On Saturday men’s track and field headed to Conn. College to compete in the outdoor NESCAC Championships. After performing at a high level in the past two weeks the Ephs were favored to win the meet, with rivals Tufts and Bates seeded close behind. The NESCAC meet limits each school to a maximum of three athletes in a given event and points are awarded to the top eight finishers.
Despite a few setbacks for Williams throughout the course of the day, the men capped a successful meet by taking home the title with relative ease. Williams accumulated a total of 153.5 points while Bates finished second with 116.5 points, narrowly edging third place Tufts by half a point. With this year’s title, Williams has now won NESCACs 17 of the past 18 years and the last nine years consecutively.
After losing co-captain Deividas Seferis ’09 to a hamstring injury at the beginning of the day, the men knew that they would have to outperform their seeds in many events in order to hold off Tufts and Bates.
Beginning the meet with the 10k, the trio of Anthony Raduazo ’12, Corey Watts ’10 and Ryan Ford ’09 ran well to finish third, fifth and ninth, with Raduazo and Watts picking up valuable points. Shortly after, Steve Van Wert ’09 collected another point by finishing eighth in the steeplechase in a time of 9:50.19.
In the 1500 co-captain Macklin Chaffee ’09 challenged multiple-time national champion Peter Kosgei of Hamilton before finishing second in a time of 3:54.95. Brian Cole ’11 followed five seconds behind in sixth place. In the 800 the Ephs were allowed to enter five athletes, two more than normally allowed, because all five were ranked in the top 16 in the NESCAC. Cole completed his tough double by finishing fifth in the race, but the other Ephs finished outside of the top eight scoring positions in what was certainly the deepest field of any event contested.
Pierre-Alexandre Meloty-Kapella ’10 had another impressive day, finishing third in the 100 meter dash with time of 11.26 seconds and fifth in the 200 meter dash. Taylor Fitzgerald ’11 was Williams’ top performer in the 200, finishing in second place with a time of 22.64 seconds.
In the 400 Williams got off to a shaky start when Viktor Nagy ’12 was disqualified for a false start. After restarting the race, Fitzgerald sprinted his way to victory in 48.97 seconds. Co-captain Alex Hoerman ’09 finished on Fitzgerald’s heels in third place while Rich Fusco ’12 took home 10th.
Williams collected yet more points in the hurdle events. In the 110 meter hurdles Matt Sullivan ’11 equaled his time of 15.55 seconds from last week’s Little Three meet. Later, in the 400 meter hurdles, Stew Buck ’09 continued his streak of phenomenal performances by winning the event and setting another season best time of 54.85.
The Ephs also cleaned up in the relays, handily winning the 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays.
The high jump was supposed to be an event where Tufts would pick up points, but with Isaac Nicholson ’11 finishing second, Eric Jonash ’09 finishing third and Tomas Kearney ’12 finishing fourth, Williams actually outscored Tufts by 17 points in the event. The jumpers continued their hot streak in the long jump, where Nicholson and Steve Rubin ’11 finished sixth and seventh, and in the triple jump, where Rubin and Kearney finished third and seventh.
Rusty Cowher ’12 finished sixth in the shotput and Nate Newburg ’09 closed out his Williams career with a 10th place finish. Cowher then improved on his sixth place finish in the shot put by challenging for the NESCAC title in the discus throw, eventually finishing only one foot behind the winner in second place. In the hammer throw, Matt Farley ’11 came within two feet of his season best mark with his throw of 158’2” and placed third.
After proving themselves on the NESCAC level, the Ephs will take on the rest of New England at Saturday’s Div. III New England Championships at Springfield.