With one week to go before its climactic meet of the season, the Williams College men’s track and field team traveled to Smith College for the annual Last Chance Invitational looking to set or improve qualifying marks for next week’s New England Division III championships, a meet at which the Ephmen will enter as the nine-time defending champions.
The most spectacular performances of the day for Williams came not on the track but instead in the field events. Tri-captain Jason Mirach ’01 surprised no one by winning both the long and triple jumps. In the latter, Mirach broke an important milestone with a personal best jump of 46’ 2″, setting him up as the overwhelming favorite for the New England Championship.
The day actually began not with Mirach’s fine efforts but with an exceptional performance by senior Matt Campanelli in the 35 pound weight throw. His winning mark of 16.00 meters (52’ 6″)was a personal best and qualified him provisionally for the NCAA championships.
The final field event star for the Ephs was Malcolm Perry ’02. Competing in the pole vault, Perry finally established himself as one of New England’s best by clearing 14 feet and taking the victory, smashing his old personal best of 13’ 6″.
The Ephs did nearly as well on the track, capturing first in many events, including the 800-meter dash in which First-Year Chris Garvin held on for the win with a season’s best in the 1 minute 57 second range. Garvin will be counted on to deliver crucial points for the Ephs next week. A big performance will also be needed next week from Reed Harlow ’01, who ran impressively to a third place finish in the 1500 meter run, crossing the line in 4:03.
In the sprints, Mike Schloat ’01 returned from a hamstring injury to post one of the best races of his career, a come-from-behind win in the 200-meter dash. His time of 23.22 seconds may narrowly qualify him for New Englands. The quarter mile was a showdown between speedsters Ed Rossier ’01 and Mike Sheehan ’03.
Rossier, handicapped by being placed in the tight first lane fought hard but come not overcome Sheehan, who was the victor in 50.65 seconds. The two later joined forces along with Clifton Covington ’01 and Miguel Fernandez ’01 to easily take first in the 4 x 400 meter relay.
Next week the team travels to Bates College for the New England Championships. Nearly all observers believe that the meet will be wide open, with at least five teams that could potentially win. In addition to the Ephs, Bowdoin, MIT, Tufts, Springfield, Wheaton, and the host Bobcats will be the challengers in what could be the most competitive championship in years. “No matter what happens,” says captain Mirach, “I’m going to tear the house down.”