Strong track performance sets the bar for Div. III championship

Men’s and women’s indoor track and field had a jam-packed two days last weekend with two meets: The team competed in the Boston University Valentine Invitational on Friday, followed by the MIT Co-ed Invitational on Saturday. At both BU’s banked track and MIT’s standard flat 200-meter oval track, there were many excellent performances that qualified students for ECACs, Div. III Open New Englands and the Div. III NCAA Championships.

The Ephs proved that they could rise to any challenge at the MIT meet on Saturday. On the men’s team, Daniel Waters ’11 finished fifth in the 800 meter with 2:08.87 and Andy Morgosh ’12 swept the 1000 meters with his first-place time of 2:40.72. Williams was strongly represented in the 3000 meter, as Daniel Silver ’13 placed fifth in 9:19.68, and teammates Wade Davis ’13, Sam Blackshear ’10, Jason Rapaport ’11 and Steve Mendoza ’13 followed close behind in sixth through ninth places, respectively.

There were also impressive performances at MIT from the women’s team, as tri-captain Elise Johnson ’10 won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.47. Meanwhile, Maya Harakawa ’12 ran 1:02.86 in the 400 meter to place second. Rebecca Fine ’13 was victorious in the 600 meter and qualified for ECACs with her blistering time of 1:40.58, and teammate Effua Sosoo ’13 placed fifth in the same event, qualifying for Div. III New Englands in a solid time of 1:44.13. Strong performances continued on the track as Alysha McElroy ’11 placed fifth in the 800 meter with 2:29.35 and Lizzy Danhakl ’11 won the 1000 meter in 3:08.56.

Both teams competed at BU on Friday. The men had a number of standout performances: Anthony Raduazo ’12 placed 17th out of almost 100 competitors in the 5000 meter with his time of 14:52.92. In the 3000 meter, Edgar Kosgey ’10 placed in the top 30, running the race in just 8:27.23. Richard Fusco ’12, with his time of 1:05.87, placed 17th in the 500 meter.

Meanwhile, the women truly made their mark amongst well over a hundred other competitors, many of them Div. I runners. In the 500 meter, tri-captain Nora Mitchell ’10 placed in the top 10: Her time of 1:18.36 qualified her for Open New Englands. In the one mile, Olga Kondratjeva ’10 ran a blistering 5:10.25. Hillary Higgs ’12 and Johnson performed well in the 200 meter, placing tenth and 17th with times of 25.21 and 25.66, respectively. Johnson also had a great performance in the 55 meter preliminaries, which she ran in a Div. III NCAA qualifying time of 8.50. Jennifer Gossels ’13 ran an exceptional 5000 meters, finishing eighth of 59 competitors and qualifying for Div. III NCAAs in 17:23.67. The 4×400 relay team, comprising Johnson, Mitchell, Higgs and Fine, also qualified for Div. III NCAAs in 3:54.25.

Men’s co-captain Jeff Perlis ’10 expressed confidence in the team’s strong results this weekend, especially in light of the upcoming Div. III championship. “I’m really happy with the way the team competed in our final meet before Div. III New Englands,” he said. “[This] is the meet we’ve been looking forward to all season and we are ready go in and defend our title.”

Perlis conceded that competition would be stiff, but still remained optimistic about the Ephs’ chances. “It’s certainly going to be a battle throughout the entire meet with a few other schools, but I am confident that our team will get the job done in the field and on the track.”

“This weekend was a great prelude to what there is to come this weekend when we compete for Div. III New Englands,” Higgs said. “Our rankings put us very much in favor to take several events and maybe even set some records.”

The Ephs closed out the weekend looking ahead to next weekend’s crucial meet. “Some excellent times were achieved for personal bests and sharpening to be ready for next week’s highly competitive fields,” Peter Farwell, assistant coach, said. “Williams will be contesting for the team title, and counting on each team member to contribute.”

The men will head to Bates to compete in the men’s New England Div. III championships, while the women will travel to Maine on Friday to compete in the women’s championships.