Men’s track readies for indoor NCAAs

Men’s track and field sent a small squad to the Tufts Last Chance meet in Boston last Saturday, looking to establish qualifying times for next week’s Div. III NCAA championships. The top 13 individuals and top 10 relay teams who declare for an event are accepted to compete at Nationals. While the 4×400 will be the lone representative for the Ephs, Johnny Ray Hinojosa ’13 and Andrew Beaudoin ’15 built momentum for the upcoming outdoor season with strong performances.

Beaudoin narrowly missed the top 13 in the 800 meter, battling to fourth place in the race. Amherst’s Matt Melton controlled the race from the front, taking the pack through the first 400 meters in a blistering 53 seconds. Beaudoin, to his credit, bided his time before making a decisive move with a lap to go. He finished in 1:54.40, good for 24th nationally.

“I have been continually impressed with the way Andrew has composed himself on and off the track,” tri-captain Brandon Abasolo ’13 said. “While his time from the Tufts Last Chance meet won’t get him into Nationals, he did establish a new indoor personal best and has now run the ninth-fastest 800 meter time indoors in Williams history, putting himself in the company of many illustrious individuals. I’m looking forward to seeing him excel after we’ve transitioned into the outdoor season.”

Hinojosa ended his indoor season by vaulting to a height of 4.41 meters. Currently ranked 53rd in Div. III for his jump at the Div. III New England Championships on Feb. 16, Hinojosa will look to continue his steady progress and contend for the New England outdoor title and a potential trip to outdoor Nationals.

One week removed from their breakout race at Boston University, the quartet of Jabulani Blyden ’13, Kevin Persons ’16, Manny Daring ’15 and tri-captain Chris Fogler ’13 made a stellar encore performance in the 4×400 meter relay. Racing with little competition, the Ephs posted a time of 3:18 and comfortably took home the title. “The 4x400m relay has historically been a strong event for us and this year is no exception,” Abasolo said. “I’m really excited for the team we are sending out to compete. It has two seniors who have been stalwarts of 4x400m relays and will be looking to end their indoor collegiate careers on a high note. They are entering as the eighth seeded team and really have nowhere to go but up. Everyone on that team has a lot of heart and I’m excited to see the result they’re able to turn out at the big dance.”

The four Ephs will fly to Illinois later this week for Saturday’s meet at Div. III NCAA Championships at North Central, looking to wrap up a record-setting season on one more high note.