Men’s track and field successfully defended its 22nd consecutive Little Three Championship in emphatic fashion this past Saturday. Williams hosted the Little Three for the first time since 2007, and Amherst and Wesleyan attempted to dethrone the men from their seat of dominance. Their efforts proved futile, however. The Ephs won handily with 187 points, easily defeating the Jeffs, who tallied 115 points, and the Cardinals, who finished the day with 83 points.
The tone of the meet was set by the 4×100-meter relay, the first event on the track. Jabulani Blyden ’13, Chris Fogler ’13, Moyukh Ghosh ’11 and Tomas Kearney ’12 combined to decimate the competition with a time of 43.9, which was 1.5 seconds faster than the closest group. This event was only the beginning of Blyden’s winning ways. He went on to win the 100-meter hurdles, the 400-meter hurdles and the open 400, bettering the Open New England qualifying standard in both of his 400-meter events.
The windy conditions forced some of the jump competitions indoors, but this did not put a damper on the Ephs’ performance. Johnny Ray Hinojosa ’13, Isaac Nicholson ’11 and Fogler swept the top three places in pole vault, while Kearney and Fogler tied for first in the high jump and Ben Atkinson ’11 took the fourth spot. In the long jump, Nicholson, Steve Rubin ’11 and Kearney placed second through fourth to add to Williams’ lead. In the triple jump, Kearney, Rubin and John Dingee ’10 claimed first, third and fourth, respectively.
Back out on the track, Davis Filippell ’12 recorded a personal best and Div. III New England qualifying mark in the steeplechase with his second place finish in the event. Steve Mendoza ’13, in his first steeplechase race ever, fell just short of qualifying in an impressive rookie performance. Mark Springel ’12 finished fourth in the 5000 meter, qualifying himself for Div. III New England’s in a personal best time. Thomas Bliska ’12 also had a breakthrough race, setting a PR in the same event.
The Ephs continued to best their opponents in the throwing events. Rusty Cowher ’12 won both shot put and discus – his discus result qualified him for Div. III New Englands – and Syvad Young ’12 placed second and third, respectively, in the same events. Matt Farley ’11 bettered his personal best in the hammer throw, notching a 50.03-meter result for a first-place result. Stephen Simalchik ’13 continued his winning streak in the javelin throw with yet another first place toss, displaying his all-around talent in placing second in the discus and hammer throw as well.
A pair of freshmen and a junior led the way for the Ephs in the 1500 meter as Dan Silver ’13, Tommy Gaidus ’13 and Dan Franck ’11 achieved personal bests, finishing in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Josephat Koima ’12 and Peter Young ’13 also recorded collegiate bests in the 800 meter, taking third and sixth places respectively in qualifying for Div. III New Englands.
The Williams sprint runners benefited from Saturday’s lack of headwind. Sam McManama ’12 placed sixth in the 100 meter, with Polite just behind in seventh. The Ephs devastated the competition in the 200 meter with their one-and-three finish by Rich Fusco ’12 and McManama.
“It was great to have a home meet with loads of fans and parents and some alumni to spur our team on,” Assistant Coach Pete Farwell said when asked about the team’s especially strong home showing. “The Little Three contest is a total team effort and brings out our best spirit.”
Missing from the Little Three Championship were athletes who competed the night before against Div. I competition at the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton. Brian Cole ’11 ran 3:49.90 in the 1500 meter for first among Div. III competitors and 16th for all athletes; he also automatically qualified for the Div. III National Championships, which will be held at Baldwin-Wallace College in May. Cole’s time earned him fourth on Williams’ all-time list as well as NESCAC Men’s Track Performer of the Week honors and marks the current fastest time in the nation for Div. III. Connor Kamm ’10 continued his stellar senior year, automatically qualifying for nationals in the 5000 meter. Kamm ran a 14:26.28, marking the second fastest all-time Williams result in the event. Edgar Kosgey ’10 and Anthony Raduazo ’12 both barely missed the provisional time for nationals in the same race. Andrew Gaidus ’11 and co-captain Jeff Perlis ’10 also ran commendable races in the 5000 meter that are indicative of great things to come.
Members of the team competed at a last-chance meet at Amherst on Tuesday to achieve a thus far elusive championship-qualifying mark, but results came in too late to report. A select few distance runners will compete at the Penn Relays on Thursday against some of the best athletes in the nation. The team will then seek to defend its NESCAC title Saturday at Tufts.