Men’s track and field traveled to Boston University this weekend to compete in the New England Individual Championships. The meet featured the top competitors across all three collegiate divisions in New England. While the Ephs’ main focus was to achieve qualifying marks for NCAA Championships, the team garnered eight points, placing them 24th out of the 35 teams competing. The University of Connecticut took home top honors in the meet.
Jabulani Blyden ’13 started the action for the Ephs on Saturday with a ninth-place finish in the 400 meter, recording a season-best time and provisionally qualifying for NCAA competition. Rich Fusco ’12 finished third in his heat in the event and 17th overall.
Andrew Gaidus ’11 blazed his way to a personal best and eighth place in the 3000 meter. His time of 8:36.94 is now the 12th-fastest time in Williams history.
The highlight of the day came from the 4×400 meter relay. The quartet of Taylor Fitzgerald ’11, Chris Fogler ’13, Fusco and Blyden won the second heat and placed third overall. Currently, their time of 3:16.12 is the fourth fastest in the nation. The result was particularly important as the team’s usual relay runners, Gaidus and Nehemiah Paramore ’14, have been limited in competition due to injuries.
“The 4×4 ran a very strong provisional time which will most likely hold up over the next two weeks as other teams attempt to qualify for the national championship,” Assistant Coach Mitchell Baker said. “Throughout the season, the relay had three strong legs and was looking for a fourth. Fogler stepped up … which gave the team confidence going into the 4×4.”
Friday night held the distance medley relay of Fogler, Paramore, Josephat Koima ’12 and Will Palmer ’11. The men placed 12th and recorded a season-best time of 10:09.86.
“The [distance medley relay] ran well, with Fogler in particular stepping up to make a breakthrough on the 400-meter leg,” said co-captain Dan Franck ’11.
“We’ve struggled to fill the hole of senior captain and returning All-American Brian Cole ’11 as he’s nursed a calf injury since January,” Baker said. “Chris played a key role in putting us into position half-way through the relay.”
Also on Friday were the trials for the 400 meter: Blyden placed second in his heat and qualified for the finals of the event. Fusco finished third in his heat on his way to 17th overall.
The team will return to the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York City for the ECAC Championships on Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m.