Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Our women's team finished second at the conference meet and our men's team finished 4th to punctuate -arguably- the best seasons in the history of Oberlin College Track & Field.

It was a complete team effort - with athletes scoring in almost every event in which they competed.

Several years ago, we only had a handful of All-Conference Athletes.  Now there is a long list of them.  Additionally, Madeline Schultz was named the Conference Sprinter/Hurdler of the year.  She won the Heptathlon, the 400 hurdles, ran  legs on the winning 4x400, and 2nd-place 4x100, finished third in the 100m hurdles, and was fourth in the high jump.  

Our other conference champs included  Nicky Ouellet, who won both the 1500m and the 800m, our women's 4x400m team of Amanda Miller, Laura Vernon, Clara Shaw and Madeline Schultz, and Seth Wimberly - who won the 400m dash.  Seth, Maddy and Nicky have been fantastic examples to their teammates all year.  They've taken it upon themselves to become good athletes, and have pushed their teammates to do the same.  

By no means  were they the only athletes with impressive performances.  Ryan King finished second in the men's 1500m, breaking our (very old) school record in the process.  Over the past four years, Ryan has worked himself into one of the best milers in our conference.  He has also done a fantastic job of setting the tone for our men's distance runners.  Clara Shaw also finished second in the women's 1500m - marking an incredible season for her, as well.  Clara is a phenomenal runner, and it has been a joy to watch her put it all together this year.  

Solomon Turner and Ryan Magiera also stepped up big for us at conference.  With a second-place run in the 400, to go along with his successful indoor campaign, Solomon's sophomore season is an extremely successful one.  He hasn't even scratched the surface yet.  In only his second season of track, Ryan finished third in the high jump, improving by leaps and bounds (pun intended) on his finish at last year's conference meet.  

Lastly, we can't mention our Conference Meet without mentioning Everett Schlawin's 10k/5k double.  A day after finishing a very impressive 2nd in the 10k (31.53.67 - a new school record!), Everett came back to finish 5th in the 5k in 15:21.97.  Both races demonstrated the commitment to improve and competitive drive that Everett has had since he's been here.  We're couldn't be happier that his senior season ended so well, but we're going to miss him a lot next year.  

For most of our team, the season is over.  We'll take several people to compete in some post-season meets, with a nod towards trying to qualify for nationals.  With two more weeks until "The Big Show", a lot can  happen.  Check back later to find out what.                     

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What a Weekend!

With three meets on the calendar, the Oberlin College Track Team was busy this weekend.  

The weekend started on Friday night with the Bob Kahn Invitational at Oberlin.  In addition to the meet, we held a ceremony for Bob Kahn, who donated the money to build our new track.  It was great to meet him.  

The meet itself was a great tuneup for the conference championships in a week.  We had exceptionally strong performances from Christine Moore in the steeplechase (11:40.02) Clara Shaw in the 1500 (4:50.09), Amanda Miller, Seth Wimberly and Reshard El-Shair in the 400m (1:00.4, 48.82 and 49.03 respectively), Ryan King in the 800 (1:55.98) and Conor Doss, Everett Schlawin and Ben Schild in the 3k (8:46.25, 8:49.04 and 8:49.48).  

At our other home meet, we hosted the NCAC Multi-Events Championships on Saturday and Sunday.  Two Oberlin athletes competed.  Madeline Schultz won the heptathlon with a score of 4,386 points.  That also provisionally qualifies her for nationals.  What's more that's the second "event" she has qualified in.  Maddy is also on the 400 hurdles list with a time of 1:03.88.  

Kyle Taljan competed in the decathlon, finishing in second with a score of 6,043 points.  In doing so, he broke his own school record, and just missed the provisional qualifying mark for nationals (6,050).    

Also, Nicky Ouellet competed in the 1500 at Hillsdale College's Gina Relays.  She ran 4:37.13, which is a new school record - and also a provisional qualifier for the national meet.

It was a fantastic weekend for our program.  Everybody's hard work is paying off in strong finishes and great times ... exactly like it should.  We've been able to build on each week quite well, and we're all looking forward to a fantastic conference meet.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sparky Adams!

