Track & field teams cruise at NESCACs

Men’s and women’s track defended their titles at the 2002 NESCAC Championship, held Saturday and Sunday at the brand new Russell Street Outdoor Track facility at Bates.

Saturday was sunny, but brisk for opening events as temperatures dropped through the afternoon and a steady, stiff breeze met runners down the track’s backstretch.

Sunday brought more cold and a mix of rain and sleet, forcing some of the jumps to the indoor track. Those who remained outside, however, bundled up against the weather and watched Williams run away with the meet.

The women’s team cruised to its seventh NESCAC crown in the past nine years, posting a team score of 208, 107.5 points better than second-place Tufts.

The weekend’s top honors on the women’s side went to the Ephs’ Colleen Doody ’03 and co-captain Janna Rearick ’02, who shared the 2002 Sebastianski Award for Most Outstanding Performer in the NESCAC.

Doody won both the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes in 25.91 and 57.08, respectively; led off for the winning four-by-800-meter relay team, which cruised to a 9:12.55 final; anchored the second-place four-by-100-meter relay team to a 49.52; and ran third-leg for the winning four-by-400-meter relay, which clocked in at 3:59.16, despite pelting sleet.

Rearick set a new NESCAC record in the 800-meter with a time of 2:12.86 – which boosts her to third on the current national performance rolls – and anchored both the four-by-400-meter and four-by-800-meter relays.

Backing up Doody and Rearick with strong showings of their own were Claire Samuel ’04 and Kali Moody ’05. Samuel was second in the 400-meter dash with a 58.67 time, and she ran on both the four-by-100 and four-by-400-meter relays. Moody placed third in the 800-meter open in 2:17.50, and ran a critical leg in the four-by-800-meter relay.

Women’s co-captain Diane Williams ’02 set a new NESCAC record in the discus with her throw of 144’8″ and placed second in the shot put with a 42’11″ mark.

Anna Swisher ’05 was right behind her teammate in the shot put with a fourth-place throw of 39’4.5″.

Torrey Baldwin ’04 won the hammer throw with a whip of 155’6″. Christin Campbell ’04 set a new Williams school record in the javelin, arcing 119’2″ to move ahead of the 115’7″ posting by Brenda Start in 1995.

Meredith Jones ’04 broke her own school record in the triple jump with her third-place distance of 36’10.25″.

The largest fall of the day came in the heptathlon, which Joyia Chadwick ’05 was one event away from winning before fouling out of the javelin, giving her no points in the event. Her scores in the other six, however, were enough for her to place sixth overall with a cumulative total of 3581 points.

Another close call came in the 1500-meter, where Heather Lindenman ’04 made a move to win in the last lap, taking the lead on the final curve and motoring toward the finish, but was unable to hold off Bates’ Kelly Puglisi and Bowdoin’s Elizabeth Barney. All three crossed the line within a stride of each other – Puglisi in 4:48.17, Barney in 4:48.51 and Lindenman in 4:48.52.

Paige McClanahan ’04 paced to a smart 18:12.89 in the 5000-meter. McClanahan, who had the benefit of racing in the morning before the weather system moved in, worked alongside Bowdoin All-American Audra Caler and Trinity’s Leeann Rheaume for 11 laps before Caler and Rheaume kicked away in the final 600 meters.

Continuing the women’s dominance, Jenn Campbell ’05 set a new NESCAC record in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Campbell gapped the field, which included Hamilton’s cross-country All-American Jen Cammarano , with a mile remaining and never looked back, giving herself a 70-meter lead to win in 10:58.82, currently the second-fastest time in the country. Danner Hickman ’05 ran to fifth overall in 11:34.13.

Afton Johnson ’05 ran 1:05.59 to finish second overall in the 400-meter hurdles, leading in teammates Carolyn Shank ’02 and Johanna Heinricks ’02, who placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in 1:06.10 and 1:07.29. Julie O’Donnell ’05 held onto sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with 17.01.

