Dartmouth track stars look to shine at annual Heptagonal meet
Full of verve and anticipation, the men’s and women’s track teams huddled up in the Class of 1953 Commons Thursday night to perform their ritual cheer. Shouting in a circle in the middle of the dining area, the team shared their excitement for the weekend with campus.

Seeking top three finishes, the men’s and women’s track teams will welcome the rest of the League to Leverone Field House on Saturday for the Heptagonal Championships. After an impressive season, star runners Abbey D’Agostino ’14 and Will Geoghegan ’14 will compete in their last career home Ivy League competition this weekend. At last year’s competition, hosted at Harvard University, the women finished in fifth place and the men finished in sixth. After a season where the Dartmouth teams broke seven school records and three Ivy League records, the teams are looking toward a top three finish. “We are in a different position than last year because we can definitely compete with the top three teams,” D’Agostino said, noting that the team is shooting for second. The women’s team will rely on D’Agostino, last years Most Outstanding Track Performer at the meet, for many of its points. D’Agostino holds meet records in all four of the distance events, from the 1,000-meter to the 5,000-meter races, and was a member of Dartmouth’s 4x880-meter relay team last year, which ran the fourth fastest time in Ivy history. “My individual goals are centered toward the team,” D’Agostino said. “I will hopefully score a lot of points in all my events and have no time goals whatsoever. They will be tactical races and I will try to adapt to whatever happens.” Not to be overlooked in the distance events is Dana Giordano ’16, who is coming off an All-American finish in cross country and holds the second fastest time in the 3,000-meter run so far this season for the Big Green after D’Agostino. Returning pentathlon champion, Janae Dunchack ’14 looks to become the second woman in Ivy League history to become a four-time champion in the event. Defending high jump champion Kaitlin Whitehorn ’16, will add the 60-meter dash to her events this weekend after setting a new Dartmouth record in the 60-meter dash earlier this season at the Valentine Invitational at Boston University. “At first, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do both, but I did them both at BU and was able to do well,” Whitehorn said. “The 60 is like a warmup for the high jump, so they work well together.” The other record that Dartmouth women this season was by Megan Krumpoch ’14 in the 800-meter run. A strong finish in 800-meter would help the Big Green after scoring no points in the event last year. The men will be led by Will Geoghegan ’14 whose season was highlighted by a sub-four-minute mile, making Ivy League history with a time of 3:58.04. He also made a Dartmouth record in the 3,000-meter run at 7:51.57. Dartmouth has potential do well in the mile, with three other runners closing on the four minute barrier. Big Green runners hold the first-, third-, fifth- and sixth-fastest times in the League this season with Steven Mangan ’14, John Bleday ’14 and Tim Gorman ’16 all recording times under 4:02. The Big Green men will look to the field events for other strong finishes. Josh Cyphers ’14 recorded the sixth best jump in the Ivy League this season in the pole vault and Alex Frye ’17 is tied with two others for the sixth highest clearance in the high jump. The men’s team had no First Team All Ivy finishers last year and only two Second Team All Ivy finishes last year achieved by the distance medley relay and Brett Gilson ’13 in the pole vault. In preparation for the weekend the whole track team met at the beginning of the week and athletes have focused on eating right, sleeping, taking care of their bodies and mentally preparing for the weekend. Workouts and training have been easier this week to ensure everyone is fresh for the weekend. “We reiterated that you’ve been competing well all season so just do what you do and what you’ve done and things will fall into place,” head women’s coach Sandy Ford-Centonze said. In addition to running practices, the coaches are busy preparing Leverone for the weekend. The last time Dartmouth hosted the Heptagonal Championships was in 2010. The weekend, D’Agostino said, is one of her favorites due to the immense amount of energy that fills an enclosed space. “We were talking about this with the captains, and we’ve all been looking forward to this since our freshman year,” D’Agostino said. “We all got shirts this year that say ‘defend our house,’ and that’s the mentality we have. This is where we work out with our best friends, and since we’ve spent four years in this facility, we want to show them whose it is.” Men’s head coach Barry Harwick said he has sent out recaps after each meet to family, friends and alums of Dartmouth track to raise excitement for the meet, and athletes have made posters to spread the word. Competition begins Saturday at 11 a.m.
Advertisement: Content continues below...

Comments

Download the DailyUV app today!