Track and field prepares for the championships

Muhlenberg's mens and womens Track and Field teams results from the Widener Invitational and prepare for the Centennial Conference Spring Championships.

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This past weekend, the Muhlenberg track and field team competed at the Widener Invitational in Chester, Pa., competing against many teams from the east coast. Head Coach Brad Hackett stated that the “preparation on a weekly basis remains similar throughout the course of the year – so no different this week than any other.” The Mules’ preparations payed off this past week as many milestones were achieved at the Widener Invitational.

The biggest highlight Hackett mentioned was the success of Anthony Calantoni ‘18 and Michael Havkins ‘18. Havkins was the only first place finish for the Mules during the weekend, as he placed first in the men’s discus, beating out his second place opponent by more than three meters. With this first place finish, Havkins moves into the top 20 in Division III in the country. Calantoni finished with the second best time in the 800 meters in school history with a time of 1:52.85. He finished fourth overall at the Widener Invitational, which also propelled him into the top 20. Both Calantoni and Havkins will compete in the IC4A in Princeton, N.J. on May 14.

Three other members of the track and field team will join Havkins and Calantoni in Princeton N.J., as they qualified for the ECAC Championships. Claudia Theriault ‘17 finished eighth in the women’s pole vault, Anthony Ware ‘18 finished sixth in the men’s 100 meters, and Corey Mullins ‘19 finished ninth in the men’s 5000 meters. Mullins’ performance moved him into second place in the school’s all-time best times for the 5000 meters. Kem Montina ‘20 moved into seventh all-time in the school’s all-time best in the men’s 400 meters intermediate hurdles. Montina finished third at the Widener Invitational.

After a satisfying weekend in Chester, the Mules are looking forward to the Centennial Conference Outdoor Championships in Baltimore, MD. Hackett exclaims, “We are really excited as to where the team is right now – I think the men’s team has a great chance to do extremely well in the outdoor conference championship – also I think the most athletes we have ever taken to an outdoor NCAA championship is three. It certainly would appear as if we will take more than three to NCAAs this year.” Hackett also sees improvement from the indoor season, stating, “I think both the men and the women should place higher as teams in the outdoor championships than we did indoors this year.” He is confident that many members of team can be major contenders in Baltimore. “We have a significant number of people who we believe have a very good shot at winning their event at the conference championship.” With the Mules putting up successful results consistently, Hackett ensures practices are focused on “fine tuning” since the Mules “are beginning to peak at this point.”

On Thursday, Jaryd Flank ’17 will be the only Muhlenberg track and field member to compete at the 123rd Penn Relays. The Penn Relays is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States and it is held at the University of Pennsylvania. Thousands of participants from the high school, college, and professional level will compete in Philadelphia this week from all across the world.

Flank will compete in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Flank has been one of the most successful track and field runners in school history and will look to improve on school-record time in the steeplechase at the Penn Relays. Hackett notes, “it is a really good opportunity for Jaryd to run against some really high level athletes and hopefully improve on his lifetime best in the event.”

The rest of the Muhlenberg track and field team will compete in the Lehigh Games this weekend in Bethlehem, PA. The Mules are looking to continue their success and hope to have a successful meet before the championships.

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