Co-captain Julia Bensen ’03 was not in attendance, but traveled to Philadelphia instead to race at the Penn Relays, where she ran an automatic national-qualifying time of 36:17 in the 10,000 meters (6.2 miles).

The throwing crew once again led the men’s charge to the championship, sweeping the top four places in the shot put and the top three in the discus as the Ephmen won first overall with a total of 216 team points, better than Bowdoin’s 137.5 and Tufts’ 117.

Trey Wright ’03 won the shot at 51’0.25″, but twisted his ankle in the process and, packed in ice, sat out the duration of the meet.

His teammates, however, picked up the slack. First-year standout Dan Austin ’05, just back from the Penn Relays himself, placed second behind Wright with a 50’5.5″ heave. Co-captain Dave Fontes ’02 (46’9.5″) and Caleb Bliss ’05 (46’0″) followed. Austin went on to win the discus at 164’1″, with Bliss second at a personal-best 149’11″ and Richard Chau ’02 third at 135’9″.

Malcolm Perry ’02 enjoyed another day above 15 feet in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 15’6.25″ for the win and out-skying his closest competitor by over a foot. Kali Gairy ’04 hit 6’5″ in the high jump for second, with Kyle McDermott ’05 making noise at fourth with his height of 6’0.75″.

Williams star Val von Arnim ’02 left the NESCAC sprinters in the dust on Saturday, winning both the 100- (11.12) and 200-meter dashes (22.14).

Co-captain Jamiyl Peters ’02 grabbed second in the 100-meter, four hundredths of a second behind von Arnim at 11.16, but was disqualified from the 200-meter for a lane violation.

A zone official on the curve determined that Peters stepped on the line separating his lane from the one adjacent. Both von Arnim and Peters contributed again in the four-by-100-meter and four-by-400-meter relays.

The four-by-100-meter squad clocked 43.14 for second place behind Colby; the four-by-400-meter foursome closed the day in the slush as the last event on the track, crossing the line alone in first in 3:20.91.

Chuck Jakobsche ’04, anchor for the four-by-400-meter relay and fourth in the 200-meter dash in 22.72, won the 400-meter open in 49.20. Relay teammate Kevin Reilly ’02 combined with Chris Garvin ’03 in the 800-meter to wrap up first and second, respectively, in 1:54.59 and 1:55.15.

Matt Winkler ’04 and Shamus Brady ’04 worked as a similar duo in the 1500-meter, trading the lead for the chase pack behind the race’s front-runner, Trinity’s All-American Ryan Bak, and squeaking through the finish in third and fifth overall with times of 4:01.83 and 4:02.44, respectively.

In the steeplechase, Karl Remsen ’03 powered to 9:11.43, one of the fastest Div. III times recorded in the country thus far. He hung onto fellow All-American steeple
r Justin Easter from Bates, both gunning from the outset with a 68-second first lap, bent on qualifying themselves for the national championships despite the inclement weather.

Zach Blume ’02 held off an oncoming Bates runner for fifth in 10:00.32, running five laps of his race with an untied shoe.

Wes Reutimann ’02 tucked in behind Bowdoin’s Pat Vardaro in the closing laps of the 5000 meters, but couldn’t cover Vardaro’s kick. Reutimann finished in 14:56.66 to Vardaro’s 14:50.87.

Both were hoping for somewhat faster times, but Reutimann had already hit rock bottom with three laps to go and was simply doing what he could to maintain contact. Nursing a quad strain, he has recorded only 10-15 running miles each of the last two weeks, making up the rest of his training time in the pool.

Mitchell Baker ’04 made a brilliant debut in the 10,000-meter run, pacing through 6.2 miles of lead-trading and wind-cutting on the backstretch to place sixth in 32:13.52. Baker will likely race the 10,000-meters again in the season’s last month.

Next week the men stay home to host the Men’s Div. III New England Championship, while the women head to Springfield for their own Div. III New England event.

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