By George Tatoris
Senior Joan Hales broke the College’s record in the hammer throw on Saturday, April 18, at Moravian College’s Greyhound Invitational, and she didn’t quite know how to respond.
“It was definitely a little surreal when my event coach told me I broke the record, and I was speechless at first,” Hales said.
Hales had a few throws left, and like all athletes, she hoped she would be able to throw better each time. In fact, she didn’t even think the record breaking throw was “technically sound” because she didn’t follow through.
Despite this, the 46.82 meter throw overtook a toss by Sarah Wehrhan ’10, Hales’ former throwing coach, by almost two meters.
“I don’t feel any different really, but it’s humbling knowing that it was previously held by my former coach, especially since I respect her so much as an athlete,” Hales said. The throw landed Hales in second place.
Senior Joy Spriggs finished fourth in the 400-meter race with a time of 56.43, which was the College’s fourth fastest time in that race since 2000.
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Lauren Straub beat 20 other runners to come in first with a time of 11:39.25. In the same race, senior Alyssa Silver placed seventh, crossing the finish line at 12:24.47.
Senior Jeremy Garrell also enjoyed a successful opener in the steeplechase, earning fourth place with a time of 9:41.58.
Garrell called the steeplechase “unique” due to its implementation of water pits along the track and because it was based off of a race originally designed for horses.
“It is important to run the race controlled in the beginning and just try to hang on after the first mile,” Garrell said.
Junior Tyler Grimm gave a top performance in the 5,000-meter — his finishing time of 15:31.53 gave him both a new personal record and a second place finish.
Soon after Grimm crossed the finish, senior Andrew Wilson and junior Jonathan Stouber took fourth and seventh, respectively, with times of 15:34.33 and 15:40.77.
Freshman Dale Johnson performed admirably as well in the 1,500-meter — Johnson took fourth with a time of 4:01.00.
A number of Lions also partook in the Princeton-hosted Larry Ellis Invitational on Friday, April 17.
Senior Katelyn Ary was the second fastest Division III athlete on the track for the 800-meter event with a time of 2:12.12. The finish roped her in 25th place overall and was an ECAC qualifier.
On the men’s side, junior Scott Savage was the fourth-fastest Division III athlete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:20.55. He was the 24th fastest overall on the track that day.
Hales’s feat on the field at Moravian College caught the attention of her hometown as well as around campus.
“It’s a little crazy with the amount of people from high school and back home who saw the article (on tcnjathletics.com) and reached out to congratulate me, and the number of people on campus who have reached out is so nice,” Hales said.