Men’s track places 4th at NESCACs, misses 3rd by two points

Men’s track took fourth place with 105.20 points at the NESCAC Championships last Saturday at Colby, behind first-place Tufts with 178.90 points, second-place Middlebury with 166.50 points and third place Bates with 107.20 points. “Even though we missed third place by two points, the team came out of the meet exceeding expectations and surprising other teams,” co-captain Jared Nowell ’15 said.

Colin Cotton ’15 made a strong opening statement for the Ephs in the 10k, winning the event with a time of 30:15.63 and smashing the meet record of 30:22.40 previously set by John Fitzgerald of Bates in 1987. Bijan Mazaheri ’16 placed second in the 10k as well with a personal record time of 30:31.46. Aldis Inde ’15 was the star of the 5k, taking the lead for much of the race and winning the event with a personal record of 14:49.18. Cole Townsend ’15 achieved a personal record as well with a time of 14:56.77. In addition, Mazaheri came back to score yet again for the Ephs with a time of 15:07.34, in an unprecedented and grueling distance double. In the 3000-meter steeplechase, co-captain Chris Lee ’14 placed third with a time of 9:11.00, setting a strong mark that might qualify him for nationals.

Williams also had three men score in the 800 meter. Co-captain Nick Wolf ’14 had a huge race, placing third in a lifetime best of 1:52.87. Steven Yannacone ’17 was close behind with a time of 1:53.46. Andrew Beaudoin ’15 battled illness to place eighth with a time of 1:54.74. In the 1500 meter, Todd Ford ’16 scored with a time of 3:59.00, good for seventh place.

In the sprints, Katakyie Ofori-Atta ’16 and Nowell made the finals of the 100 meter. Ofori-Atta, who’s been recovering from minor injuries, placed third in 11.09 and Nowell took sixth in 11.22. Nowell continued his strong season by placing 10th in the 200 meter with a time of 23.25. Eric Schneider ’16 raced in the 400 meter with a pulled hamstring but still scored, achieving a season best of 50.30. Reid Pryzant ’16 made the finals of the 110-meter hurdles, placing seventh with a time of 15.66 after running a 15.62 in the prelims. Izzy Davila ’16 earned a personal record for the third straight week in the 400-meter hurdles, placing 11th with a time of 57.73.

Youle Chen ’17 placed second in the high jump with a leap of 6’2”. Nolan Raimo ’16 had an impressive day, fighting injuries to compete in three events. He placed third in the long jump with a leap of 6.61 meters, and was a mere .2 meters away from second place. Matthew Marcarelli ’17 placed well for a first-year at NESCACs in the shot put, with a throw of 13.05 meters.

Williams fared well in the relays as well. The 4×100 team of Nowell, Raimo, Alex Deaderick ’15 and Kevin Persons ’16 upset Middlebury to win in 42.66 seconds. Anchor leg Raimo, though limping from his injuries, was able to hold off the nine-team field for a heroic finish. The 4×400 team of Persons, Schneider, Wolf and Keith Owiti ’17 took third place in 3:22.08. The 4×800 team of Beaudoin, Yannacone, Sam Burrington ’17, John Sutton ’15 took second place with a time of 7:48.75.

Despite not finishing in the top three, disappointment was overshadowed by the team’s accomplishments. “I could not be more proud of this group,” Head Coach David Thompson said. “We showed so much heart, grit and determination. We are very young and today we grew as a team. Our enthusiasm and fight to the finish attitude was on full display.”

This weekend the Ephs will compete in the Div. III New England Championship at Springfield.