Oberlin College Competed in the Sparky Adams Invitational at Baldwin-Wallace College.  You can see results at

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Runners of the Week!

For their performances at the Marv Frye Invitational, Nicky Ouellet, Seth Wimberly and Madeline Schultz were all named Conference athletes of the week.  

Nicky won the 1500 in 4:42.75 and finished second in the 800 in 2:18.82

Seth was 4th in the 100 in 11.16, 6th in the 400 hurdles in 57.01 and anchored our third place 4x4 (3:21.09

Madeline won the 400m hurdles in 1:05.27 and the high jump (5-1.25).  She also finished sixth in the 100m hurdles (16.30).  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Outdoor is here ... finally!

Only a week late!  After thunderstorms cancelled our meet at Emory, our entire team finally got to make their outdoor debut at the Marv Frye invitational.  With the first outdoor meet of the year being so far away from our last indoor meet, we were a little concerned about the long layoff, and whether or not we'd be able to build on a very successful indoor season.  Our concerns were completely unwarranted, as the women's team finished a very impressive third place, with 93 points.  Our men's team also finished third with 74 points.  We competed well across the board, so it's tough to highlight just several performances.  Instead, I'll recommend checking out our full team results at


Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break Wrapup

So much for that.  Due to thunderstorms, our spring break meet was cancelled shortly after it started.  The few people who did get to compete fared quite well, though.  Joanna Johnson won the 10k in 35:55.40  It's an extremely strong provisional qualifying mark for Nationals.  

Madeleine Schultz was second in the 400 hurdles in 1:05.0 - also a huge P.R. for her.  

Josh Gallagher and A.J. Greene placed in the Hammer with throws of 38.77 meters and 37.64 meters respectively.  

Freshmen Christine Moore, Santino Merino and Stephen Williams all competed in their first ever steeplechase.  It's exciting to have several freshmen who want to be good at the steeple.  All of them have come so far since we first started hurdling back in February.    

Fran Holoman jumped 1.40 meters and Tyler Lewis jumped 1.81 meters in the High Jump.

For the people who got to compete, the results were very promising.  Everybody else won't have to wait long for their outdoor debut.  Our next meet is this weekend at the Marv Fry Invitational.  Despite the untimely end to our meet, Spring Break was a solid trip.  It offered us a chance to get in lots of good training, and also allowed our athletes a chance to decompress after mid-terms.  In addition to lots of practice, we were able to make trips to the Aquarium, and the World of Coke, as well as spend a day in Centennial Park.     

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break Blogging with Nina Cole

We're in Atlanta, or "Hotlanta" as we have oh-so cleverly been referring to it, and a bunch of us just got back from the Farmer's Market at Emory.  We are now sitting outside of our hotel in the SUN.  Despite the fact that the only bags we have at our hotel for ice are dog poop bags (which work quite well, I might add) spring break is amaaaaaazing.  Nicky and Cordelia are sitting next to me discussing the sweet apparel we get for winning the Indoor Conference meet this year (wooo!) and I have a tan (which I am overly excited about).  We did a really good workout yesterday and we have our first outdoor race this weekend.  I guess I should be more informative, like say things about how the bus ride (12 hours) did not feel as long as it sounds, and that it doesn't suck not to be home for spring break, because this is way more relaxing than having a week to try and see all your high school friends at once.  Oh, and we had Ethiopian food for dinner last night.  I also learned that the track team should give up their pro wiffle ball dreams.  Not because pro wiffle ball teams don't exist (they don't) but because when we played in the park a few days ago, peopled stopped to laugh at us.  

Spring Break Blogging with Amanda Miller


We started the week off on Sunday with a "warm up" on Emory's track.  We jogged down to the track together and did a warm up run.  Coach Hudson then implemented some new drills and we did them.  After we got back to the Inn, we went into Downtown Atlanta to Centennial Park!  We danced, played soccer, drew with chalk and wandered around downtown.  We had El Salvadorian for dinner =)  WE also had a talent show that night ... which completely rocked out!!  Monday we started our first day of two-a-days.  We arrived on the track at at 9 am and returned at 2 pm.  We worked on a lot of technicalities and did some short sprints.  Tuesday was our hard day (it always is).  We did a ladder workout (ex. 5-4-3-2-1).  I went to the Art Museum Tuesday and saw pictures and artifacts from King Tut's tomb!  So far this trip has been amazing =)  It'll get better on Wednesday, when we're going to the World of Coke =)

