Blue Hens Drop a Flurry of Big Performances in Their Biggest Meet of the Season

Delaware’s club track & field team faced its toughest competition of the season at the TCNJ Invitational in the week following their spring break. Whether it was this increased competition, the fact that some of these athletes haven’t competed in over a month, or some other external factor, the club churned out a bunch of season best performances. It was Delaware’s first meet at The College of New Jersey since 2019, and they made it count.

Chris Calandra and Jack Pelczar started off a big day for the Blue Hens on the track with a pair of personal bests in the 5k. Calandra lowered his best to 17:06.29, and thanks to the pacing of his high school teammate, Aravind Arunachalam, Pelczar smashed his old personal best time by 60 seconds to get it to 17:17.44. In the men’s 1500-meter race, four Blue Hen’s reached the 4:20 mark to place in the top-30. Sasha Latina (4:20.73) and Arunachalam (4:20.94) finished together at 28th and 29th, while freshman Brady Sheaffer (4:19.61) broke 4:20 for the first time to land in 26th place. Senior Alex Horgan not only led Delaware in the 1500, but led the entire field in 3:58.37 for his 5th straight individual victory. Freshman CJ Williams led the Blue Hens in the women’s 1500-meter race in 24th place, where her first ever 1500 was good for 5:40.42.

On the sprinting side of things, the women’s 4x100m squad of Sam Radinsky, Gianna Dowling, Rilee McMahan, and Eli Manning ran a top tier relay time in the club’s history. Their 55.99-second race was the third fastest 4x100m relay in club history, it was also good for 9th overall at the meet. Radinsky and McMahan were also two of four Blue Hens to finish in the top 25 in the 100-meter dash. Mcmahon (14.49) managed a 23rd place finish, while Radinsky (14.78) sneaked in at 25th. Freshmen DJ Seals and Kurt Krummenacker were the two men who also fit the top-25 description. Seals (11.72) edged out Krummenacker (11.74) at the line to get the distinction of coming in 22nd compared to 23rd. Seals also knocked off Ryan McDonough’s time from 2013 to tie Brandon Lichtenstein in 9th place on the all-time performance list.

The long-sprints featured a few notable performances from Delaware. CJ Williams (1:08.10) and Eli Manning (1:08.26) finished within a quarter of a second of each other in the 400-meter dash, finishing in 18th and 22nd respectively. Williams’ first collegiate outdoor 400 was good enough to land her at 7th on the all-time outdoor performance list. The 800-meter race featured a top-10 finish from sophomore Micheal Anderson, his 2:00.33 landed him at 8th overall for the meet. Sasha Latina broke the 2:10 barrier once again, his 2:09.56 was good enough to win his heat of the 800 by over two seconds. In the third addition of Delaware’s three-team battles in the men’s 4x400m relay, the win went to the squad of Anderson, Evan Pawlik, Dan Giron, and Jack Pelczar, who had the fastest time of the series, finishing in 3:48.70.

The field may have started off first, but we’re finishing off with them for last. Gianna Dowling found her way onto the performance list for a second and third time during the meet for the high jump and long jump. Her 4.22-meter long jump was good for 7th all-time and 22nd in the meet, and her 1.37-meter high jump got her to 4th all-time for Delaware and 9th place in the meet. Maggie Morris also landed herself on the all-time performance list, but did so in high fashion. Her 9.08-meter throw of the shot put was not only a collegiate best, but also the furthest throw in Delaware’s club track and field history.

Delaware now has to wait two weeks for a return to Salisbury University for the Eastern Shore Challenge on April 22nd.

Full meet results can be found here.

Arunachalam leading Pelczar to a new PR in the 5k

Latina winning his 800-meter race

Horgan celebrating his 1500-meter win

The Pawlik twins facing off in the 400 (Evan left, Josh right)