Track and field prepare for MAAC outdoor championships

Robert Hughes, Assistant Sports Editor

ona men’s and women’s track and field teams are heading into the upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference outdoor championships following the conclusion of their regular season.  

The Gaels travelled to Stanford University for participation in the April 21 and 22 Payton Jordan Invitational. Eight performers competed in the event.  

For the men’s 5,000-meter run, two Gaels waited on the start line to begin the event, including sophomore Matt Rankin, who registered a time of 13:48.40. Rankin’s time was nearly four seconds better than his previous 5,000-meter run at Raleigh Relays on March 23, and ranks as the seventh fastest in school history.  

Three Gaels ran the men’s 10,000-meter event, including senior captain Jamie Dee, who sported a personal best time of 28:51.68 and ranked seventh overall. Dee’s time now slots him at sixth on the all-time Iona performance list. Fellow seniors Lachlan Wellington and Graham Baird placed 14th and 15th, respectively.  

In the women’s 10,000-meter, senior Sophie Murphy captured first place with a career-best time of 34:28.06. This was Murphy’s first collegiate outdoor 10,000-meter event and the fourth fastest time in Gael history.  

Juniors Damien Dilcher and Mael Gouyette capped off the men’s events by leading the way in first and second place in the 1,500 meters. With a time of 3:41.67, Dilcher just missed out on topping Iona Hall of Famer Tim Bayley’s school record mark by .01 seconds. Gouyette’s 3:42.01 mark is also just .01 seconds behind another Hall of Famer, Brian Roche. 

In addition to their meet at Stanford University, the Gaels also completed action at the Rutgers Relays at Bauer Track and Field Complex on April 22.  

Sophomore Matthew Penna ended up being Iona men’s top finisher on the day, placing fourth in the 3,000-meter steeple chase. Other top performers included juniors Donovan Tucker and Nick Hunziker, who each earned top 10 finishes in the 1,500-meter run.  

Sophomore Kedarjah Lewis led the way for the women’s team, landing in fourth place for the 100 meter (and finishing shy of her own school record by .01 seconds), while posting a personal best outdoor long jump of 5.82 meters.  

In preparation for the MAAC championships next week, the Gaels performed at the Penn Relays on April 27 and 29.  

Iona was led by junior Joshua DeSouza, who finished in fifth place for the 5,000-meter run. Freshman Tadgh Donnelly was the heat three winner. The women’s 5,000 meter saw sophomore Holly Smith and junior Madison Klein set personal bests in 39th and 41st place respectively. 

 The Gaels wrapped things up with the 4xMile Championship of America event, where the program posted its second fastest time in history. The quartet of Gouyette, juniorNick Soldevere, Rankin, and Dilcher combined to finish 10th overall and just 2.06 seconds behind the 2006 school record. 

 The MAAC championships will begin at Morgan Track in Emmitsburg, Maryland on May 6 and conclude the following day.