The Richmond track and field team was divided into two squads last weekend so that they could compete at both the Pennsylvania State University and George Mason University invitational tournaments.
The Penn State Invitational hosted more than 50 schools and is "one of the premier track and field meets in the country," head coach Steve Taylor said. The tournament was held on Penn State's modern indoor banked track, which is one of the best facilities in the nation, according to Taylor.
Though the Richmond team did not take first place in any events at Penn State, several athletes broke personal and school records. Senior Beth Crocus broke her own record when she threw 55 feet, 9 inches in the 20-pound weight throw.
"We feel like she can throw even better than she has," Taylor said. Crocus, who came to college as a javelin thrower, now specializes in weight and hammer throws. She continues to beat her own records meet after meet, but she said that her main goals were to prepare for the outdoor season and to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Sophomore Jessica Young also broke a personal record when she ran the 200 meter event in 24.10 seconds. In the 400 meter, Young ran a 54.60, which Taylor said was "one of the better times in the country."
"I like doing something that's really hard for a lot of people to do," said Young, who also competed as a member of the 4x4 USA Junior team in Beijing last year.
Freshman Amy Van Alstine broke the 10-minute barrier in the 3000 meters, which is a significant accomplishment, Taylor said. Van Alstine was timed at 9:58.78 seconds.
The George Mason University invitational tournament was smaller, and it featured 15 schools from the Virginia and Maryland area.
Chris Kondorossy, a sophomore football player who also throws the shot put, took second place at this tournament with a 42-6 throw. For Kondorossy, track and field complements his talents as a football player by allowing him to remain active in the off-season and compete head to head with other athletes, Taylor said.
Junior Hunter Willis ran a personal best of 8:51.90 seconds in the 3000, and freshman Megan Ney finished third in the high jump, clearing 5-3.
Taylor predicted that she would break the school record by next year.
After tournaments, Taylor is positive about the direction of the team. "All we're doing right now is pointing towards performance and getting ready for the conference championship," he said.
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