Spring Break Blogging: What's up with the ruckus next door? Part 2

Okay, so my name is Reshard, and I don't make stuff up about science.  Instead, I'm listening to Josh talk about the "Hot Sauce Pearl" bowling ball, which he says is "a lot like his ball" .... interesting.  Describing this room is kinda like describing the last time you threw up.  It's really messy and there's random stuff everywhere.  It smells terrible, and people cringe when they see it.  It's okay though cuz I just saw a dump truck full of gasoline CAREEN INTO A VERTICAL BUS FILLED WITH PYROTECHNICS .... ON PURPOSE. 

This is Kyle.  Having decided not to go  have pizza, I've returned to redeem this blog.  It's going to be a good week.  By Monday, a 9pm bed time sounds like a pretty good idea.  So far we've already plowed through two bags of Sun Chips, a box of large Cheeze-Its and a tin of Cashews.  I'm hoping to only be woken up twice by Reshard stealing the blankets or snoring.  Ah, the computer's out of battery ... I'm out.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Blogging: What's up with the ruckus next door?

Four Oberlin Track Athletes: Collin, Kyle, Reshard and Josh have a room next door to their coaching staff.  Follow all the action as they blog about the ruckus they're making next door.

What's up with the ruckus next door?

Here's what's going on with the noise in this room.  Stream of conscious-style.

Dramatis Personae:

Kyle "Upper (Master) delegator/lamesauce" Taljan

Reshard "Make stuff up about science" El-Shair

Josh "English as a Second Language" Gallagher

Collin "The Author" Cowdery

So it's pretty hard to write anything while watching various planes and cars absolutely destroy themselves on some show on Discovery.  Anyway, I was told to provide some sort of depiction of what's going on in this room.  Currently everybody is arguing for some unfathomable reason as to what a PET scan does, and as far as I can tell, Reshard is just making stuff up at this point and Kyle is calling him out on it.  Reshard has recruited the crafty Wikipedia onto his debate team.  Kyle is simply calling Alpha atoms "the lame ones" that you can block with a piece of paper, as opposed to Gamma rays - that made the Hulk.  This is kinda what happens when you room with two physics majors.  On the subject of Kyle, he was supposed to help me with this blog, but since he's going to pizza, he won't help.  Kyle has declared himself a "upper (master) delegator" which sounds kinda raunchy.  Kyle continues to hound me about a paragraph of big words which should include both "necrophilia" and "xenophobia".  I feel "supercilious" should make the cut as well.

I'm watching Josh finish a BIG Cheezit box all by himself.  It is an awesome spectacle.  So I feel like this blog is kinda wrapping itself up, but before we go, here are some awesome names.




Ray Appenheimer

Timbuktu (A Country, not a name ... thanks Reshard!)    

Friday, March 20, 2009

Heading to Atlanta

We're kicking off the outdoor season with a meet at Emory University on the 28th of March.  We'll spend the entire week leading up to the meet training, and having fun in, Atlanta.  

Check back throughout the week for updates!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


What a weekend!  We sent out the indoor season/kicked off the outdoor season in grand fashion at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships.  The women's team tied for first and the men's team tied for third ... the best finishes by both teams in school history.  

So many of our athletes had phenomenal meets.  In fact, we had 8 conference champs, loads more All-Conference (top 3) finishers and four school records!  Nicky Ouellet won the 800, mile and finished 5th in the 3k.  For her efforts she won distance runner of the meet honors.  Joanna Johnson won the 5k, the women's 4x2 of Ali Gemma, Madeline Schultz, Laura Vernon and Amanda Miller won.  Laura Vernon also won the pole vault and Ali Gemma also won the long jump.  Solomon Turner won the 55m, and the men's 4x400 of Seth Wimberly, Peter Morris, Solomon Turner and Reshard El-Shair won in a new meet record and school record!  Other school record setters were our Men's Distance Medley, Solomon Turner in the 55 and Ryan King in the mile.  See full results at

Indoor season isn't quite over yet.  Nicky will be competing in the mile at the National Championships this coming weekend.  It's the second national meet she has qualified for this year.  

