Tracksters sprint to eighth straight NE Championship

Motivated by tough competition, the Williams College men’s track and field team arrived at Middlebury College on Saturday for the New England Division III Championships. With an astounding team effort in which 15 individuals scored points, the team captured its eighth consecutive title. The top five team scores were Williams (83), Springfield College (61), Brandeis University (56), MIT (54.5), Bowdoin College (53).

Before the meet, Assistant Coach JR Gaige predicted that the team would win if his distance runners could score 20 points or more. Little did he know that two Ephs would nearly reach that mark in the first event of the competition.

All-American Paul Alsdorf ’99 and Dan McCue ’99 scorched the field in the 10,000-meter run and placed first and second respectively. Alsdorf’s time of 30:49.57 was a personal record (PR) and an NCAA automatic mark, while McCue’s time of 31:12.92 was also a PR and an NCAA provisional mark.

In the 5000-meter, Tim Campbell ’01 raced beautifully to finish fourth in 14:50.24, a PR and a provisional mark. Tri-Captain Jeff Edmonds ’99 and Reed Harlow ’01 also ran PRs in that event. Yuneng Li ’99 ran an excellent race to place seventh in the 1500-meter run, and rounding out the scoring in the distance events was Brendan Burns ’98, who ran well to place sixth in the 3000-meter steeplechase (9:31.40).

The Eph sprinters were led once again by the hurdle crew. In the 110-meter high hurdles Jake Israelow ’01 (15.53), Ed Rossier ’01 (15.63), and tri-captain Derek Sasaki-Scanlon ’98 (15.83) placed third, fourth and fifth respectively. Later, Israelow and Rossier came back to repeat their placings in the 400-meter hurdles with times of 54.58 and 55.11, both PRs. Michael Hickey ’99 also ran a PR to finish sixth (56.00).

Two sprinters stepped up their performances to take fourth place finishes: Aaron Decamp ’99 in the 400-meter (50.75) and Chido Alozie ’01 in the 100-meter (11.20). Jon Pearson ’00 was seventh in the 100 (11.35) before coming back to place eighth in the 200 (22.68).

A good performance in the field events clinched the victory. Sasaki-Scanlon showed the field that he’s still the man in the pole vault, clearing 14’ 9″ on his first attempt for the win. All-American David Stuhlsatz ’99 came back from injury to place third in both the shot put (52’6.5″) and the discus throw (153’3″), while Jason Mirach ’01 brought home sixth place in the long jump with a leap of 21’1″).

The final event of the day saw the 1600-meter relay team of tri-captain Sam Young ’98, Decamp, Alozie and Cliff Covington ’01 place a strong fifth in 3:25.22.

The future looks bright for the Ephs. Of the team’s 83 points, 30 were scored by first year student-athletes. A select number of trackies will journey to Northeastern University for the Division I New England Championships on Saturday, with NCAAs looming two weeks ahead.

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