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Season-in-Review: Track & Field

Season-in-Review: Track & Field

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LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Entering year two of the program's history, the Covenant track and field teams continued to raise the bar. Under head coach Katie Stanford, Covenant athletes set several program records in both the indoor and outdoor seasons while also posting strong team finishes in meets.

Covenant competed in a pair of indoor events to kick off the season. Both teams produced higher finishes in the season-opening Tiger Indoor Invitational (women were fifth, men seventh) than in last year's meet. The momentum continued in the 'Southern Indoor Challenge where the women posted another fifth place finish and the men were sixth. 

Four indoor women's program records were set in the 'Southern Indoor Challenge, while the men's team saw five program-bests fall. 

The bulk of the outdoor season began in late March when Covenant started a string of four straight weekends with a meet. At the Emory Invitational, three program records were set on the men's side as Caleb Aikens ran a 4:14.66 in the 1500, the 4x800 team ran a time of 8:38.23, and the distance medley relay team finished in 11:05.68. The women's DMR team also set an outdoor program record with their time of 13:26.51.

Covenant wound down the season with a pair of strong efforts at the Mountain Laurel Invitational and the Atlantic Independent Championships. At the Mountain Laurel, the women placed sixth overall and the men were seventh. Lilly Smith won two events on the women's side, earning victories in the 1500 meter with a then-program record time of 4:54.66 before blazing to a win in the 3000 meter at 10:57.56. 

For a second straight year, Covenant had its best showing at the Atlantic Independent Championships. The meet saw seven program records fall (five on the women's side and two on the men's) and the women placed fifth, while the men were sixth. 

Smith capped her tremendous season with two more individual wins at the Championships. The junior won the 1500 with a time of 4:49.55, a program record, and then won the 5000 meter with her time of 18:37.36. Smith then helped the 4x400 relay team to its top time of the season and also placed second overall in the 800 meter event.

Earlier in the year, Smith crushed a program record in the 5000 meter as she finished in a time of 18:29.05 at the Hilltop Classic. Both of Smith's 5000 meter events in the outdoor season were sub-19 minute marks.

Hannah Hennigh and Hannah Samuels also had strong efforts at the Championships. Hennigh set program records in the 100 meter (12.93) and the 200 meter (27.68) before aiding in the 4x400 team's best time of the year. Samuels finished third in the 10,000 meter race with a program-best time of 43:33.96.

On the men's side in the Championships, Ari Zorns toppled the program record in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.12 that qualified him for the finals. Zorns ended up sixth overall in the event. Also, the 4x400 team of Tristan Dunlavy, Leif Le Mahieu, William Wallace, and William Bryan set a program-best time at 3:29.68.

For the year on the men's side, Bryan was a standout performer. The sophomore ranked in the top-15 for part of the season in the 400 meter as he set a program record time at 49.20 at the Hilltop Classic. Bryan also had strong 200 meter times and topped out at 22.04 at the Berry Field Day Invitational.

Matt Seitz, Aikens, Le Mahieu, and Micaiah Allison thrived in their first collegiate seasons on the track for the men's team.

Seitz set the program record in the 5000 meter at 15:52.48 at the Berry Field Day Invitational and was also part of the DMR team that set the program record at 11:05.68 at the Emory Invitational. Aikens posted a program record in the 1500 meter and in the 3000 meter (9:10.59). Le Mahieu produced a program record time of 2:02.98 in the 800 meter at the Mountain Laurel Invitational and was part of both the 4x400 and 4x800 teams that blazed to program records. Allison set the program record in the 3000 meter steeplechase at 10:27.69 at the Berry Field Day Invitational and ran a leg of the 4x800 that set a program-best time.

Other top performers on the women's side included Michelann Settle, Virginia Kay Roberts, and Abigail Wallace.

Settle had a 5000 meter time of 19:35.71 at the Berry Field Day Invitational and would set a program record in the 3000 meter steeplechase at 12:37.15 in the Mountain Laurel Invitational. Roberts was a part of the program's first 4x100 team that finished in 54.12 at the Mountain Laurel Invitational and her 200 meter times improved throughout the year, capping at 1:05.99 at the Atlantic Independent Championships. Wallace set a program record in the shot put at the Victor Icebreaker Duals and ran a leg in both the 4x100 and 4x400 teams that had season-best times.

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