When Tri-Captain and leading point scorer, Derek Sasaki-Scanlon ’98 plunged from the air and fell into the sand clutching his leg during the long jump competition early Saturday, things looked very grim for the Williams College Men’s Track and Field Team. Most people watching the meet at Bowdoin College’s Farley Field House must have believed that for the first time in seven years, a team other than Williams would be taking home the Division III New England championship trophy. However, the Ephs refused to let over half a decade of dominance of this meet slip away.
With a marvelous team effort, Williams triumphed by two points over rival MIT to take its seventh straight New England Division III championship. Early on things went according to plan. Sasaski-Scanlon arrived at Bowdoin a day early to compete in the pentathlon and won with a score of 3350 points.
In the first event on Saturday, Jason Mirach ’01 earned All-New England honors by placing sixth in the triple jump (43’ 3″). And before his injury, Sasaki-Scanlon had jumped well enough to place fourth in the long jump. With Sasaki-Scanlon finished for the day, spirits began to fall.
NCAA qualifier David Stuhlsatz ’99 began the resurrection by winning the shot put with Herculean heave of 53’ 11″. In the 55-meter dash, Chidozie Alozie ’01 took third place in 6.70 seconds. Jon Pearson ’00 was right behind him duplicating his fourth place performance from a year ago.
Jacob Israelow ’01 was impressive in the 55-meter hurdles, placing fourth in 8.07 seconds. In the 800-meter run, Jay Slowik ’01 came out of the unseeded section to place sixth (1:59.10). Then in the 1000-meter run, Tri-captain Jeff Edmonds ’99 placed fourth in 2:35.11. Brendan Burns ‘98 also contributed 2 points by placing fifth in the 5000-meter (15:24.08).
The 3000-meter run provided Williams with its biggest boost, as three Ephs placed in the top four. Paul Alsdorf ’99 was the winner, crossing the line in a superb time of 8:35.61. First-Year Tim Campbell was third (8:37.79), followed closely by Dan McCue ‘99 in fourth place (8:38.51). All three athletes set personal records, and this event alone provided Williams with 20 team points.
Even with the Ephs strong performance, the meet came down to the final three events, the relays. First of the three was the distance medley relay. Despite a solid run, the team of Ben Chaffin ’98, Cliff Covington ’01, Dan Williamson ’01, and Reed Harlow ’01 could not catch fourth-place MIT and lost two points to the Engineers in the overall standings.
The meet climax came in the next event, the 1600-meter relay. Ed Rossier ‘01 blazed out of the blocks in inspired fashion to give Williams the lead, Tri-captain Sam Young ’98 ran an extremly solid second leg, Alozie ran brilliantly in third despite a painful foot injury and Aaron Decamp ‘99 anchored the team to a third-place finish in a great time of 3:26.54. MIT placed out of the points in seventh, clinching the victory for Williams.
“Finally it wasn’t just ‘Team Derek,’ it was ‘Team Williams’,” declared tired but jubilant Head Coach Kristen Morwick just before the team gathered together to hoist the trophy that no other school has touched since 1992. A smaller group of Ephs will travel to Boston U. on Saturday for the Division I New England Championships.