Men’s, women’s track and field dominate at Holy Cross Invitational

Fifth-year Tyler Rubush was URI’s top finisher in the 800 meters, finishing third overall in 1:54.62 minutes. Photo Courtesy of:

This past Saturday, both of the University of Rhode Island track and field teams traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts and won the Holy Cross Invitational.

On April 22, the women’s track and field team won the Holy Cross Invitational with a score of 132.33 points. They just beat out Holy Cross, who finished with 122.33 points and UMass Amherst finished third with a score of 115. After these results, the women’s team sits fifth in the Atlantic 10 and 17th in the Northeast region, 11 points behind A-10 rival UMass. 

The women’s team scored all those points by winning eight different events and reaching the podium 11 times. It started with the shot put, where third-year Megan Wood placed first with a throw of 13.63 meters. Wood also placed second in the discus with a toss of 47.13 meters. Another thrower that reached the podium for the Rams was fourth-year Erynn Field, who tossed the hammer 53.65 meters, good enough for third. 

As for the sprinters, fifth-year Bethany DeLoof finished first in both the 200 meters and 400 meters with times of 24.51 seconds and 54.81 seconds respectively. A couple of other sprinters that crossed the line first for the Rams include first-year Lily Saul, who won the 800 meter, and fourth-year Hanna O’Connor who won the 1500 meter. The 4×100 meter relay team also finished first with a time of 47.15 seconds. The team was led by fifth-year Trinity Smith, fourth-year Xiana Twombly, third-year Sydney Federico and DeLoof. 

Trinity Smith also won the 100 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles with times of 13.50 seconds and 1:02.74 minutes respectively. Smith currently ranks second in the region for the 100 meter hurdles and 15th in the 400 meter hurdles. The Rams had another athlete reach the podium in the hurdles, first-year Jacqueline Edoro, who placed third in the 400 meter with a time of 1:08.37 minutes. 

The women’s team’s best event is the pole vault, where they rank 46th in all of Division I and sixth in the Northeast. While no one won the event for the Rams this past weekend, they did have three athletes place in the top ten. First-year Katie Welsh made the podium after she cleared 3.50 meters, good enough for third. Second year Sarah Parr placed fourth, clearing 3.35 meters and third-year Carolina Larkin finished tenth after clearing 3.20 meters.

As for the men’s track and field team, they also traveled up to Worcester, Massachusetts and won the Holy Cross Invitational in dominating fashion. The team scored 184 points, which was almost 100 more points than second place UMass. The men have now won two of their last three meets and placed top two in all three. 

The men’s team had ten event winners and put 20 different athletes on the podium in 14 different events. Just like the women’s side, they started with the hammer throw, where fifth-year Johnathan Buchanan placed first with a throw of 58.99 meters. Buchanan’s teammate, third-year Alexander Baez, finished right behind him after he threw the hammer 58.10 meters. 

Another event where a pair of Rams finished first and second was the pole vault. Second-year Mason Brubaker won after he cleared 4.80 meters, and his teammate, third-year Neil Waldhausen, was right behind him clearing 4.60 meters. 

Overall, there were seven events where the Rams put two athletes on the podium at once. This isn’t all that surprising, considering URI ranks in the inside top 100 for all field events at the Division 1 level. Coach Trent Baltzell believes that these rankings show that his team is deep and made up of quality athletes top to bottom. 

“I think what those rankings indicate is that we’re really a high level conference team,” Baltzell said. “You need four guys to rank in these events, so to be top 100 in all those events indicates that we are a quality track and field team and hopefully it proves that when we compete at the championships in twelve days.”

So far this season, they have proven to be more than just a quality conference team. As of April 25, they rank far ahead of any other A-10 team in the regional rankings, sitting at fifth with the next closest being UMass at 19th in the Northeast region. As for conference ranking, they sit second behind George Mason. The two schools are both over 1,000 points this season while third place Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has under 700.

Part of the reason for URI’s success this season has been their highly ranked javelin team. Back on April 2, the first event rankings came out and Rhode Island sat atop the list and since then they have yet to drop outside of the top three. The group is led by fourth-year Lucas Frost, who coach Baltzell describes as the best javelin thrower in program history. This past Saturday he didn’t compete, but first-year Adam Dubois and third-year Seth Cordeiro both competed. Dubois won the event for the first time in his young career and did so in cold, rainy weather. Dubois says the bad weather conditions don’t bother him as much as one might expect.

“I think it gets to everybody mentally, when it’s not screaming like it’s going to be PR [personal record] weather for anybody,” said Dubois. “But I still went out there hoping to possibly look at a personal best and I think that setting the goal high helps me, I was happy with my performance and what I was able to do.”

Another javelin thrower that reached the podium at the Holy Cross Invitational was Cordeiro. Corderio has had a great season when you look at his numbers, but due to the success of his team he’s struggled to reach the podium this season. He finally did this past Saturday, when he placed second with a throw of 57.52 meters. While this wasn’t close to Cordeiro’s best throw this season, it was still a winning throw in the poor weather conditions. 

Coach Baltzell describes Cordeiro as someone who might be overlooked, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a key contributor to the second best javelin team in D1 competition. 

“Seth is a captain on the team and has worked real hard this year, the way I think of his season right now is someone who is lurking in the shadows,” Baltzell said. “He’s one of those guys that can spring out and show everyone that he’s not the fourth best javelin thrower on our team.”

Last year, Cordeiro placed second at the A-10 outdoor conference championships and was first until Frost passed him on the last throw at the meet. Cordeiro’s numbers this season are better than prior seasons and it’s only a matter of time until he breaks out, according to coach Baltzell.

“He deserves it, he is someone who works really hard and has a great work ethic,” said Dubois. “He’ll ride that momentum and the four of us as a javelin crew are all feeling confident.”

The javelin crew has clearly played this season with lots of confidence and with the A-10 championships quickly approaching, they will need it. If Rhode Island can win this year’s A-10 championships, then it will be their third straight outdoor title and 15th in school history. 

Both URI track and field teams have one more meet before the A-10 championships. The two teams will travel 254 miles to the city of Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Relays. The Penn Relays start on April 27 at 10 a.m. and wrap up on April 29. As for the highly anticipated Atlantic 10 conference championships, they are in Amherst, Massachusetts on May 6 and May 7.