Two school records fell as the Middlebury track & field programs hosted the Middlebury Invitational in the Virtue Field House on the New Balance Foundation Track. Rookie John Natalone (Dix Hills, N.Y.) set a new program mark in the pole vault, while senior James Lynch (Pittsford, N.Y.) established a new record in the heptathlon. The men claimed the meet title that consisted of eight schools with 185 points, outdistancing second-place Williams (140), while the women were second of six with 182.5 points behind the Ephs’ winning total of 194.
On the men’s side, the school records set by Natalone and Lynch were good for event victories. Natalone cleared the pole vault bar at 15’4.25”, winning the event by nearly a foot. That eclipsed the old mark of 15’3.75” set back in 2000 by Andy Dixon. Lynch racked up 4,064 points during the seven disciplines, highlighted by wins in the 60-meter hurdles (9.08), high jump (5’10.5”), pole vault (10’0”) and long jump (19’5.5”). His two-day total breaks the mark set by Conor Simons of 4,022 points set two years ago.
Additional individual wins on the track came from senior Brandon Cushman (Gorham, Maine) in the 500-meter run (1:08.89) and sophomore Michael Pallozzi (Sewell, N.J.) during the 60-meter hurdles (8.67). In relay events, the 4x200 team of junior Alex Nichols (Brunswick, Maine), rookie Jimmy Martinez (Maplewood, N.J.), sophomore Jackson Bock (Denver, Colo.) and junior Adam Markun (Calabasas, Calif.) crossed the line first in 1:31.50. The distance medley relay of sophomore Kevin Serrao (Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.), Nichols, Martinez and senior Sam Cartwright (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) was victorious with a time of 10:20.36.
Off the track, senior Deklan Robinson (Gloucester, Mass.) won the high jump competition, going over the bar at 6’4”, just 0.25” off the school record for the event.
During the women’s competition, the Panthers racked up four event victories. Junior Paige Fernandez (Oradell, N.J.) won the 500-meter run (1:21.72), rookie Abigail Nadler (Chicago, Ill.) led the field to the line in the 1,600-meter run (5:02.18), while the 4x400 relay of seniors Halle Gustafson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Alexandra Morris (London, U.K.), rookie Lucy Lang (Lexington, Mass.) and senior Jackie Kearney (Slingerlands, N.Y.) were victorious in 4:03.91.
In the heptathlon, junior Maddie Pronovost (Brookline, Mass.) accumulated a total of 2,766 points to earn the title, including wins in four of the five disciplines. She won the 800-meter run (2:47.31), 60-meter hurdles (10.30), high jump (4’10.5”) and the long jump (16’10”).
Other top-two efforts came from Morris in the 400-meter dash (2nd, 58.77), senior Madison Goodstein (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) in the 60-meter hurdles (2nd, 9.84) and the distance medley relay of senior Nicole Schachman (New City, N.Y.), Fernandez, Lang and sophomore Robin Vincent (Sutton, Vt.) in second with a time of 12:12.82, the third-fastest time in the nation this winter.
In field events, rookie Kreager Taber (Raleigh, N.C.) was second in the pole vault clearing the bar at 10’6”.
• Track & field hosts Middlebury Invitational
• Up Next: 2/6 at Dartmouth Classic and Tufts Cupid Challenge