Everybody else is getting ready for mid-terms next week.  After mid terms, we leave for our annual Spring Break trip.  This year's trip is to Atlanta.  We'll primarily spend the week relaxing and preparing for a meet at Emory on the 27th.  But the team captains always find fun activities for everyone during the week.  In years past, we've gone to a hockey game and the zoo in South Carolina, and NASA and the Beach in Houston.

Check back soon for more details!  


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

This past weekend the team competed at three different meets.  Madeline Schultz competed in a Pentathlon at Akron.  She P.R.'ed in two events, en route to scoring an excellent 2984 points ... only 16 points away from provisionally qualifying for Nationals!  Nicky Ouellett and Joanna Johnson ran at Boston University with fantastic results.  Nicky ran 5:01.19. in the mile.  Joanna ran 17:24.84 in the 5k.  Both school records.  Both provisional marks for the National meet.     

We also had 17 athletes qualify for the All-Ohio Championships.  Kudos to Ryan King (mile) and Seth Wimberly (400) for placing in the top 3 in their events - thereby earning "All-Ohio" honors.  Ryan also broke his own school record in the mile by two seconds.  By no means were Ryan and Seth the only athletes with outstanding results.  The rest of the team ran very well.  Our men's 4x2 broke its own school record from earlier in the year, and we had a slew of athletes place in the top 8 in their events.  You can see results from all three meets at  

Several years ago, we only had a couple of athletes qualify for the All-Ohio meet.  To come so far in such a short time is a testament to a lot of great things about our student-athletes and their dedication.  It's been especially great to see so many freshmen and sophomores run well.  They've taken a cue from our Captains and really embraced the hard work and competitive spirit necessary to run well in college.  It's never a great idea to "Count Your Chickens", but our early season results are extremely encouraging.  It's difficult to be anything other than optimistic when we look ahead to the rest of indoor, and then our outdoor season.    



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Welcome Back!

The last weekend in January marks the end of winter term; where we welcome student/athletes back from projects and trips.  And we finally have the entire team back together.  It's also the same weekend that our conference hosts its relay carnival.  While it's a little different than the traditional meet lineup, the relay format puts a big emphasis on the idea of a track "TEAM".  And it's a great way for everyone to shake the rust off in preparation for a big indoor season.  Based on our early results, we're confident that this could be the best men's team in the history of Oberlin track.  On the women's side, we lost a fantastic group of seniors to graduation last year, but the women's team is still extremely talented.  In fact, they have the potential to score more points than they ever have at the conference championship.  

Highlights of the meet included three school records for our men's team.  Connor Doss set his second school record in as many weeks.  Fresh off an 8:51 in the 3k at Baldwin-Wallace, Connor finished 5th in the 5k in 15:19.20.  Our men's 4x200 team of Edwin Takahashi, Solomon Turner, Shawn Chrapczynski and Seth Wimberly also set a new school record, running 1:32.95. Finally, our men's DMR team of Ryan King, Thomas Shaw, Albert Davila and Stephen Williams broke our school record and took third overall.  

Our women's team fared extremely well too, with victories by Ali Gemma in the long jump, the DMR team of Nicky Ouellet, Anna Frackman, Kathleen Cann and Joanna Johnson, and the 4x800 team of Nicky Ouellet, Hillary Tipton, Kathleen Cann and Marissa Kennedy. 

We're especially excited for our seniors: Edwin, Connor, Ryan, Nicky and Ali.  Over the past several years, it's really been a joy to watch them advance their fitness and learn how to compete at the collegiate level.  They came in as 12-second 100m runner, a 4:42 miler, a 4:30 miler, a 5:25 miler/19:36 5k'er and 14-second 100m runner, respectively.  Their development into some of the best runners in the conference (and potentially national-qualifiers, in several cases) is a testament to a lot of great things about them and their team.  By  no means are they done yet!  They've got a lot of fast times, and hopefully some more victories ahead of them.  

