By Chris Shaddock
Seven DeSales track athletes broke three school records on Feb. 9 at the New York University Indoor Track Invitational. These athletes were senior Veronica Wheeler in the 3K race, junior Robyn Somers in the 400-meter race, and sophomore Marc Brown, junior Patrick Ludlow, and freshmen Brion McNear and Matthew Kraus in the 4×400-meter relay.
Wheeler came in first in the 3K with a time of 9:56. As of press time, this is the 14th fastest time in the nation for the NCAA Division III in the 3K. The previous 3K record time was 10:03 and held by former DeSales athelete Angelina Biondo, who has since transferred.
This is the second school record Wheeler has broken in the indoor track season. Her first was in the 5K at the Boston University season opener where she placed 24th with a time of 17:08. As of now, she is ranked ninth in the nation for the 5K in Division III.
“It was really great,” said Wheeler. “Both I didn’t expect it to happen. Especially not in the 3K; I didn’t think I would get anywhere close in that record. I was hoping to just get close and get my best time, so I’m really grateful that I was able to do that and surprise myself. I feel like it is always a pleasant surprise when you can do something unexpected like that.”
Somers came in second in the 400-meter with a time of 59.89. Along with this being a school record, this is the first sub-minute time for a DeSales women’s runner. The previous 400-meter school record time was held by alumna Amanda Miller with a time of 1:00.1 set in 2013.
“I have been trying for three years to break that record,” said Somers. “When I finally broke it I was super, super happy!”
Additionally, Somers is working her way up to breaking the 200-meter school record. At the NYU Invitational she came in second with a time of 26.66. The current indoor 200-meter school record holder is alumna Katlyn Diffenderfer with a time of 26.10 set in 2014.
“I am hoping to rebreak my [400-meter school] record at ECAC [Eastern College Athletic Conference],” said Somers. “I want to get even lower, that way other kids will have an even harder time beating my record.”
The men’s 4×400-meter relay team placed fifth with an overall time of 3:25. The record for the school was held by former alumni Brian Mee, Bryan McGuire, Greg Cardullo and Lou Corominas with a time of 3:29 set in 2003.
“We were extremely excited after we did it,” said Kraus. “We actually went right into a room at the [NYU Indoor Track’s] Armory and took a picture with a nice little banner. Especially because of the amount of time that we broke it by, we were really excited because it was a big step in the season for us.”
In the individual 800-meters, Kraus also almost broke the school record, falling short with a time of 1:57 but still landing the second fastest time for DeSales. The current record holder for the indoor 800-meter is Ludlow with a time of 1:56.