Shaking the dust off after a long and cold winter, men’s track and field made its spring season debut this side of the Mississippi at the UMass spring meet this past weekend, placing fourth overall amid Div. I and Div. III competition. While a contingent of athletes competed at the Point Loma Invitational during their training trip to San Diego, for the majority of the team this was the first time competing since the Div. III New England Indoor Championships in February.
Weather couldn’t hamper the Ephs’ success: “The team battled [the] less than ideal conditions to grab numerous New England Regional qualifying marks,” Assistant Coach Patrick Wales-Dinan said.
The meet started off with a bang in the 10K, in which eight Ephs competed. Leading the way was Corey Watts ’10, who finished in 32:02 to place fourth. Following Watts were Mark Springel ’12, Wade Davis ’13, Ford Smith ’12, Scott Rodlitz ’13 and Jason Rapaport ’11, who all ran times that qualified them for the Div. III New England Championship.
Not to be outdone by their distance-running counterparts, the throwers also had stand-out performances. Stephen Simalchik ’13 demonstrated his proficiency at the javelin with a throw of 60.43 meters, easily outdistancing his nearest competitor by over 6.5 meters. Amazingly, his best throw of the competition bettered the NCAA provisional mark, but not his previous season best. Chris Cameron ’13 placed fourth in the javelin, which was good enough to qualify for New Englands. In the shotput, Rusty Cowher ’12 and Syvad Young ’12 placed sixth and seventh, respectively: Cowher’s throw qualified him for New Englands as well. Also qualifying was Matt Farley ’11, who threw a personal best 48.62 meters in the hammer throw, good for third in the competition.
Tomas Kearney ’12 finished second in the triple jump with a 13.62 meter leap, a result just off the personal best he set during the indoor season. Both Kearney and Steve Rubin ’11, who claimed sixth position, achieved marks that qualified them for New Englands. Rubin and Isaac Nicholson ’11 would later place fourth and fifth, respectively, in the long jump.
Anthony Raduazo ’12 dominated the 3000 meter steeplechase: In only his second attempt at the event, Raduazo ran 9:24 to win the race and reach an NCAA provisional mark. Samuel Blackshear ’10 also turned in a personal best performance to qualify for New Englands in the same event.
Edgar Kosgey ’10 and Jabulani Blyden ’13 covered the middle distance events, bettering the New England qualifying marks in the 1500 meter and 800 meter, respectively. Blyden also placed 10th in the 110-meter hurdles.
Co-captain Cullen Roberts ’10 praised the team’s success. “We had a very solid team showing, placing fourth overall and first among Div. III teams,” he said. “Everyone worked hard over spring break, so the team looks to be in a good spot as we head into championship season.”
The Ephs also trounced their competition at the Point Loma Nazarene Invitational over spring break: A number of individual wins en route to a first place team finish indicated a strong upcoming season. Most notably, Kamm won the 1500 meter in 3:53.30, attaining the NCAA provisional standard in the event. Simalchek also hit the provisional mark with a 60.51-meter javelin throw.
The team will look to defend its title as it hosts the Little Three Championship this Saturday at Weston Field after a few distance runners compete at Princeton midweek. The weekend is the last chance for athletes to qualify for NESCACs the following week.