the men’s track and field team traveled to Boston University for the Div. I Open New England Championships. The meet extended over both Friday and Saturday and saw the Ephs compete against athletes from colleges of all divisions. The UConn Huskies were the eventual team champions, but the Ephs continued their streak of solid performances to finish as the first place Div. III team, ninth place overall.
In Friday’s preliminary heat of the 200 meter dash co-captain Deividas Seferis ’09 ran a personal-best time of 21.91 seconds, the third-fastest time in Williams history, to qualify for the finals. Seferis would go on to place third in the finals of the 200, while Taylor Fitzgerald ’11 ran to an eighth-place finish in the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.71 seconds.
Viktor Nagy ’12 continued his impressive string of races, covering 500 meters in 64.81 seconds, only .07 seconds slower than the 28-year-old school record. Nagy’s time was good enough for a sixth-place finish at the meet and places him second on the all-time Williams list.
Geoff Rodriguez ’11, Andy Morgosh ’12, Brooks Van Udelsman ’09 and co-captain Macklin Chaffee ’09 represented Williams in the 1000 meter race, with Chaffee successfully qualifying for the finals. After running a relaxed 2:30.00 in the preliminary race, Chaffee ran away from the field in the finals to win the Open New England title in the 1000 in a school record time of 2:26.82.
Assistant Coach Mitch Baker explained the strategy behind Chaffee’s races: “We treated the prelims and finals of the 1000 as a dry run for the National meet where Macklin will have to qualify for the finals in the mile out of a preliminary heat. The goal is to ensure qualification in Friday’s preliminary heat and then put forth an all-out effort on Saturday.” Chaffee had slightly less to say about his school record, simply saying, “It hurt.”
In the 5000 meter race Ryan Ford ’09 and Brendan Christian ’09 ran times of 15:37 and 14:49 respectively. Christian’s time of 14:49 not only gave him a personal-best time and a fourth-place finish, but also placed him ninth all-time in Williams history, thus capping off a successful senior season that saw him win the Div. III New England title at 5000 meters.
The 4×400 meter relay team also took to the track, hoping to improve on its nation-leading time of 3:16.04. The team of Seferis, Rich Fusco ’12, Nagy and Fitzgerald stayed in contention for most of the race before finishing fourth with a time of 3:17.25. While slightly slower than two weeks ago, the time still ranks the team sixth on the all-time list for Williams. Nagy weighed in on the team’s performance, saying, “We all feel we’re capable of doing a better job, and we’re looking forward to Nationals where we can focus exclusively on our relay and hopefully win.”
Baker summed up the team’s performance: “We might have been a little tired after getting up for Div. IIIs last weekend, but everything is pointing us in the right direction for Nationals and for the outdoor season.”
Next weekend will be the first break for the men in almost two months. Chaffee and the 4×400 relay team will then resume competition at the National meet on March 13, provided that their qualifying times hold up for one more weekend.