Men’s track tackles tough Div. I foes at West Point

Men’s track and field geared up for a full schedule of upcoming indoor meets with the Army Invitational at West Point last Saturday. The Ephs looked sharp against Div. I competition, as the day saw strong performances from both veterans and rookies. As the only Div. III competitor, Williams came in sixth of six teams with 24.5 points. Army took top honors with 157.5 points.

Williams opened the meet at West Point on Saturday with the mile. Postyn Smith ’15 and Tommy Gaidus ’13 improved on their seed times in the event. Smith finished in ninth with a time of 4:26, and Gaidus snared 11th with a result of 4:29. Smith almost met the qualifying mark for the Div. III NCAAs in his debut indoor race.

In the 60-meter hurdles, 2010 All-Americans Jabulani Blyden ’13 and Chris Fogler ’13 earned seventh and 12th place, respectively. Fellow All-American Richard Fusco ’12 took 10th in 51.68 in the 400 meter. Blyden followed close behind Fusco, taking 11th in the event with a time of 51.78. Edwin Maina ’15 was the Ephs’ only competitor in the 500 meter, debuting in 16th with a time of 1:10.

Jared Nowell ’15 snared 10th place in the 60 meter with a time of 7.33. He then took 12th in the 200 meter in 23:54. With a stable of young sprinters such as Nowell and under the guidance of new Assistant Coach Howard Powell, the Ephs are poised for success in the sprints this season.

In the 1000 meter, Peter Young ’13 and Nick Wolf ’14 raced to fifth in 2:38 and sixth in 2:39, respectively. After a tough week of training, the two narrowly missed the Div. III NCAA qualifier.

The seniors were at their finest in the field events. Co-captain Kevin Cowher ’12 was the Ephs’ top finisher, earning second place in the weight throw with a throw of 16.78 meters. Syvad Young ’12 turned in a seventh-place effort and personal best of 15.13 meters.

Head Coach Fletcher Brooks anticipated that the duo will continue to improve. “With [Young’s] continued improvement he looks to join his teammate [Cowher] to form a potent one-two combo in the event,” he said.

Tomas Kearney ’12 took seventh place in the long jump with a mark of 6.24 meters and fourth in the triple jump with a 13.36-meter result. “Tomas Kearney showed that he’s a national-caliber triple jumper,” Brooks said. “Competing in his first meet following football and utilizing a short approach to focus on technique, he turned in one of the top jumps in New England.”

In the 3000 meter, Williams stacked the event with nine cross-country athletes. Cole Townsend ’15 seized third with a personal best of 8:36. Max LaBerge ’14 closed strong to garner fifth in 8:42. Following LaBerge were Brandon Abasolo ’13, co-captain Anthony Raduazo ’12, Wade Davis ’13 and Jack Fitzhenry ’12. Rookies Aldis Inde ’15 and Daniel Siegel ’15 had impressive debuts, bolstering a deep distance group.

“The coaching staff was excited with the performance of the men’s cross country team this year, especially on the national level,” Brooks said. “This group continues to impress at the outset of the indoor track and field season and will have an important impact on the team’s success during the championship portion of the season.”

The men will compete next at the Hamilton Invitational on Saturday at 11 a.m.