Track in top form after MIT, Coast Guard

Both men’s and women’s track and field performed well last weekend against MIT and the Coast Guard on MIT’s home ground. The men placed second with 136.5 points, ahead of the Coast Guard (47 points), but behind MIT (192.5 points). Meanwhile, the women edged out MIT and placed first with 208 points. This weekend’s meet comes on the heels of the pentathlon at Tufts on Friday.

“I was proud of both teams today,” Head Coach Fletcher Brooks said after Saturday’s competition. “The men did better than we expected … we gave MIT a good game of it.”

Isaac Nicholson ’11 and Chris Fogler ’13 started the weekend on Friday, competing in the pentathlon at Tufts. Nicholson’s winning score of 3409 went beyond the provisional NCAA standard of 3350, while Fogler scored a personal best of 3062. At MIT on Saturday, Nicholson and Fogler continued their excellent performances, scoring third in the high jump and 55-meter hurdles, respectively. Meanwhile Tomas Kearney ’12 won the high jump with 1.96 meters and placed second in the long jump and triple jump events. Rusty Cowher ’12 placed second in the weight throw with 15.66 meters and fifth in the shot put with 13.80m, both personal bests.

On the track, Taylor Fitzgerald ’11 won the 400 meter with an impressive 50.86 and placed second in the 200 meter with 23.06. Richard Fusco ’12 won the 600 meter with 1:24.54. Jabulani Blyden ’13 continued the Ephs’ winning streak in the 800 meter, placing first in a time of 1:58.89. Edgar Kosgey ’10 placed first in the 1000 meter with 2:33.31, while Josephat Koima ’12, with 4:22.00, came in second in the mile.

In the longer races of the meet, Connor Kamm ’10 and Corey Watts ’10 had exceptional races: Kamm won the 3000 meter in 8:37.90, while Watts swept the 5000 meter in a time of 15:08.91.

“As far as the meet is concerned, I’d say that MIT was the better team on Saturday, but we competed hard and I think we’re set up well for Div. III’s in two weekends,” co-captain Cullen Roberts ’10 said. “We had some very strong performances; I think we’re just starting to hit our stride.”

The women likewise enjoyed success on both the track and field. “For the third time in as many weeks, they outpaced top New England opposition, showing out trademark breadth and winning the majority of the events as well,” Brooks said.

Five women on the team also competed in the pentathlon on Friday at Tufts, all of whom hit the New England Div. III standard, led by Sara Turner ’11 who placed third with 2812 points. Julie Paschal ’13 qualified for Nationals and tied Kristin Moss’s 2006 college record with a 5’7” high jump.

These strong performances continued during Saturday’s meet. In the field, Paschal won the high jump with 1.60 meters. Tanasia Hoffler ’13, Brooke Johnson ’13 and Kathryn Evans ’12 swept the long jump, placing first, second and third respectively. Williams also dominated the triple jump: Hoffler placed first with a NCAA qualifying distance of 11.36 meters, while Johnson and Karyn Moss ’12 placed second and third. In the shot put, Eileen Becker ’12 placed first with 11.55 meters. Madeline Watson ’12 won the weight throw event with 12.65 meters.

“We were especially dominant in the field on Saturday,” tri-captain Nora Mitchell ’10 said. “Our depth in all events was key in capturing this victory.”

However, the talent did not stall at the field: On the track, tri-captain Elise Johnson ’10 placed first in the 55 meter with 7.64 and third in the 200 meter, also qualifying for NCAAs with her second place finish in the 55-meter hurdles. Hillary Higgs ’12 qualified for NCAAs with her 57.57 win in the 400 meter. Higgs also placed second in both the 55 meter and 200 meter. In the 600 meter, Elizabeth Danhakl ’11 placed second, while Maya Harakawa ’12 placed third. Mitchell won the 800 meter race in 2:20.97, and Elly Teitsworth ’10 and Meghan Shea ’11 placed second in the 3000 meter and 5000 meter, respectively.

“Saturday’s meet was truly a sneak peek at what is to come on the women’s side,” Johnson said. “All our athletes are able to compete in multiple events and score big points.”

Hopes are high as the team heads off to Boston University for the Valentine Invitational on Friday. “We had numerous breakthrough performances, from victories over formidable opponents to individual personal records,” Assistant Coach Peter Farwell said. “[Competing] always sharpens our skills for the New England Div. III championships in two weeks, and there is no doubt we will be ready.” At Boston University, Williams will go up against Boston University, UMass, NYU and the University of Vermont, among other teams.

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