Running, throwing and jumping into the records

Two school records plus eight first-place finishes at home and Ursinus meets

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Abby Dalton '22 training during XC season for a dominant track season.(Courtesy of Muhlenberg Athletics)

With five meets in the month of April, the Mules got off to a hot start at the Muhlenberg Invitational with four first place finishes, six qualifying for regionals, and 24 new Centennial Conference qualifiers. Alongside the strong showing at home, two school records were broken. 

“Our DMR (distance medley relay) team recently broke the outdoor DMR record, which I think is a great way to start the season,” said Abby Dalton ‘22, a distance runner. “I thought everyone ran well at the first meet, and I’m excited to see how we will improve.” 

Thrower Faith Fezenko ‘24 also claimed the school record for hammer throw with a mark of 129-5. The team then followed up with another strong outing at the Ursinus Outdoor Invitational on Apr. 9 with four first place finishes.

These were great showings for the Mules and will certainly help the confidence of both the individual athletes as well as the team. “The first few meets of outdoor track and field are always a little shaky due to poor weather and nerves being high, but the successes across the team over the past three weeks has really given us a mule kick of confidence and positive energy going into the meet at Ursinus and the rest of the season,” said Noel House ‘24, who placed first in the javelin throw. 

Teammate and high jumper Ben Arehart ‘22 couldn’t agree more. “Building confidence is key in any sport, particularly in track. The reason for this is that clearing a new height or hitting a new personal best time is often a mental barrier. That being said, once you hit that next goal, it often becomes more consistent in the future.”

The Mules certainly did not lack any confidence during their home meet with 11 Mules from the women’s side and 14 from the men’s side placing in the top ten, a great way to kick off the month of April.

For many on the team, there are still goals they want to accomplish. “My personal goals are to qualify for nationals and place top 5 at the NCAA Div[ision] III meet,” said Arehart. He is not the only one with that goal in mind. “I am aiming to qualify for Nationals and to continue to set new PRs as the season progresses,” said House. Of course the main objective is to reach the national meet. “I want to improve my time in the 1500 and see how I do running the 5k on the track for the first time,” said Dalton. 

However, no one is forgetting that this is still a team sport and how they all impact each other: “As a team, our goals are to be the best athletes we can be through consistency, diligence and hard work, week in and week out,” said House. For Dalton, the camaraderie with the team is what makes track so special and so important to individual performances. “Track and field is one of the most diverse sports, having members with a varying set of skills,” said Dalton. “It’s important for us to not live in a ‘distance-runner bubble.’ We want to prepare to have a successful conference meet and continue to unite the team.” 

Beyond creating a bond with each other, there are goals for the whole team that everyone wants to contribute to. “For the team, our goal is to jump up several spots from the overall team score from indoor track,” said Arehart. “We have several athletes who compete better outdoors, and several individuals who will score crucial points that were unable to compete outdoors.”

The Mules will look to keep the strong April start going at the Greyhound Invitational at Moravian University and the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton University on Apr. 15.

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