Men’s, women’s track open indoor season at Dartmouth

Men’s indoor track placed third on Sunday at the Dartmouth Relays while the women, who are the reigning NCAA indoor champions, finished seventh out of 26 teams. The men lost only to Dartmouth (86.33 points) and Northeastern (67.33 points), which both boast NCAA Div. I track programs. Northeastern won the women’s meet with an impressive 88.5 points, followed by Dartmouth with 49.25 and Universite de Sherbrooke took third. The Williams women finished with 26 points.

The men displayed talent across a number of events, but the top scores came from distance runners. Macklin Chaffee ’09 earned first place in the mile with a strong early-season time of 4:17.31, and seven Eph runners also toed the line. Corey Watts ’10 finished in first-place in the 5000, defeating Merrimack Valley’s Jim Johnson by two seconds with his 15:37.31 time.

“At first I was angry because I had to lead [the race],” Chaffee said. “I was surprised when [Kevin] Kelleher [from Keene State] took over and no one else passed me. Then, I was much more surprised when kicking home [for the victory].”

Matt Sullivan ’11 finished fifth in the 60 hurdles in 8.92 seconds. Mack Brickley ’08 crossed the line one place better in the 800, finishing fourth beneath the 2-minute mark in a time of 1:59.21. Taylor Fitzgerald ’11 rounded out the solid individual sprint squad performances by taking sixth in the 400 meter dash in a quick 51.95 seconds.

Eph jumpers fared well for the men’s team, taking home three top-10 finishes in the triple and long jumps. John Dingee ’10 cleared 13.12 meters to claim third place in the triple jump. David Kessel ’08 cleared 11.82 meters in the triple to land 10th place. In the long jump, Joe Song ’08 soared 6.28 meters on his way to 10th place as well.

Andrew DeSalvo ’08 led the throws squad with a fourth place finish, throwing the shotput 14.91 meters.

Sara Wild ’11 and Ariel Williams ’10 helped lead the way for the women. In the 800 Wild finished second in 2:19.45 and was trailed closely by Williams who finished fractions of a second later for third place. In the 60 Carrie Plitt ’08 placed 12th in a time of 8.23. Plitt later placed eighth in the 400 followed closely by teammate Katie Dupre ’10 in 12th.

The women also had strong finishes in the distance races. Three Eph runners placed in the top 11 of the mile with Lissy Robie ’08 finishing eighth in 5:10.63, Laura Walls ’08 in ninth and Bret Scofield ’10 in 11th.

The Ephs found more success in the relay events. In the distance medley Williams claimed third and fourth place. The women’s A 4×400 relay also placed third in a time of 4:04.89.

The women struggled in the field events with the best finishes from Ephs Sara Turner ’11 and Rachel Teitelbaum ’11 who placed 14th in the high jump and pole vault respectively.

Assistant Coach Mitchell Baker regarded the Dartmouth meet as an important steppingstone as the season gets under way. It is a meet that begins the indoor season for many teams, both high school and collegiate.

“[The Dartmouth Relays] provide valuable experience prior to larger meets, so that we’ll be more race-prepared mentally and physically,” Baker said. “It served as a rust-buster for us. It’s essentially a high-intensity run-through of meets in the future.”

Both the men and the women will compete at the Williams Invitational on Saturday.

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