The track team continued its record breaking momentum this past weekend when the Crusaders travelled across state lines to compete in the Baker College Relays in Baldwin, Kan. Calling Kansas home, senior Ryan McAnany and his family hosted a dinner to celebrate the team’s multiple successes from that day. The team added two more school records to the season’s continually growing list of awards.
Running together for only their second time, the men’s 4X100, run by sophomore Dominic Del Curto, junior Barton Holdridge, junior Thomas Pierick and freshman Prince Giadolor, broke UD’s previous record with an impressive time of 44.39 seconds.
The men’s 4X800 relay was not to be outshined as senior Ryan McAnany, Holdridge, freshman Rafael Medina and freshman Andrew Ciancone, also achieved a university best with a time of 8:23:36.
Holdridge, who participated in both of these relays, said he knew that the potential for the 4X100 record was there.
“At the last meet we came within a second of breaking it, so we knew going in that we had a pretty good shot,” Holdridge said.
As for the 4×800, Holdridge claims he was even more certain that the record would be broken.
“I knew based on the times that the other guys had run this season that if I did my part, we would beat it. Though, I was a little nervous because it was my first 800 of the season. But everyone ran a great leg and we shattered it.”
Along with the men’s new relay records, many of the athletes accomplished personal bests, including Pierick in the 400 hurdles; sophomore Ashley Perez and junior Paulo Salazar in shot-put; and junior Katie Spellmeyer in the hammer and javelin throws. Spellmeyer, who broke her own record in the hammer throw by over 3 meters, attributed her success to good coaching and conditioning.
“We’ve continued to work hard at practice, but we’ve also spent a lot more time in the weight room to build our strength,” Spellmeyer said.
It is clear from talking to the athletes that they are, as a team, exceptionally close. This team bond allows them to support each other through the injuries and to cheer one another on at their events.
Holdridge says that he especially respects his coach.
“I look up to Coach Barber,” Holdridge said, “When he ran at UD he ran most of the same events that I do, and so I’m always trying to beat his records. It’s like a competition between us.”
Even though Barber is no longer competing, his athletes like to keep him feeling young.
Coach Barber shared his excitement from the past weekend, and sees it as an indicator of the success at the season’s end.
“There are a lot of good things to take away from this weekend,” Barber said, “It was not perfect across the board, no competition ever is. But when looking ahead to Conference … we can be confident in where we stand.”
So while most UD students will be putting on their ties and heels for Spring Formal on April 22, these dedicated athletes will instead lace up their spikes to run at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship hosted in Senguin, Texas.