We can't get too comfortable though, as we're back in action this Friday.  Our second home meet, The Crimson & Gold Invitational, will bring some great competition to campus.  It'll be a chance to show off all the hard work we've been doing.  Check back early next week for results.  We will also have some recaps of how Oberlin Runners spent winter term in the very near future.    

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome to the official Oberlin College Track & Field and Cross-Country blog!  We hope you'll visit often for updates on the team and how our season is going.  

Thanks for visiting!    

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter Term Recap

Conde Nastie

By Liv Combe

I have quite a passion for fashion.  So when I found out about the unique opportunity that is Winter Term, my thoughts immediately flew to some sort of internship at a fashion magazine in New York.  It was a bold aspiration to aim so high, especially as a first-year, but I got lucky and ws hired by the Accessories department at W, one of the foremost fashion magazines in the world.  It was decided that I would spend the month of January in the big city, handling shoes and bags and jewelry that undoubtedly cost thousands of dollars and that, under normal circumstances, I would never get my hands on.  When my flight took off from Columbus, I was just sure - OMG! - that this would be the coolest experience ever.

Did you ever see "The Devil Wears Prada"?  Remember the bitchy boss, the eating disordered coworkers, the ridiculously long hours, and the kind of  unhealthy, life-controlling, obsessive hold that the job takes on people?  Unfortunately, this film was not too far-fetched.  But at least Anne Hathaway got to go places and get free clothes.

I would wake up before the sun, ride 45 minutes on the subway, work for up to 13 hours without any time or space to myself, go back home, have fitful dreams about sorting endless piles of Christian Louboutin shoes, then do it all over again the next day.  For the majority of my time in New York all I got to see was the A and 7 subway lines and the couple of blocks between the Grand Central stop and the Conde Nast building on Third Avenue.

I'm definitely focusing on the negative aspects of my internship at W.  Although I definitely hated it with a burning passion at some points, it was still a good experience.  Like I said, I got not only to see but handle/try on/toss around more designer merchandise than a girl could ever dream of.  All the other interns were great, and it could be a lot of fun just hanging out with them, checking in items and bitching incessantly about the Accessories editors.  I also got to drink Starbucks every day.

I definitely still love fashion.  But now I realize that I love writing and travel even more.  I thought that it would be a dream job to work at a magazine like W, but it turns out that it's not for me.  I'm too sarcastic to take people seriously when they flip out about jewelry trays not being stacked straight.  This winter term helped me realize that, and for this reason I am so glad that I was able to temporarily assume the revered title of "Conde Nastie".  One month, I found, was quite sufficient.  And now I can move on with my life.

Winter Term Recaps

Joanna Johnson

When I heard that watching "animal porn" was one of the necessary responsibilities of working in Professor Cruz's lab, I thought twice about my choice of winter term projects.  I was relieved to learn that this task simply consisted of tracking the matings of our lab opossums, so that we could date the age of the embryos we were studying to the minute of their conception.  My winter term project was conducting research in the developmental biology lab on campus, and learning basic laboratory techniques, including dissection, dehydration and preparation, and staining of slides for microscopic analysis.  I also learned about several current research topics in the field of developmental biology.

My research pertained to progesterone receptors in opossum uteri.  Female opossums do not have a progesterone peak during the second phase, known as the luteal phase, of the estrus cycle.  This may be due to more progesterone receptors in the uterine tissue, creating the same response that a peak in progesterone would initiate.  Alternatively, there may be a different hormone that fulfills the role of progesterone.  It is possible that this hormone is early pregnancy factor (EPF).

EPF is interesting because it is an immuno-suppressant.  Logically, a mother's antigens would attack the foreign tissue of the embryo that is in her body.  However, EPF prevents the immune system from attacking the embryo, allowing for her pregnancy.  The same situation arises in certain autoimmune diseases, such as MS, in which an individual's immune system attacks self-cells.  Expression of EPF in this situation could inhibit attack and prevent degeneration of the tissue.  

I will continue my research this semester, and hope to come to a conclusion by the end of the school year.  However, this will not be the end of my research experience.  My professor has helped me to network with Oberlin Alumni and I have been offered an internship at a professional proteomics lab in Spain this summer.  I would never have imagined that my winter term research would provide me such a great opportunity!