Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer
On April 8, 2023, the Wooster track and field team traveled to Oberlin to participate in a non-scoring event, which made for some interesting storylines. Wooster competed against Lourdes University of Sylvania, Ohio and familiar foe Oberlin College. The unscored competition adds some wrinkles to judging the event and participating in it, which Will Callender ’25 made note of following the event. Callender said, “My mindset changes going into a lower-stake meet by focusing more on either my time or my teammate’s time. In these meets that are not scored, I sometimes try to either just win the race, or help my teammates try and get a PR.”
Points aside, Wooster experienced immense success Saturday afternoon with a plethora of individual winners and a handful of relay victories. The most dominant performance of the weekend came from Athena Tharenos ’24, who obliterated her steeplechase competitors. Tharenos finished with a time of 11:16.14, which placed her 23rd nationally and second within the conference. Her time was even more impressive when put next to the rest of Saturday’s field, as she won the race by almost four and a half minutes. This performance earned Tharenos her sixth NCAC Athlete of the Week award of her Wooster career and her second in this year’s outdoor season.
Wooster would boast more than its fair share of victors to stand alongside Tharenos, as Will McMichael ’23 won the 400-meter dash while teammate and classmate Nick Scherson ’23 followed close behind to finish second. McMichael’s time placed him in the top-20 times nationally.
The jumpers were well represented on the podium as Echo Kidd ’25 and Luke Henke ’23 placed first and second in the high jump, respectively. Both leapers eclipsed the six-feet mark, but a technicality awarded Kidd the victory. Kidd would not stop there as he would bound his way to victory in the long jump as well. Vell Robinson ’25 would also score a victory in the triple jump. Joe Shilts ’23 ran and jumped his way to a win in the 400-meter hurdles.
The women’s team also captured a multitude of wins, as Claudia Partridge ’23 took home the high jump victory. Wooster’s women’s sprinters would also stand out as Drew Patterson ’24 took home the 100-meter dash in a photo finish over the second place runner from Lourdes. Patterson crossed the finish line just .01 seconds before Lindsey Plumford of Lourdes. Later on the 4×100-meter team consisting of Patterson, Maia Doescher ’25, Izzy Cozzie ’26 and Daysia Hargrave ’25, sprinted to a first-place finish over the competing field.
Wooster boasted 5,000-meter run winners in both the men’s and women’s competition as Callender took home the men’s competition. Jessie Breth ’25 won the women’s competition, besting the second-place finisher from Lourdes by more than 20 seconds.
The field events also saw Wooster thrive, but in an unconventional manner. Ainsley Wiesner ’24 won the javelin with a throw of 94 feet and nine inches. Evie Sanford ’26, won the shot put with a huck of 37 feet and 6.75 inches, which she paired with a second placed finish in the discus.
Wiesner spoke to the difference in non-scoring meets saying, “I think that non-scoring meets are a really good opportunity to compete without too much pressure. In my experience, they feel like competitive practices and I’m able to go in with my usual intention of throwing as far as I can, while also being able to think about my technique and tweak things like I would in a practice. During regular meets my thoughts are much more centered on the actual distance and how my numbers compare to other people’s or to qualifying numbers.”
The men’s competition held some of the most compelling action of the day as Wooster’s very own throwing coach Carson Kinney came out of a short-lived retirement to put his skills on full display. A four-year letterwinner at Baldwin Wallace, Kinney threw his way to victory in the hammer throw, shot put and discus, besting his own throwers in each competition. Kinney broke his college bests in both the shot put and hammer throw, as a testament to the everlasting ascent that he prides himself on in Wooster’s weight room. Connor Greene ’23 was close second in the discus throw and the hammer throw. Robert Mays ’26 finished second in the shot put, but the nearly three-meter gap between him and Kinney was the same as the gap between the second-place Mays and the 10th-place finisher, Case Baumwart ’25.
When reached for comment, Kinney said, “For me it was totally different, because I’m the coach. I did it to push my athletes to see what they could do, specifically the upperclassmen. It really helped some guys like Connor Greene and Braydon Hudson who PR’d. They got to see someone who came out of retirement and in shot put they got to experience the full support of both Oberlin and Wooster. That was fun for them to see that, you usually only see that at championship meets. For me, it was fun to get out and compete. I told my athletes that I would compete with them once a year until I can’t anymore and I got to have career bests.” Kinney also emphasized his happiness with the growth of the throwing program, which has given him more athletes to support and compete with.
Callender commented on the experience saying, “I enjoyed watching the throwing events as our throwing coach was competing in this meet, so it was fun to see him throw really well.”
Best of luck to the Wooster athletes competing at the Denison Dual Meet and the upcoming All-Ohio Championships!