The Williams College men’s track and field team traveled to Hamilton College on Saturday for the 1998 NESCAC championships, hoping to keep alive its five-year win streak. The Ephs, competing without injured All-American thrower David Stuhlsatz ’99, found themselves involved in a nail-biter of a meet, going down to the last event on Sunday evening before claiming victory over second place Bowdoin College, 134-130.5. Colby College placed third with 105, followed by Amherst with 97.
A number of Ephmen stepped up their performances to preserve the streak, which dates to 1993. All-American tri-captain Derek Sasaki-Scanlon ’98, coming back from a debilitating hamstring injury, put on a strong showing in his premiere event, the pole vault, taking first with a height of 4.42 meters. He also placed third in the 110-meter hurdles (15.82 seconds), and sixth in the javelin throw (50.66 meters).
The Eph sprinters truly excelled, led by the stellar performances of the hurdlers. First-year standout Jake Israelow had a great day, starting with a second-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles (15.43). Ed Rossier ’01 was close behind Sasaki-Scanlon, placing fourth in 16.10. In the 400-meter hurdles, Israelow was second once again in a tough field. His time of 54.82 seconds was only a half second shy of the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. Rossier picked up a strong fourth (56.32), while Michael Hickey ’99 claimed fifth (56.87).
Three Eph sprinters qualified for the 100-meter finals, led by Jon Pearson ’00, who placed fourth in 11.49. Tri-Captain Sam Young ’98 was right behind, finishing fifth (11.56), while Chido Alozie ’01 took seventh (11.73). In the 200-meter, Pearson was again the top Eph, placing sixth (23.05). Alozie grabbed eighth (24.09). Earlier in the day Young, Alozie and Pearson teamed up with Rossier to take third place in the 400-meter relay (43.38).
The distance men also had an outstanding two days. Reed Harlow ’01 starting off the scoring on Saturday evening by placing a strong fourth in the grueling 10,000-meter run, with a solid time of 32:30.20. On Sunday, Paul Alsdorf ’99 took the spotlight, placing second in the 1500-meter run (4:00.39), a step behind Rob Mitchell, Amherst’s perennial All-American. This came after Alsdorf had run a school record-breaking 5000-meter at Penn Relays on Thursday. Brendan Burns ’98 placed in the 3000-meter steeplechase as expected, taking fifth in 9:49.60. The Distance Medley Relay team of Yuneng-Li ’99, Israelow, Dave Heald ’01 and Jay Slowik ’01 took sixth on Saturday (10:42.75).
In a very important race late in the meet, three Ephs placed in the 5000-meter. Tim Campbell ran a gutsy final lap to stay ahead of a Bowdoin runner placing second in 15:04.43. Tri-captain Jeff Edmonds ’99 was sixth in 15:15.67, while Dan McCue ’99 finished seventh in 15:17.59.
The jumping events were also very strong for the Ephmen. Jason Mirach ’01 started off an excellent meet by taking third in the triple jump with a personal record leap of 13.47 meters. Alex Wong ’99 was seventh (12.72 meters). Mirach came back on Sunday to place second in the long jump, with another excellent performance (6.21 meters). Wong stepped up big to take sixth (6.01 meters), and Alozie continued his long day with an eighth place jump of 5.86 meters. Jason Wilson chipped in some important points by placing fifth in the high jump (1.82 meters).
When the final event, the 1600-meter relay, rolled around, the meet was still in doubt. The Williams team of Rossier, Young, Hickey and Aaron Decamp ’99 ran a great race to grab fourth place (3:24.76) and clinch the overall title. On a weekend when every point counted, performances like eighth place finishes by Tom Douglas ’01 (pole vault) and Matt Campanelli ’01 (Hammer throw) did not go unnoticed.