Track and field stars finish season strong at Division III Championships

Michaela Garrett ’17, Caitlin Lawlor ’18, and David Chelimo ’17 represented the Mules well this weekend in Naperville, IL at the Division III National Championship. On Friday, thrower Garrett placed tenth in the 20-pound weight throw. Garrett missed the final round by one place as only the top nine throwers advance. The senior’s best throw on the day came to 56’5’’ inches.

Colby had one runner in both the men’s and women’s 3,000-meter race. Lawlor finished tenth in her first national meet with a time of 9:55.97 after setting a Colby record of 9:44.77 in the 3,000-meter.  On the men’s side Chelimo placed 12th in the men’s race with a final time of 8:29.  Five minutes in, Chilemo led the pack for just under a minute before falling back for the remainder of the race. Chelimo recently set the school record for the men’s 3,000-meter with a time of 8:19.71.

In an interview with the Echo, Lawlor explained her excitement experiencing nationals for the first time, but she made sure to keep her priorities straight. “Before the race I really tried to just approach it as any other race or workout since over-hype doesn’t help my performance,” she said. Her approach helps take pressure off of her racing and allows her to have fun with her teammates. “I’ll have to settle on an event early since I really want to make it to outdoor nationals,” she said in regard to the spring season. Those events include the 1.5K, 5K and 3K steeple-chase in addition to the normal 3K.

The women’s side for Colby boasted an impressive number of athletes at nationals, which was a source of pride and  displayed the Mules’ depth as well. Competing in the pentathlon, Jenna Athanasopoulos ’17 placed 12th. The 1,600-meter relay team, comprised of Rachel Leonard ’19, Sophie Stokes Cerkvenik ’19, Michaela Athanasopoulos ’20, and Taylor DePaolo ’19, placed 14th. Hannah Springhorn ’19 placed 14th in the mile with a time of 52.92.  Colby was represented by veterans as well as rising stars this weekend, giving them a solid foundation for the outdoor season this spring.