Men’s track takes 23rd against Div. I squads

In another record-setting weekend, men’s indoor track and field notched 23rd place at the All-New England Championships. The University of Connecticut took home top honors. With two weeks until the Div. III NCAA Championship meet, the Ephs aimed for qualifying marks and personal bests at Boston University’s banked track.

Against strong Div. I competition in the 5000 meter, the Ephs made their presence felt. Bijan Mazaheri ’16 led the way with a 12th-place finish in 14:55, joining a select group of Williams rookies to have broken 15 minutes in the 5k. Tri-captain Brandon Abasolo ’13 trailed close behind, finishing in 14th place with a time of 15:01.

The distance medley relay earned 14th place. Kyle Kistinger ’16 led off for the Ephs, running the 1200 meter and jostling into good position. Jared Nowell ’15 grabbed the baton next and sped around the track in 50.1 seconds, a season best 400-meter time for him. Nick Nosce ’16 ran a strong 800 meter in 2:00, and Chris Lee ’14 sealed the deal for the Ephs with a mile time of 4:24. Overall, the team established a season best time of 10:22.

With two strong teams entered in the 4×400 and 4×800 meter relays, Saturday promised good results for the Ephs. In the 4×800, Andrew Beaudoin ’15 got the Ephs off to a roaring start with a 1:55.3 split. John Sutton ’15 challenged at the front of the race with a personal best 1:56.9 split and gave the baton to Nick Wolf ’14. Wolf continued his breakout season with a personal best time of 1:55.2, putting the Ephs right in the thick of the race with four laps to go. Todd Ford ’16 did not disappoint in the spotlight, dusting a number of runners and posting a devastating split of 1:52.8. Ford crossed the line in fifth place, giving the Ephs an overall mark of 7:39. This time erased the school record of 7:41 and perhaps most impressively gave the Ephs the fastest time in the nation among Div. III schools. Among all schools, including Div. I, Williams ranks 25th in this event nationwide.

The 4×400 provided a pulsating encore performance in the final event of the day. Kevin Persons ’16, tri-captain Chris Fogler ’13, Manny Daring ’15 and Jabulani Blyden ’13 needed a strong qualifying mark for the Div. III NCAA championships and got it with great races all around. Competing out of the ‘B’ heat, the team nearly unseated Northeastern, but nevertheless earned second place in their section. Their time of 3:15.72 earned the foursome seventh place overall and more importantly secured a spot within the top 10 on the Div. III performance list. With a week to go, the Ephs are comfortably in seventh place in this event and should qualify for the Div. III NCAA meet.

“After focusing on competing the previous weekend, it was nice to have an opportunity to try to get some personal bests and school records,” tri-captain Scott Rodilitz ’13 said. “The underclassmen put on quite the show, with only two seniors total on our 4×800 and 4×400 teams.”

The Ephs still the Tuft’s Last Chance Meet this weekend to establish final national qualifying times. With last weekend to build off, the team has lots of momentum heading into this meet and then moving forward to the Div. III NCAA Championships at North Central University on March 8 to 9.