Men’s track sprints to fourth at invite

Men’s track and field traveled to American International in Springfield, Mass., last Saturday for the Yellow Jacket Invitational. The Ephs finished first among Div. III teams and took fourth overall with 89 points. The University of Rhode Island won the meet with 163.66 points, and UMass-Amherst secured second place with 107 points. On March 24, the Ephs participated in a non-scoring meet at High Point University, where the men posted several impressive times and results.

Jabulani Blyden ’13 turned in a commanding meet on Saturday, posting strong times in both hurdle events. He took fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 56.54 and eighth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.64. Rookie Laye Samoura ’15 ran to eighth in 1:00.19 in the 400-meter hurdles and ninth in 15.84 in the 110-meter hurdles. Co-captain Richard Fusco ’12 scored in the 400 meter for the Ephs, finishing in fifth with a time of 49.77.

The Ephs’ mid-distance squad saw several promising performances this weekend. In the 1500 meter, rookie Cole Townsend ’15 took ninth place with a time of 4:05.73. Tommy Gaidus ’13 was close behind, placing 11th in 4:07.99. The 800 meter saw Nick Wolf ’14 break the two-minute barrier with a time of 1:59.50, earning sixth place.

In the field events, senior co-captain Rusty Cowher ’12 continued his top form from the indoor season with an eighth-place finish in the shot put, throwing 14.51 meters; a fifth-place finish in the discus following a 47.20-meter launch; and a second-place finish in the hammer throw with a toss of 49.22 meters. Overall, Cowher scored 13 points for the Ephs.

Co-captain Tomas Kearney ’12 jumped to fourth and fifth place in the triple jump and long jump, respectively. In the triple jump, his distance was 13.41 meters, and in the long jump, he posted a 6.31-meter result. The high jump saw Demarius Edwards ’14 and Nate Saffold ’14 take sixth and seventh place, respectively.

The Ephs stood out in the distance events. First, Brandon Abasolo ’13 took first place in the 3000-meter steeplechase. His time of 9:37.65 earned him New England Div. III and ECAC qualifiers. The men’s 10,000 meter was an unbelievable race for the Ephs. A number of Williams runners took turns at the front, and the race saw several personal best times. Max LaBerge ’14 ran a blistering 31:28.70 to claim the win and was closely tailed by Wade Davis ’13, who took third in 31:38.80. Mark Springel ’12 earned fourth in 32:10.9. Each of these runners qualified for the Div. III New England Championships.

Senior co-captain Anthony Raduazo ’12 also posted an impressive result in the 10,000 meter at Friday’s Sam Howell Invitational, hosted by Princeton. He competed with the best runners in the area and joined his teammates in qualifying for the Div. III New England Championships with a time of 31:41.62.

Overall, Assistant Coach Ben Raphelson was pleased with the men’s performances. “The men’s 10,000 meter got the team off to an impressive start,” he said. “Max Laberge, Wade Davis and Mark Springel all executed the race plan well and each went on to PR by a minute or more.”

On March 24, the men competed at the Vertklasse Meeting at High Point University. The unscored competition marked the men’s last chance to refine their skills before the scored season began. Cowher had an impressive performance in the hammer throw, finishing first overall with a distance of 50.99 meters. In the long jump, Kearney earned a seventh-place finish with a 6.59-meter leap. In the 5000 meter, LaBerge posted a ninth-place finish in a time of 15:25.87.

The men compete next on Saturday at UMass-Amherst.

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