Men’s track and field ‘rise to the occasion,’ claim first place at NESCAC Championship

Despite piercing cold and a more or less persistent drizzle, men’s track and field dominated at this year’s NESCAC Championships. In a competitive field with ten other schools, the Ephmen scored 135 points, leading second place Tufts by 15.5.

Athletes and spectators crowded under the covered grandstand at Plansky Track to avoid bouts of heavy rain. It was a small crowd, but the meet coincided with family weekend and few parents could be deterred from coming down to watch their sons and daughters compete.

The meet kicked off with the 10,000 meter run. Neal Holtschulte ’06 placed third in 31:27.33 with negative splits. Adrian Martinez ’06 finished 17th in 43:21.23. In the 5000, Neal Hannan ’03 accomplished a personal best of 15:17.50 with a strong kick at the end to finish fourth. Mitchell Baker ’04 ran a gutsy race to finish seventh in 15:23.66. Andy Golden ’03 finished 16th in 15:47.55.

The meet paused after the 5K for the national anthem. Eric Daub ’04 performed the anthem and charged the air with powerful brass notes from his trumpet.

In the 100 meter, Phillip Raab ’06 finished seventh with a time of 11:39. John Symanski ’06 also competed for Williams in the dash, but was unable to make finals.

No purple and gold jerseys graced the 200 meter dash, which was won by Olamide Harrison of Hamilton College. But fabulous performances were aplenty in the 400 meter dash, which overshadowed the Ephs’ absence in the 200. Captain Michael Sheehan ’03 sprinted into second with a personal best of 48.55. Chuck Jakobsche ’04 crossed the line just behind Sheehan in 48.71. Tommy Hall ’06 placed 12th with a time of 51.06.

The Ephmen scored well in the 1500. Karl Remsen ’03, after having set a personal record at the Penn Relays only a few days earlier, won this race with another personal record of 3:58.14. Matt Winkler ’04 nudged out Bates’ Justin Eastern for second in 3:58.58. Tim Austin ’03 finished 12th in 4:10.38.

The 800 was heavily populated with Ephs. First place fell to Chris Garvin ’03 with a solid performance and a time of 1:54.54. Winkler claimed eighth for Williams in 1:58.16. George Rodriguez ’06 set a personal record of 1:58.97, good enough for 11th. Rodriguez also set a personal best at the end of the day on his leg of the 4×400 relay. Jeff Delaney ’05 finished 20th with 2:02.79.

Pat Moffet of Wesleyan won the 110 meter hurdles, though no Williams athletes participated in the race. Racing in the 400 meter hurdles for the first time in his brief career, Brian Lowe ’06 took 14th in 1:00.18. Sean Clifford ’05 picked up 15th with 1:00.50. Jamie Kingsbery ’06 clocked 1:02.02 for 17th.

In the 4×100 meter relay, the Williams team of Raab, Michael Sheehan ’03, the Fox brothers, (Fumimasa Fox ’05 and Masahiko Fox ’05) passed the baton around the track in 44.54 seconds to take seventh.

The temperature provided an extra incentive for steeplers to avoid the water. Ross Smith ’05 Williams accomplished this and more, placing fourth with a personal record of 10:07.50. Sean O’Brien cleared the barriers to cross the line in 10:51.00 for 16th.

The distance medley relay team, consisting of Austin on the 1200 meter leg, Raab (400), Delaney (800), and Garvin (1600) finished sixth in 10:34.90.

In the 4×400, sprinters Sheehan, Hall, Rodriguez, and Jakobsche just missed the Tufts and Bowdoin team to place third, completing the aggregate mile in 3:20.64.

Williams’ jumpers performed well, with the pole vault standing out in particular. Dean Carvalho ’04 and Jeff Ossinger ’05 both raised the bar over previous personal bests. Carvalho vaulted 14’6″ for third place. Ossinger vaulted 13’6″ for ninth. Ossinger also placed second in the long jump with a 21’10″ jump.

In the high jump Markus Burns ’06 leapt 6’5″ into first place. Kyle McDermott ’05 placed eighth with a 5’9″ jump. McDermott also competed in the long jump. His 20’6.5″ jump put him in seventh. The third Williams long jumper, Burns, took the eighth spot with a 20’5.5″ jump. He followed this up with a tenth place finish in the long jump with a 40’6.5″ leap. This mark placed him just ahead of Matt Greenawalt ’06, who bounded a distance of 40’6″.

True to form, Williams throwers racked up a significant number of points. In the shot put, Trey Wright ’03 hurled the ball well ahead of second place with a throw of 16.1 meters. Caleb Bliss ’05 took third with a 14.6 meter throw, while Aaron Wilson ’04 placed 11th sending the shot 12.62 meters.

In the discus, Bliss took first, hurling the discuss 42.71 meters, and Wright followed in fourth with a 42.18 meter throw. Wilson threw 34.55 meters, good for 17th. In the hammer throw, Joseph O’Brien ’05 placed seventh, flinging the hammer 46.46 meters for a personal best. Bliss, in his third event, followed O’Brien for 9th with a 43.85 meter throw. Sean Clifford ’05 represented Williams in the javelin and speared 41.77 meters for 12th.

Coach White was pleased with the men’s performances. “The team rose to the occasion,” he said. In particular, he pointed out impressive performances by the Ephmen in the 1500, pole vault and throwing events. Indeed, the weather neither dampened the team’s spirit nor chilled their muscles – the team score and individual records are the perfect indication.

Next week, the women’s team will be home and the men will be at Bates for the New England Div. III championships.

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