Jake Dalton 23 and Miles Shrek 22 competed in the hammer throw, while Julia Finnerty ran 23 in the 800 metres.
Last week, three track and field athletes traveled to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana to compete in the Eastern District NCAA Preliminaries. Jake Dalton 23 and Partner Miles 22 competed in the hammer throw, and Julia Finnerty ran 23 in the 800 metres.
This is the first time in three years that Big Green has sent an athlete to this competition after the past two outdoor track seasons were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the challenge of competing in a meet of this nature, the athletes faced adverse weather conditions on the actual day of the meet.
Dalton said the rain made the throwing circuit wet before the event, causing a “disorder” that likely affected his performance due to balance concerns.
“Knowing the weather is going to be a factor that you have to be prepared for throughout the day,” Schreck said. “You have to put your mind above it, and if you’re tough, the technology will hold up, and you can still move forward with it.”
Dalton placed 35th in the hammer throw with a 59.14m throw, scored on his second attempt, and his teammate Partner finished 43rd with a 56.79m throw on his first attempt. A hammer throw typically has six attempts for the final throw, but the number of three attempts is limited to athletes in these preliminary rounds. Fenerty finished the 800m in 2:10.15, finishing 43rd in the first round and missing a cutting opportunity to advance.
Fenerty admitted that this was her first full season to run without a break due to injury, and so he was feeling some pressure from an entire season in this encounter.
“I’m proud that I did my best, but I couldn’t be happier with my results,” Finnerti said. “I never gave up mentally at any point, I didn’t feel my best because my legs were tired from my first year in which I completed the whole year.”
Schreck noted that the NCAA East hosts talented Power Five teams that Dartmouth does not usually face in regular season competition. Only four Ivy League hammer shooters, including Schreck and Dalton, competed among the top 48 NCAA East hammer throwers.
For all three athletes, it was the first time they had competed on a stage as big as the NCAA East. The lack of competition from the past three years has limited their chances of flexing their muscles at the national level, but the athletes have all been up to the task after following their detailed training regimens.
“Training takes a lot of schedule, and it can be difficult to balance school and keep track of training time [is up to] 5 hours,” Dalton said. “Especially when you don’t see results [like during the canceled seasons]It’s hard to keep motivated, unless you look at… long-term goals. “
Finnerty noted that her season has gone on longer than expected because she did not qualify for the NCAA East until her last encounter of the season. At the Princeton Elite Invitational on May 14, Fenerty posted her personal best time of 2:05.79 in the 800m and won a bid to qualify.
Dalton qualified for the NCAA East last year as an unrelated thrower, but was not eligible to compete because Dartmouth 2021 season canceled Due to the Ivy League’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Athletes said they are optimistic about the future. Dalton aims to break the hammer throw record – he currently holds seventh place for best throw and is two meters short of the record of 64.11 metres. He said the goal is reasonable if he trains hard and well during the summer and fall with weight lifting and digging.
Shrek will continue his academic and athletic pursuits at Duke University next year as he works toward his MBA. He said he plans to use his extended eligibility years due to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue building his skills.
According to Finnerty, she has the second fastest times in both the 1,000m and 800m in Big Green history. In the 1000 metres, she was just 0.2 seconds behind the school record, and she explained that the teamwork would help her achieve her personal goals for the next year.
“I am really excited for the team next year; [it’s] Finnery said. “I want to set the tone for individual success and having one person create it [NCAA East]…Makes [running] A team that knows what they can do.”