Swarthmore Golf, Track & Field Teams Prepare to Host Conference Championships
With the spring athletic seasons coming to a close, the spotlight shines on the Swarthmore golf and track & field programs, as each will serve as hosts for the upcoming Centennial Conference Championships in their respective sports. The golf team will host the three-day Centennial Conference Men's Golf Championship from the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del., Fri., Apr. 25 to Sun., Apr. 27. A week later, the Centennial Conference Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships will take place from Clothier Field Stadium and Skallerup Track.
This weekend marks the first time that the Swarthmore golf team will host the Centennial championship tournament. After equaling a program-best mark with a second-place finish in 2012, the Garnet placed fourth at the 2013 championships with Price Ferchill '14, an engineering major from Austin, Tex., finishing sixth individually. Despite numerous postponements and cancellations this season, the team has had individual and team success in several tournaments. In its final match before the championships, the Garnet earned first place with a team score of 306, buoyed by strong performances from Sam White '14, an English literature and computer science major from Rockford, Ill. and Michael Chen '17, a first-year from The Woodlands, Tex.
"The conference championship is the biggest event we play in all year, and it's great to have Swarthmore's name attached to the tournament as our large (and strong) senior class takes one last shot at winning the title," says Ferchill. He adds that he likes the Garnet's chances of winning the event, but notes that it "will require our strongest performance of the year."
The following weekend, the championships come to campus as the men's and women's track & field teams play host to the rest of the Centennial Conference. The event, which runs from Fri., May 2, to Sun., May 4, features some of the top runners and field athletes in the area and even the country. Swarthmore last hosted the championships in 2010.
The women's track & field team will look to build upon its success from the indoor season after finishing second at the 2014 Indoor Centennial championships behind a young squad with few upperclassmen. The addition of women's basketball player Katie Lytle '14, who collected bronze in javelin at the 2013 championships, will add to the Garnet's depth in field events. Runner and Lafayette, Colo., native Katie Jo McMenamin '16, fresh off a ninth-place finish in the mile at last month's NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, is another key component for the squad in individual and relay events. So far this season, Osazenoriuwa Ebose '15, a classics and sociology & anthropology major from Scotch Plains, N.J., and Sarah Nielsen '16 of Reston, Va., have claimed individual titles with their respective wins in the shot put and the 800-meter run at the Richard Stockton Osprey Open.
On the men's side, the team hopes to improve on a ninth place-finish from last year's championships. This season, middle distance runners Paul Green '16 of Belmont, Mass., and Jonas Oppenheimer '15 of Seattle, Wash., finished second and third respectively in the 1,500-meter run in this month's Osprey Open, while Green recorded a personal-best in the same event a week later at the Hopkins/Loyola Invitational. Stuart Russell '14, an economics and political science major from Ellicott City, Md., competed in a field of Division I runners at the Sam Howell Invitational, finishing 19th in the 10,000-meter race.