Men’s track and field journeyed to MIT this weekend for the annual tri-meet against MIT and Moravian. In years past, the meet has served as an indicator of how the Div. III New England Championship may play out two weeks later. Williams placed second with 110 points, behind MIT with 186.5 points and ahead of Moravian with 78.5 points. The meet was preceded by the Tufts Stampede at which the team’s pentathletes competed on Friday. The men also competed in individual events at the Boston Indoor Games at Northeastern and the Continental Invite at Hamilton on Jan. 28 and 22, respectively.
“MIT is always our biggest rival indoors and we have a chance to gain momentum two weeks before Div. III New Englands,” said co-captain Dan Franck ’11. “MIT proved to be strong across the board this year and we have our work cut out for us in two weeks.”
In the first event of the meet, the 55-meter hurdles, the Ephs were led by Matt Sullivan ’11 and Jabulani Blyden ’13 with a one-two finish in 8.05 and 8.07 seconds, respectively. Blyden would match this with a second-place finish in the 600 meter. Rich Fusco ’12 prevailed in the 400 meter in a season-best time of 50.84.
The hurdles were followed by the mile, in which Andrew Gaidus ’11, Josephat Koima ’12 and Dan Silver ’13 were able to score vital points with their third, fourth and sixth-place finishes, respectively. The trio all surpassed the Div. III New England qualifying standard. Koima also placed third in the 1000 meter.
In the horizontal jumps, Tomas Kearney ’12 and co-captain Steve Rubin ’11 dominated the field. Rubin won the long jump with a jump of 6.73 meters, just one centimeter off his personal best, and Kearney, returning from an injury that has kept him out of competition for most of the season, followed in second. Kearney won the triple jump with an NCAA-provisional qualifying jump of 14.24 meters, while Rubin placed second in the event.
In the throws, Rusty Cowher ’12 and Syvad Young ’12 finished second and fourth, respectively, in the shotput. Cowher also finished first in the weight throw, closely followed by Young, who came in fourth. One of the most impressive marks of the day was Cowher’s 17.7 meter result in the weight throw, which provisionally qualified him for the NCAA championship meet.
The meet at Tufts was Williams’ first opportunity to compete and qualify in a pentathlon. Co-captain Isaac Nicholson ’11 won the competition, coming in just 18 points shy of the NCAA provisional mark of 3350 points, and Chris Fogler ’13 was the runner-up.
On Jan. 28, the men competed in the collegiate division of the Boston Indoor Games hosted by Northeastern at the Reggie Lewis Center. Competing against schools of all collegiate divisions, the team tallied 36 points to tie with Amherst for eighth out of 17.
Taylor Fitzgerald ’12 performed particularly well at the meet, placing second and third in the 200 meter and 400 meter, respectively. Blyden and Fusco finished just behind, in fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 400 meter. The three joined Fogler in the 4×400 meter relay, finishing third in 3:21.49. The team missed the NCAA provisional qualifying mark by a little over a second.
“Taylor put up a nice performance in the 200 here, which bodes well for not only the 200, but his 400 as well, especially since Taylor is such an instrumental part of putting up points in championship meets,” Franck said.
Andy Morgosh ’12 bettered his ECAC qualifying mark in the 1000 meter with his 12th-place finish in a time of 2:35.24. Gaidus continued his streak of terrific racing with ninth in the 5000 meter in 15:14.97, just over a second off his personal best. Alex Rich ’13 broke the two-minute barrier in the 800 meter, finishing just 0.66 seconds short of two minutes to qualify for Div. III New England’s.
On Jan. 22, the men competed at Hamilton’s Continental Invitational Though no team score was tallied, the Ephs enjoyed individual successes.
Blyden, Sullivan and Fogler placed third, fourth and fifth in the finals of the 55-meter hurdles. Fogler won the high jump with a personal best of 1.93 meters and was followed by Demarius Edwards ’14 in second and Ben Atkinson ’11 in fourth.
Williams claimed the first three places in the long jump and triple jump with Nicholson, Rubin, Richard Beaton ’14 and Andrew Tobias ’14 taking the top places.
Gaidus placed second and Brandon Abasolo ’13 placed third in the 3000 meter; both qualified for the Div. III New England Championships.
Cowher and Young finished third and fourth, respectively, in the weight throw and first and second, respectively, in the shotput.
“MIT and other teams in New England have shown us what we need to do to retake our indoor crown,” said Rubin. “It’s not going to be easy, but we’re focused and ready to go … We expect to see breakthrough performances across the board.”
The team will compete at both the Valentine Invite at Boston University on Friday and Saturday and the MIT Coed Invite on Saturday.