Christina Chen / The Dartmouth Staff
Two Big Green women also competed in the University of Rhode Island Pentathlon, where co-captain Janae Dunchack '14 came in first place.
Historically, the track teams went home for winter interim and trained alone for four weeks, but due to the new academic schedule the teams were able to return to campus after Thanksgiving to train as a unit.
"We had two-a-day sessions and got in a lot of training, but really what the change did was bring our team closer together," co-captain Brett Gilson '13 said. "I think everyone was a little worried at first since the new schedule changed up everyone's plans, but it gave us a lot of time to hang out together."
Thanks to the extended winter break, the Big Green men and women fit in two meets before this month's Dartmouth Relays. Usually, the Dartmouth Relays are the first competition of the winter season.
"Having [meets] really early on gave us a chance to see where we're at way earlier, so now we really know where we are and can prepare for the end of the season," Dunchack said.
The Big Green men began the season on the right note at the Jay Carisella Invitational, where Connor Reilly '13 set a meet record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.91 seconds. Dom Filiano '14 outmatched his competition in the shotput event to take first place, defeating his nearest competitor by more than a foot.
"It's great to go out at your first meet and get the win, that's such a confidence booster for the rest of the season." Gilson said. "Connor and Dom are both already leaders on the team, but I think their early wins really made a good impression on the underclassmen."
The Big Green women also had a strong showing at the Jay Carisella Invitational. Emmaline Berg '13 and Corinne Romano '15 claimed second place and third place in the shotput, respectively, and Cathy Liebowitz '15 placed third in the weight throw.
The freshmen women also greatly contributed to the team's success. Jennifer Meech '16 ran the 400-meter dash in 58.59 seconds to take fifth place, while Emily Grotz '16 and Elizabeth Markowitz '16 placed fourth and fifth in the 1000-meter run with times of 3:02.93 and 3:03.02, respectively.
At the following week's Harvard Invitational, both teams continued to step it up. The men performed their best in the sprints, with Reilly taking second place in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.42 seconds and John Abraham '16 not far behind with a fourth place time of 6.51 seconds.
"Abraham gave a really good showing, and it was really good to see him and the rest of the freshmen stay composed at their first couple of meets, especially when everyone is really nervous," Gilson said.
Megan Krumpoch '14 and Liebowitz led Dartmouth with first place finishes in the 400-meter dash and weight throw, respectively. Krumpoch posted a time of 56.80 seconds in the 400-meter dash, while Liebowitz won the weight throw with a toss of 51-7.75 15.74 meters.
Kaitlin Whitehorn '16 also helped the Big Green against Harvard with a second place finish in the high jump.
"Coming back from an injury, I was honestly a little surprised to do so well," Whitehorn said. "It's given me more confidence and a better outlook for the rest of the season."
Over the past couple of seasons, the Big Green women's team has experienced great success, due in part to the talent of standouts Dunchack and Abbey D'Agostino '14.
Dunchack, who has won the individual pentathlon title at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships consecutively in the past two years, continued this trend to win the URI pentathlon on Dec. 7.
"With Janae's attitude, she has such a strong determination with track and field, so she will definitely go far," Kaitlin Whitehorn '16 said. "She brings a lot to the team in terms of her ability, and her win at the URI pentathlon is a strong indicator of the type of performance she will bring for the rest of the season."
D'Agostino is a distance runner and does not spend much time competing in events during the indoor season.
"Winter is really tough for long distance runners because running such long distances outdoors is already mundane and running them indoors on a 200-meter track can really mess with your shins and your turns, so the distance runners focus on training in the winter in preparation for the outdoor season," Dunchack said.