Men’s track & field second to MIT

Men’s track and field finished second with 102 points to MIT’s 141 at the 2003 Div. III New England Championships held this weekend at Bates. Springfield was third with 94 points.

“On paper, it doesn’t look good,” Head Coach Ralph White told his team, referring to this weekend’s meet. However, the men remained undaunted, pulling together a series of strong performances in the face of a solid MIT squad.

“We knew we would be behind MIT going in and everyone did their part to pick up points for the team. Unfortunately for us, MIT had a great meet, too,” Neal Holtschulte ’06 said after the meet.

Holtschulte took first with an NCAA provisional qualifying 30:56.16 in the 10000-meter run, topping Sean Nolan of MIT by 15 seconds. “I couldn’t be happier with my race. I went into it thinking I would just be going for place and I ended up with a time that may qualify for nationals and is about 15 seconds off the school record,” Holtschulte said. His first 5k split was 15:31, then he came home with a 15:25, closing the last mile in 4:47.

Neal Hannon ’03 was seventh in the 3000-meter steeplechase at 9:39.68, his personal best. In the 1500-meter run, Matt Winkler ’04 clocked in at 3:51.95 – a personal best, a school record and NCAA provisional qualifying. He was second to Ryan Bak of Trinity College. “I felt really smooth through the first 800 and then went with it. As for the team, I think most everyone had solid performances and placed higher than their seeds going in,” Winkler said.

First place in the 100-meter dash went to John Symanski ’06, who hit the tape in 10.85, defeating MIT’s Zach Traina. Symanski’s time was NCAA provisional qualifying. Chuck Jakobsche ’04 was third in the 400-meter dash, crossing the line in 49.62.

In the 800-meter run, captain Chris Garvin ’03 took first place, finishing in 1:54.57. Karl Remsen ’03 won the 5000-meter run in 14:38.62, topping Pat Vardaro of Bowdoin. Remsen’s time was NCAA provisional qualifying. Mitchell Baker ’04 was 12th, with a personal best of 15:20.96.

In the relays, Williams took first in the 4×400-meters in a time of 3:18.63 (beating Springfield College by one one-hundredth of a second) and fifth in the 4×100 meters with a time of 42.94.

Marcus Burns ’06 was sixth in the high jump, clearing 6’4″. In the pole vault, Dean Carvalho ’04 was fifth with a clean vault of 13’3″. Jeff Ossinger ’05 followed in ninth, clearing 12’3 ¼”.

In the discus throw, Caleb Bliss ’05 placed third with his throw of 149’6″. Captain Trey Wright ’03 was eighth with a throw of 134’4″. Wright was also first in the shot put, improving his previous NCAA provisional qualifying mark to 53’2 ¼”. Bliss was third in the shot put, throwing 50’2 ½”.

“Despite the number of people competing at the meet, I was impressed with our second-place finish,” Wright said. “Many people had to handle simultaneous field events, and several runners weren’t sure which relays they would be running in until the last minute, yet everyone was able to focus and perform to the best of his ability.”

“I am proud of the mental toughness and poise that all the men brought to the meet. It would have been really easy to try too hard or force the issue. But the fact that everyone was confident and calm explains why there were so many performances,” Captain Michael Sheehan ’03 said. “I believe all the guys really wanted to win the meet, but we all know how hard of a fight it was to get second. I hope that this taste of second place will make next year’s squad determined for first.”

Next weekend, the Williams squad will travel to University of New Hampshire for the All New England Track and Field Championships. The 2003 NCAA Div. III Track & Field Championships will be held from May 21 to May 24 at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.

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