Track and field teams hold own against strong Div. I and Div. III crop

Women’s track competed in the Women’s All-New England Championship at Tufts University on Friday and Saturday, finishing ninth among the 32 Div. I and Div. III schools in attendance. Meanwhile, the men’s team traveled to the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association’s Men’s Indoor Track-and-Field Championships, held on the banked track at Boston University, where Williams finished 12th (13 points) among the 27 Div. I and Div. III teams in attendance. Of the Div. III schools, Wheaton topped out at fifth (36 points), the Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT) at sixth (33) and Tufts at eleventh (15).

The women’s distance-medley relay (DMR) took to the track with a revised line-up for another crack at qualifying for the Div. III NCAA National Championship – now only two weeks away – at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. Kali Moody ’05 led off with a 3:42 in the 1200-meter leg and Afton Johnson ’05 clocked just over 60 seconds in the 400 meters.

Terri O’Brien contributed a 2:20 800-meter run and passed the baton to Jenn Campbell ’05, who battled the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Amy DeCamp and the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) Sarah Casilli through the final 1600 meters. Campbell and Casilli reeled in DeCamp, but Casilli then made a surge that Campbell couldn’t match.

UConn crossed the line in 12:00.55, two-tenths ahead of Williams’s 12:00.79 (still eight seconds under the automatic national-qualifying standard). Both teams were barely short of the meet record of 12:00.50, which the University of Vermont set in the 2000 season.

Colleen Doody ’03 ran another provisional-qualifying time in the 800-meters. In Friday’s preliminary heats, Doody’s 2:16.33 was the fastest in the field. She returned in Saturday’s finals to hit 2:16.76, good for second place overall. Doody also anchored the 4×400-meter relay, which finished fifth in 3:59.72. Claire Samuel ’04 churned out the opening leg; Johnson and Carolyn Shank ’02 represented the second and third positions.

Heather Lindenman ’04, Campbell, O’Brien and Moody, who reassembled to form the 4×800-meter relay squad, ran four consistent splits – between 2:22-high and 2:19-high – to place third with an aggregate 9:25.01. Their effort was six-tenths shy of the school-record 9:24.43, set in 1989.

Katie Marsh ’05 began her Saturday with a break-out 5:16.61 mile, and then reappeared in the 1000-meter finals to place seventh in 3:05.69. Marsh ran 3:05.39 in Friday’s preliminaries. Johanna Heinrichs ’02 crossed the line in 1:21.05 in the 500-meters; Paige McClanahan ’04 was 13th in the 3000-meters with her time of 10:37.32; and Julia Bensen ’03 finished sixth in the 5000-meter run in 17:49.50.

Torrey Baldwin ’04 and Audrey Lumley-Sapanski ’04 were Williams’ only entries in the field events. Baldwin pegged 14.41 meters in the 20-pound weight throw; Lumley-Sapanski marked 10.62 meters in the triple-jump.

Meanwhile, at Boston University, the men’s preliminary heats added two Williams names to the NCAA Division III national-qualifying provisional list in events held on Friday. Kevin Reilly ’02 dropped to 1:54.29 in the open 800-meter run, skating just under the provisional standard of 1:54.60.

Chris Garvin ’03 also broke 1:55 for the first time this season, finishing in 1:54.78. Though Garvin was the ninth fastest time in the field, he did not race in the final. There were three heats of the 800, from which the top two finishers in each advanced, plus the next two fastest times overall. Garvin and Reilly both ran out of the second heat – Reilly was fourth, Garvin fifth, one spot short of the cut-off. Reilly went on to place fourth in the final in 1:55.09.

Matt Winkler ’04 cut down to 4:15.06 in the mile, comfortably below the banked-track provisional of 4:16.50. Shamus Brady ’04 burned five seconds off his previous personal best, breaking the 4:20 barrier in 4:18.16. Winkler raced in the mile finals on Saturday and placed eighth in 4:17.47.

Wes Reutimann ’02 tried to repeat his 5000-meter Div. III New England performance, but with 600 meters remaining in the 3.1-mile race, found that his legs were shot. “I took the lead early in the third mile because I felt the pace was slowing down and I knew that I only had to run even splits to qualify for nationals,” Reutimann recounted.

“I was feeling fine and then all of a sudden I knew I’d made a mistake – I should have just stayed tucked where I’d been. So there wasn’t much I could do after that, and when the other guys went, I couldn’t go with them.” Reutimann finished seventh in 14:57.27.

Garvin and Brady joined Tim Austin ’03, Zach Blume ’02 and Fred Hines ’02 in the four-by-800-meter and distance-medley relays. Brady led off the four-by-800-meter squad; Garvin then ran a 1:56 spilt; Blume clocked a 1:59 third-leg; and Austin anchored for a 7:58.74 total. Blume returned to start the DMR 1200-meters in 3:10; Jeff Ossinger ’05 contributed 400 meters in 53 seconds. Austin, back from the 1000-meter open in which he qualified for the upcoming ECAC Championships with a 2:35.66, ran another 800 meters in 2:03; and Hines closed with the 1600 in 4:31 for an elapsed time of 10:39.42.

Captain Jamiyl Peters ’02 and Val von Arnim ’02 captured third (6.53) and fifth (6.65), respectively, in the 55-meter dash. Von Arnim came back in the 200-meter open with a 22.85. Both sprinters then joined Chuck Jakobsche ’04, who recorded 49.73 in the 400-meter open, and Reilly for the four-by-400-meter relay. Jakobsche opened, Peters and von Arnim maintained and Reilly signed off with a low 49-second split for a 3:19.73, the fastest Div. III time of the day and good enough to qualify provisionally for nationals.

Next week – and for the last time this winter – Williams will return to Tufts for the ECAC Championship. The venue will give athletes their final opportunities to earn a ticket to Ohio, courtesy of the NCAA.