Men’s track clinches third in regional championship

Men’s track and field traveled to Springfield College last Friday and Saturday to pit its best against the best of Div. III New England at the Regional Championships. After two days of back-and-forth competition, the Ephs finished third overall with 71 points, only two points behind second place.

On Friday, Reid Pryzant ’16 competed individually in the first half of the heptathlon. Pryzant finished the 60 meter in 7.63 seconds, the long jump with a 6.10-meter jump, the shot put with an 8.66-meter throw and the high jump with a 1.69-meter jump. On the second day of competition, Pryzant finished the 60-meter hurdles in 8.72 seconds, the pole vault with a personal best 4.30-meter vault and the 1000 meter in a personal best 2:54.74. He finished with 4449 points, a performance that earned third overall.

The rest of the Ephs competed on Saturday, kicking off the running events with the 60-meter hurdles. Laye Samoura ’15 won his heat with a new personal best of 8.52 seconds, qualifying for the final heat. Conor Dunham ’18 finished in 8.73 seconds but did not qualify for the final. Samoura would go on to set another personal best in the final by finishing in 8.46 seconds, placing fourth overall. He also qualified for All-New Englands.

In the 60 meter, Katakyie Ofori-Atta ’16 led the way for Williams by winning his preliminary heat in 6.98 seconds. Co-captain Jared Nowell ’15 tied his personal best for the second time this season by finishing in 7.15 seconds. Ofori-Atta would go on to the final and break his own school record, finishing first overall in 6.88 seconds.

In the 400 meter, Tobias Muellers ’18 placed fifth overall with a time of 50.62 seconds. Co-captain Eric Schneider ’15 was the lone competitor for Williams in the 600 meter, finishing in 1:24.86. Steven Yannacone ’17 additionally scored some points for the Ephs in this event, finishing sixth overall in a time of 1:56.63.

In the 1000 meter, Alex Cowen ’18 and Samuel Burrington ’17 worked off each other and finished in 2:34.10 and 2:34.42, respectively. Nowell doubled back to finish the 200 meter in 23.23 seconds.

The 3k featured two victories for the Ephs, with co-captain Aldis Inde ’15 and Peter Hale ’17 both winning their respective heats. Inde went on to finish first overall in a time of 8:26.12, with Hale finishing seventh overall in 8:38.15.

In the lone heat of the 5k, Bijan Mazaheri ’16 comfortably won by almost nine seconds with a time of 14:43.82.

Williams also entered one team in to each relay event. The distance medley relay consisted of Matthew Tarduno ’16, Ian Mook ’18, Lucas Elek ’17 and Kyle Kistinger ’16, and finished fourth overall in a time of 10:27.32. The 4×400 relay consisting of Yannacone, Schneider, Muellers and Kevin Parsons ’16, finished sixth overall in a time of 3:28.29. Finally, the 4×800 relay consisting of John Sutton ’15, Justin LeAndre ’18, Luke Hinz ’17 and co-captain Andrew Beaudoin ’15 narrowly finished second overall in a time of 7:57.72.

Over in the field events, Liam Pembroke ’18 and Lloyd Campbell ’18 competed in the shot put, finishing with throws of 13.31 meters and 13.29 meters, respectively. Youle Chen ’17 and Ian Outhwaite ’17 competed in the high jump; Chen finished fourth overall with a 1.98-meter jump and Outhwaite finished with a 1.83-meter jump.

The team was pleased with its showing.  “New Englands is always fun because it is a test of the strength of our team as a whole,” Inde said, “There’s a great team atmosphere at the meet with everyone focusing on competing to score points for our team and cheering for each other in each event. Though we were happy with our highest finish since 2011, we’re definitely hungry for more, and in the long term we’re looking to win the NESCAC title in outdoors in the spring.”

With Div. III New Englands over, most of the athletes will now turn their attention towards the outdoor track season where Williams will be hosting NESCACs at the new Lee Track. The Ephs who earned a chance to qualify for the NCAA Div. III Championship will look to better their seed times next week at the All-New Englands Championship at Boston University.