The College of Wooster track and field programs tuned-up for next weekend's North Coast Athletic Conference Championships at the weather-shortened, non-scoring Denison University Big Red Invitational, and the Fighting Scots came away with a quartet of first-place finishes on Friday afternoon at Granville, Ohio.
On the men's side, first-year Austin Hamlett led the field in the 400 at 50.84, while sophomore Jack Petrecca cleared six feet in the high jump. The Scots turned in strong second-place finishes in both the track and field side of things as sophomore Brian Lief crossed at 4:04.53 in the 1500 and classmate Jarret Art measured out at 20 feet, 0.25 inches in the long jump. First-year Spencer Wilson gave the Scots a trio of runner-up marks, and in fact his 135-foot, 3-inch heave in the discus was over five feet better than the third-place measurement. Wilson had a fine afternoon as his 129 feet, 9 inch hammer throw checked in at six-place.
Other top-four finishes were turned in by junior Jacob Nowell in the pole vault (11 feet, 11.75 inches) and first-year Aedan Pettit in the 800 meters (2:02.35). Notable, Nowell's pole vault clearance marked a season-best.
Sophomore Julia Higgins led a field of seven to the line in the women's 400-meter hurdles – the last contested event before severe weather forced an early conclusion to the meet – with the winning time of 1:08.08. Wooster's 4x100 relay consisting of seniors Kennedy Payne and Taryn Szalay and first-years Korri Palmer and Akwia Tilton took the event unopposed with a time of 50.84.
Sticking with the track events, senior Jackie White turned in a stellar 4:59.46 in the 1500 meters, good for runner-up honors, and first-year Cobi Warstler wasn't far behind with the fourth-place pace of 5:05.68. First-year Regan Szalay delivered the other top-four running finish with her 1:01.02 in the 400 meters ranking third.
Tilton led the way in the field events with her second-place long jump measuring out at 16 feet, 7 inches, 6.5 inches better than the third-place mark, and under two inches shy of the first-place measurement turned in by a Div. I Ohio University competitor.
Junior Elizabeth Obi cleared 4 feet, 11 inches in the high jump to take fourth-place honors, and she doubled up on that placement in the triple jump with a measurement of 33 feet, 4.5 inches. Just past that in the triple jump was sophomore Mallory Crane, who checked in a 33 feet, 8 inches, which held up for third-place. Senior Paige Fabry rounded out the top-four field placers with a 34-foot, 11-inch heave in the shot put.
Wooster's teams open action at the NCAC Championships on Friday, May 5 at DePauw University, while sophomore Carolyn Webster will get a head-start on the meet at this weekend's heptathlon competition at Oberlin College.