Men’s track and field competed at the All New Englands Championship Meet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. last weekend. The men had strong performances all around, culminating in a fifth-place finish. Laye Samoura ’15 took to the track first. The 110-meter hurdler had a rough afternoon and finished in 15.45 seconds in his preliminary heat. Kataykie Ofori-Atta ’16 bounced back well after suffering an injury two weeks ago at NESCACs. He flew to a 10.75 second finish in the 100-meter preliminaries and advanced to the final. Nolan Raimo ’16 also qualified for the final in the 400-meter hurdles shortly after, cruising to a 54.38-second finish. The Ephs performed best in the 5000-meter, entering four runners who all finished in the top eight. Colin Cotton ’17 was the first of the Ephs to lead the chase pack. Bijan Mazaheri ’16, who has had an unbelievable season so far, took lead of the chase pack with about four laps to go, and kicked in the finish hard to secure not only second place and a 14:21.77 time that will likely get him to NCAAs, but also his second school record of the outdoor season and third school record of the year. Co-captain Aldis Inde ’15 paced his race extremely well and was the second Eph to finish, running 14:27.76. Cotton felt the effects of the fast start in the last two laps, but held on to finish sixth in 14:35.49. Peter Hale ’17 rounded out a stellar group of performances by finishing eighth overall in a personal best 14:48.24. While Mazaheri and Inde have likely locked in their spots at NCAAs, Cotton has one more week to post a top20 time. The Ephs concluded the day with the 10,000 meter. Co-captain Daniel Siegel ’15, Noah Williams ’17 and Ben Decker ’18 represented the Ephs in a crowded field of runners. Siegel and Williams traded off leads of the second pack of runners and came through the halfway point in 15:51, with Decker right there with them. Siegel finished fourth overall in a huge personal best of 31:19.11 in what was likely the last race of his collegiate career.
Williams finished not far behind him in fifth in a personal best time of 31:22.37, and Decker powered through to take eighth in a personal best 31:29.97. On Sunday, the men wrapped up Day Two, tying with Boston University for fifth place. Liam Pembroke ’18 was the first to compete for the Ephs. Pembroke threw 39.48 meters, a mark consistent with what he’s thrown all season. Next up was Ofori-Atta, who qualified for the 100-meter final the day before. He took to the track during the peak of day and ran 10.85 seconds to take fourth overall. Ofori-Atta’s season best still has him in the running for a spot at NCAAs. The duo of co-captain Andrew Beaudoin ’15 and Steven Yannacone ’17 both ran well in the 800 meter. Beaudoin went out in the back of the pack to avoid jockeying for early positioning and kicked in the final stretch to finish in a personal best 1:52.47. Yannacone ran his usual gritty way and pushed the pace, kicking in to his own personal best in 1:52.74. Beaudoin’s time currently has him seeded at 28th in Div. III and Yannacone’s has him at 33rd. Raimo wrapped up the competition for the Ephs in competing in the 400-meter hurdles. Raimo powered his way to second place with a personal best of 53.72 seconds. With only one weekend between now and NCAAs, the focus of the Ephs next weekend will be to secure a few more spots at the national meet with solid performances at ECACs on Thursday and Friday. “Last weekend we had some great performances from the people still competing and showed we can mix it up with the best of New England from all divisions,” Inde said. “We have one more meet this week for people on the bubble to try to get national qualifying marks, and then the full focus is on getting our best performances of the year at Nationals.”
At the end of the spring season, the men will graduate Beaudoin, Inde, Samoura, Siegel, Alex Deaderick ’15, John Sutton ’15, Cole Townsend ’15, co-captain Eric Schneider ’15 and co-captain Jared Nowell ’15.