake Roberts, ’17, took third to score points for the Generals with a time of 1:59.04, and Baird took sixth. W&L had three more point-scorers in the tight 400m race as well. Carter Huffman, ’19, placed fifth in the race, running 51.08, Jack Jones, ’17, finished in sixth place and Donovan Fiore, ’20, secured seventh place with a time of 51.34.

On the relay side, the 4×400 quartet snagged third place with a time of 3:28.35. Members included Jones, Jimmie Johnson, ’20, Fiore, and Huffman.

The distance medley relay took fifth place in 10:54.07. The sopho- more quartet consisted of Hank Patrick, ’19, Albert Del Cristo, ’19, Max Schlott, ’19, and Dolwick.

“What more could we ask for?” Del Cristo said. “Everyone went out there and did what they needed to. There were multiple people who closed serious gaps in their final laps to score some points.”

Over the next week, the Generals will send a select group of athletes to last chance meets in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championship that will happen March 10 and 11 in Naperville, Ill.