After a successful 2008 campaign, the track and field team got back to work for the first time this season at the Jack Pyrah Invitational at Haverford College.
The meet, on the women’s side, was highlighted by senior Amanda Cole breaking the school record in the weight throw and winning the shot put. For the men, sophomore Josue Louis won the high jump and finished second in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.72.
Ultimately, the Owls combined to finish first in seven events at the Invitational.
Temple was selected to finish fifth in the Atlantic Ten Conference for both men and women. The men’s team will enter competition this year with experience from junior Tim Boeni and Louis, the 2007 Atlantic Ten Conference Indoor Rookie of the Year. As for the women, sophomore Paris Williams, along with seniors Cole and Devon DuPont, will lead a young squad that only lost one senior from last season.
Also a central figure to the Owls will be senior Jim Waddington, who is a middle distance runner. Formerly the No. 2 runner on the squad, Waddington is expecting big things from his team this year.
“I have very high expectations for the team this year,” he said. “We have a lot of leadership and experience on the team that is going to help us improve in the conference and possibly contend for the A-10 title.”
So far, the Owls are in a decent spot to get that done.
In addition to the achievements of Cole and Louis last weekend, sophomore Brittany McRae won the long jump, breaking the meet record and meeting ECAC qualifying standards in the process.
On top of that, for the women, Talitha Smith won the high jump and Williams won the 300-meters.
But perhaps most notably for the women, DuPont, the Owls’ first-ever heptathlon winner, finished second in the 55-meters with a time of 7.34, second in the long jump and third in the 55-meter hurdles.
DuPont’s second place finish in the long jump broke the previous meet record and qualified her for ECACs.
The men were not outdone, as sophomore Miles Dryden won the long jump, sophomore Lou Parisi finished second in the 800-meters, freshman Travis Mahoney finished third in the 300-meters and junior Grant West finished second in the weight throw.
West is all about being competitive and working hard.
“My individual expectations for the coming season are very high,” he said. “My goals for indoor track are to break the school record, win the A-10s [in my respective event] and make the All-East team at the IC4As. Ultimately, [my goal is] to go out every meet and set a [new] personal record.”
Like West, senior Mitchell Stroh also talked about his competitiveness and the expectations he set for himself and the team.
“I’m shooting for an individual medal, as well as two relay medals in the 4×800 and 4×400,” he said. “As [far as] the team, I think that we should finish in the top three in the conference, but we are always looking to take the top spot. We have a lot of young talent, and there is a great amount of dedication on the team.”
The Owls return to action Jan. 9 for the Metropolitan Invitational in New York.
Joe Polinsky can be reached at email@example.com.