As freshman Kelly Flanagan crossed the finish line taking first place in the 5,000-meter run at University of Rochester’s Spring Invitational, she was surrounded by supportive teammates. Some cheered from the sidelines, but three others competed right next to her. Together, the women swept the top four places in the race.
Following Flanagan’s first place time of 18 minutes and 58.71 seconds were sophomore Sarah Anstett in second with a time of 19:07.34, freshman Morgan Meaney in third with a time of 19:28.36 and sophomore Mary Carroll in fourth with a time of 19:47.36.
“It’s really cool to win with teammates right beside you because we stayed together for a lot of the race,” Flanagan said. “Just to have that feeling of everyone cheering you on and knowing how strong you look all together with teammates you train with every day and love, I think that’s really fun.”
Meaney added that the Rochester meet was an opportunity for the younger runners to lead the pack while the faster runners competed at Penn Relays.
“It was definitely a good opportunity, especially with the other girls gone because we’re usually overshadowed by them a little bit, so it was nice for all of us to be able to like place well,” she said.
With SUNYACs just a few days away, the Knights 5,000-meter sweep was certainly not the only strong finish at the Rochester meet. On both the men and women’s sides, the outdoor track team took top spots in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, hurdles and sprints.
While head coach David Prevosti indicated this meet was still a workout for some students, it is obvious that the team is well-prepared and competitive within its conference.
Prevosti emphasized going into the final and most important meet of the year with a sense of strategy; taking control of the factors that are within the team’s grasp.
This is the first time that the entire outdoor track team will compete as one entity this season, as the squads have been split between Division I and III meets every weekend.
Prevosti is confident that the strong bond the team members share will bring them collective competitive victories, despite the nature of track as a very individualistic sport.
“It becomes a team event in that when one person does well, it spreads,” Prevosti said. “Other individuals on the team get wind of it and it spurs them on so that the events that we’re in – people are really just focused on what they can do in that and then collectively we have a good outcome.”
The outdoor track team will compete at home this upcoming weekend on Friday May 2 and Saturday May 3 in the SUNYAC Outdoor Championships.