Men’s track team wins ODACs, completes “Triple Crown”

Capping off of a season which was full of triumphs and highs, the men’s track team finished the season as ODAC champions

Men’s track team wins ODACs, completes “Triple Crown”

Elly Cosgrove

The Washington and Lee men’s track team has claimed the outdoor ODAC championship title to complete what they affectionately call “the triple crown” for the first time in school history.

This year, the men captured the cross country, indoor and outdoor championship titles to clinch their outstanding year-long performance. This victory also marks the first outdoor ODAC championship win since 1988.

According to track and field head coach Brandon Uhl, the successful meet was a testament to all the hard work put in by the athletes and coaching staff.

“It just shows that we are in a good place as far as depth and balance across the program,” Uhl said. “It has been a lot of work by a lot of people over a long period of time.”

Thrower Patrick Robertson, ’17, said the team was pretty confident going into the outdoor championship after their indoor title and realized that winning “wasn’t just a long shot.” Bridgewater College challenged the Generals, but Washington and Lee surpassed Bridge- water by 44 points by the end of the meet.

“We were neck and neck with Bridgewater,” Robertson said, “so we realized it wasn’t just going to be a walk through; we had to do our best.”

According to Uhl, the team garnered seven individual titles and one relay title. To complement the team’s successful weekend, Uhl was named Coach of the Meet and Shep Sims, ‘20, was honored as the Rookie of the Meet after winning pole vault Friday evening.

“I am fortunate enough to get the honor of coach of the year and coach of the meet, but it’s really our whole coaching staff.” Uhl said. “It really takes a whole coaching staff to make the program run well.”

The throwing team had a lot to contribute to the overall success of the team. Dash Dericks, ’18, won javelin and discus and Robertson won shot put and the hammer throw. Robertson said that the throws crew was key in putting points up for the Generals.

Other standout performances came from Ian McDonald, ‘17, who won the 1,500m, Drew Pranka, ‘19, who had two second-place finishes in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles and Cooper Baird, ‘19, who came in second in the 800m and third in the 1,500m. The Generals also took three of the top five spots in the 400m dash.

To end the meet on a high note, the men’s 4x400m relay team came in first. Running the 4x400m were Carter Huffman, ’19, Donovan Fiore, ’20, Jake Roberts, ’17, and Jack Jones, ’17. According to Huffman, the relay team was tired going into the last event and knew that W&L had already won ODACs regardless of how they finished.

“We didn’t really feel like running,” Carter said. “Then our coach just got us together and is like trust me, you’ll want to run this well, after you finish you won’t regret it.”

Winning the outdoor ODAC championship did not come without

its obstacles. Coach Uhl said the team, “definitely had some ups and downs with injuries.” Robertson was one of the athletes who struggled to keep his body healthy and has “been throwing injured for every single meet.”

The team is graduating nine seniors this year who Uhl says “brought great leadership to the team,” but expects to have some key athletes coming in next year.