The Williams men’s track team traveled to Springfield last Saturday to compete in the New England Division III championships. Springfield, world famous as the birthplace of basketball, was a decidedly less than ideal setting for track on Saturday, with brutally hot and humid weaher beginning in the early morning.
Undeterred by the conditions and resolved to bounce back from a disappointing indoor showing, the Ephmen took to the track, pits and throwing circles with determination. Accordingly, the Williams athletes had more than their share of great performances.
In almost every event, the Ephs outperformed their seeding, scoring more than they were expected to. They finished a strong second place behind only the host team, Springfield College. The final team standings were Springfield (123 points), Williams (96) and Bates (83).
Williams gained a measure of redemption against Bates after losing to the Bobcats at the NESCAC championships the week before. Even more important, the Ephs showed that their uncharacteristically spotty performance at the indoor New England Div. III meet, where they finished fourth, was an anomaly.
Williams scored points in bunches right from the start. In the first event of the day, the 10,000 meter run, Dusty Lopez ’01 took second place with a time of 32:31. Also notable was Ben Chaffee ’02, who made a tremendous improvement over the year to qualify for New Englands.
The next running event belonged to the Eph sprinters, as the 4×100 meter relay team of tri-captain John Berry ’00, Jon Pearson ’00, Mike Schloat ’01, and Chido Alozie ’01 brought home one of the two championships for Williams. The team ran an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 41.98 seconds.
Tim Campbell ’01 also qualified provisionally for the NCAA meet by winning the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9:16. Campbell overwhelmed a strong field laden with All-Americans, taking his second consecutive New England steeplechase title. Karl Remsen ’03 ran impressively as well, taking sixth place in 9:35.
The Eph added more point in the 100-meter dash. Valentin von Armin ’02 and Alozie finished sixth and seventh in 11.31 and 11.52 seconds, respectively. In the 800 meter run, standout first-year Chris Garvin ran a personal-best time of 1:55.31 to place sixth before succumbing to a severely upset stomach.
In the finals of the 400-meter hurdles, Ed Rossier ’01 ran an NCAA provisional time of 53.71 and took second place, holding off a strong charge from the third place runner. Doubling back from the relay, Schloat finished fifth in the 200-meter dash in 22.57. Wes Reutimann ’02 laid waste to a tremendously talented field in the 5000-meter run, taking second place in 15:07.
While the Eph runners were asserting themselves on the track, the jumpers were continuing their season-long excellence. Manny Benjamin ’01 finished third in the triple jump with a leap of 44’ 10.25”, followed by tri-captain Jason Mirach ’01 and his fifth place jump of 43’ 9”. Dwight Ho-Sang ’02 also scored, placing seventh by jumping 42’ 11.5”. Mirach also captured fourth place in the long jump with a distance of 22’ 6.5”.
The Eph throwers provided a huge contribution as usual, led by Matt Campanelli ’00’s NCAA provisional mark of 174’ 2”, good for fourth place. In the shot put, Trey Wright ’03 placed third with a throw of 48’ 4.5”. Tri-captain Bob Blackstone ’00 was right behind in fourth with his heave of 48’ 1.25”, and Dave Fontes ’02 tacked some more points on the Ephs’ total with his seventh place, 47’ 5” effort.
Although the NCAA meet awaits some Ephs, New Englands is traditionally the focal point of the team’s season. After the subpar winter season, earning redemption and demonstrating resiliency were the team goals for the spring, and both were convincingly achieved on Saturday.