Track and field teams run away with 2002 Div. III New Englands

Men’s and women’s track were golden at the 2002 Div. III New England Championships on Saturday. While the women traveled to Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., the men stayed at home to host their opponents at the Plansky Track on Williams’ own Weston Field.

Defending their 2001 titles, the men beat their top rival, the always-talented Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 169.5 to 122 in the final scores, and the women took down Wheaton (though Wheaton arrived at only partial strength) 163 to 133.5.

Third place fell by the wayside in both meets: the Bowdoin men followed MIT with 72 points; Colby’s women put up 55 points behind Wheaton.

The men’s story of the day once again took place in the shot-put circle. Williams’ fearsome foursome – comprised of Dan Austin ’05 (51’ 6.5″), captain Dave Fontes ’02 (49’ 6.5″), Trey Wright ’03 (48’ 9.5″) and Caleb Bliss ’05 (47’ 6.5″) – swept the top four places, accruing 29 points for the team.

Austin’s mark launched him to tenth in the NCAA Div. III national performance rolls, and Fontes’ distance was a new personal best. Wright, still recovering from the ankle sprain he sustained at the NESCAC Championship last weekend, put 48’ from a standing launch – think just arms, with no leg power. Wright’s points were an unexpected surprise for Williams’ coaching staff and helped cushion MIT’s mid-meet onslaught.

Richard Chau ’02 was an individual standout in the hammer throw. Chau exploded with a near eight-foot personal best, hurling the ball-and-wire 182’ 10″ for second place. “I’m happy with it,” he said. “It was a pretty good throw.”

Chau’s effort was ‘pretty good’ enough to automatically qualify him for the NCAA Div. III national championships in three weeks.

Captain Dwight Ho-Sang ’02 and John Phillips ’02 combined for twelve points in the triple-jump. Ho-Sang placed second at 44’ 9″ and Phillips fifth at 43’ 2.5″. Jeff Ossinger ’05 competed in the decathlon last Thursday and Friday, and finished fifth overall.

On the track, Chuck Jakobsche ’04 stunned the field in the preliminaries of the 400-meter dash, stripping a second off of his personal best for 48.27, good for 11th on the national performance lists.

Though Jakobsche ended up second in the finals, he hit 48.66 in the second of what would be three times under 49.0 in the 400-meters on the day. Jakobsche anchored Williams’ winning four-by-400-meter relay team of Kevin Reilly ’02, captain Jamiyl Peters ’02 and Scott Farley ’02 to a time of 3:16.85, the Ephs’ best all year.

Peters, with teammate Val von Arnim ’02, sprinted to distinction in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Peters won the 100-meters in 11.01, out-leaning Springfield’s Jason Jackson (11.06) at the tape, while von Arnim locked up third in 11.11.

Peters then broke 22 seconds in the 200-meters, hitting 21.96 for second behind Eric Benson of Wheaton (21.83). Von Arnim took fourth in a low 22.19.

Karl Remsen ’03 ran away with the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9:08.99, beating long-time rival Justin Easter of Bates. Zach Blume ’02 picked up an eighth-place point in 9:50.67.

Wes Reutimann ‘02 crossed the line fourth in the 5000-meters (3.1 miles) with a season-best 14:53.67, losing third by a step to Ian Bartonicek of the US Coast Guard Academy.

Mitchell Baker ’04 opened the morning in the 10,000-meters (6.2 miles). Baker ran among a pack of ten for nearly four miles before Connecticut College’s Adam Fitzgerald broke away and established a 50-meter gap on the leaders.

Baker moved to run him down in the two miles remaining, but could not recover the distance. Fitzgerald won in 31:58.24, a new Conn. College school record, and Baker followed in 32:17.45.

Captain Ben Chaffee ’02 ran to a personal-best of 32:49.26 in the last home race of his collegiate career and rose to seventh place on the awards stand for his all-New England honors.

Matthew Winkler ’04 and Shamus Brady ’04 ran out of the slower heat of the 1500-meters, but established from the outset their intention to place among the fast guns. The duo traded leads for three laps before stringing out in the final 300 meters – Winkler finished in 3:56.27 and Brady in 3:58.01.

Winkler’s time saw him land in fourth place in the final standings, but Brady missed eighth place by a narrow three hundredths of a second. Brady took his revenge, however, in the 800-meters a short time later.

He blasted from beyond contention into fourth in the fast heat within the race’s closing 100 meters, cranking past several runners too stricken with lactic acid to fight him off. His 1:56.60 put him eighth overall behind teammates Reilly (third in 1:54.81) and Chris Garvin ’03 (fifth in 1:56.13).

The women’s field team was ever consistent, gathering swaths of event points. Anna Swisher ’05 (139’ 3″), captain Diane Williams ’02 (136’ 4″) and Healy Thompson ’03 (134’ 0″) took one-two-three in the discus throw, and Thompson (47’ 8.5″) and Williams (42’ 11″) then combined for first and third in the shot put.

Thompson’s mark is currently the second longest in the country – behind her own previous toss of 48’ 8″.

Thompson also won the hammer throw at 164’ 8″, an automatic-qualifying mark and the third best in the nation thus far. Williams put up 147’ 8″ for fourth, and Torrey Baldwin ’04 snagged eighth place with 143’ 8″.

Joyia Chadwick ’05 placed fifth in the heptathlon, and Meredith Jones ’04 cleared 11’ 0.25″ in the pole vault to tie for second with Cat Tweedie of MIT. Jones (36’ 7.5″) returned in the triple-jump with teammate Audrey Lumley-Sapanski ’04 (36’ 7″) to pair off at sixth and seventh, respectively, a half-inch apart.

Paige McClanahan ’04 took on all comers in the 10,000-meters and outpaced Conn. College’s Jennifer Stieg in the final stages to win, 38:21.28 to 38:22.12. Captain Julia Bensen ’03 ran to a third place finish in the 5000-meters in 18:01.78 behind Mary Proulx of Keene State (17:19.79) and Bowdoin’s Audra Caler (17:58.37).

Danner Hickman ’05 and Laura Bothwell ’02 scored nine points in the 3000-meter steeplechase: Hickman arrived third in 11:29.06 and Bothwell sixth in 11:40.11. Bothwell, in her senior season, is currently running more than 40 seconds ahead of her 3000-meter steeple times from two years ago.

Jenn Campbell ’05 took a break from her own recent steepling races and dropped down to the 1500 meters, where she placed fourth in 4:38.03, just short of the national automatic qualifying standard.

Colleen Doody ’03 came close to her best in the 800-meters in 2:12.72, while Kali Moody ’05 pared down her personal record to 2:15.78.

Captain Janna Rearick ’02 clocked another 57.99 in the 400-meter open, and Claire Samuel ’04 put in 26.26 for fifth in the 200-meter dash. Johanna Heinrichs ’02, making a senior-season return to her hometown of Springfield, scored fourth in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1:05.29. Carolyn Robbs ’04 picked up eighth in 1:06.83.

In the relays, Williams’ four-by-100-meter squad fell in third place (49.78) behind Wesleyan (49.20) and Mt. Holyoke (49.54).

The Ephwomen (3:57.21) were then a distant second to Wheaton (3:50.74) in the four-by-400-meter relay, but won the four-by-800-meter relay in 9:20.96, a full 11 seconds ahead of Amherst’s 9:32.16.

As Williams’ academic year draws to a close, some members of the track and field team will kick off their reading period with a drive to Boston for the 2002 Div. I New England Championships which are being held at Northeastern University next weekend.