After the results of last weekend, maybe the track team should continue to practice indoors even when they have the chance to go outside.

The men’s and women’s track teams were lucky enough to escape the dismal upstate New York weather last weekend, traveling to Mary Washington College in warm and sunny Fredericksburg, Va. to compete in the Battleground Relays. Because the meet the previous weekend was cancelled due to inclement weather, this was the team’s first test of the spring season.

Despite not being able to practice outside in the days leading up to the meet, the team performed very well, with no less than eight of the men achieving personal records.

Many of the events that are not a part of the indoor season hadn’t even been practiced before competition, which coach John Izzo called “a very encouraging sign.”

“It’s tough to practice the outdoor events, especially the hammer, hurdles, and javelin when the team can’t get outside,” Izzo said during yet another indoor practice, “[but they] responded very well [and] had a very good experience.”

The top results came from senior Justin Lamontagne, who finished second in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. There were many other strong performances as well, with a number of athletes finishing third and fourth in various competitions.

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the women’s team also had a great meet, including first place finishes from two athletes despite a disadvantage to the southern teams which had been practicing outdoors for several weeks.

Senior Sierra Dillaway grabbed the top spot in the 5k run and sophomore Erika Wasserstein won the 3,000-meter in her first time competing in the event. The 4×400-meter relay team had its best finish of the season, indoors or outdoors.

Junior Elizabeth Conway continued her success from the winter season, placing second in the 400-meter hurdles, setting a personal record and putting her atop the state list for the event. Coach Barbara Hartwig called Conway’s performance “indicative of all the work she put in indoors in the 500.”

She added that despite an excess of indoor practices and the cancelled meet last week, “people handled the changes really well. Good teams can handle that. There were some wonderful performances out there, and it was definitely worth the eight hour drive.”

If the weather holds up, both the men’s and women’s teams look to build upon the positive results of last weekend when they host RIT, Hamilton College and SUNY Oswego on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Fauver Stadium.

Swidler can be reached at

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