Men’s track races to fourth-place finish

Men’s track and field traveled to Amherst, Mass., on Saturday for the UMass Invitational. Overall, the Ephs finished first among Div. III teams and fourth in the combined field. UMass-Amherst took the team title.

On Saturday, the Ephs were greeted with favorable racing conditions with temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s. In the field events, co-captain Rusty Cowher ’12 continued his top form by seizing the discus throw title. He also took second in both the hammer throw and the shotput. In the discus, Cowher launched one 47.50 meters for a PR. Cowher has qualified for Div. III New England Championships in all three events. Syvad Young ’12 also recorded a PR in the discus, with a throw of 40.73 meters.

Junior standout Johnny Ray Hinojosa ’13, who has already qualified for both the NESCAC and Div. III New England Championships, vaulted 4.50 meters last weekend to earn a season-best performance and second place. Nate Saffold ’14 and Demarius Edwards ’14 had solid days, earning NESCAC qualifiers in the triple jump.

The track events saw a number of breakout performances. Matt Wyatt ’12 made a strong comeback after missing time due to appendicitis, earning a PR in the 1500 meter. He finished in 4:06.77, hitting the NESCAC qualifier and approaching the Div. III New England mark. Chris Lee ’14 fought valiantly in the 5000 meter to take fifth place in 15:24.78.

In the sprints, Jared Nowell ’15 notched an impressive performance in the 100 meter, finishing in 11.55 seconds. In the 200 meter, Emmanuel Daring ’15 and co-captain Richard Fusco ’12 finished in 22.70 and 22.85, respectively. Fusco continued his strong form by taking third place in the 400 meter with a time of 49.44.

In the 110-meter hurdles, Jabulani Blyden ’13 earned fourth place, while Laye Samoura ’15 took sixth. Samoura returned in the 400-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 59.36.

The highlight of the day for the Ephs was the 800 meter, where rookie Andrew Beaudoin ’15 sped to a time of 1:54.25, knocking off Amherst’s national record-holder Ben Sheetz in the process. The time also marked a two-second improvement on Beaudoin’s previous personal best. Beaudoin easily qualified for the upcoming Div. III New Englands.

In the final event, the 4×400 relay, the Ephs took third in a time of 3:21.56 after the squad of Blyden, Fusco, Daring and Beaudoin held the lead for much of the race. With this promising result, the foursome hopes to continue slashing its times to match its impressive performance from the indoor season.

A small contingent of men is representing Williams at the Holy Cross Decathalon/Heptathalon Competition today and tomorrow, while a few athletes are preparing to travel to the Larry Ellis Invite at Princeton on Saturday. On Saturday, the rest of the men will look to defend their Little Three title at Wesleyan in the Little Three Championship. The men look to post more qualifiers and prepare for the upcoming NESCAC championship on April 28.

“Invitationals like these are valuable because they give us insight into what we need to do to perform better at the more important championship meets,” Fusco said.