Men's Track Fares Well at Spring Fling Meet, Places Second Overall
Issue   |   Tue, 04/07/2015 - 23:42

Amherst College hosted the only home meet of the year this past Saturday, endearingly and perhaps ironically dubbed the “Spring Fling” as the weather was anything but springy — rain drizzled down in the early morning, and the wind maintained a pervasive chill for the duration of the meet. This was only the second time a meet has been hosted on Pratt Field since the newly renovated track was finished.

Eager to prove themselves on their home turf, the purple and white did not disappoint, securing a second place scoring at the meet overall. The men’s team narrowly edged out Coast Guard (68) with a score of 72, coming in behind Tufts (176).

The Jeffs dominated in the middle distance, sweeping the first three places of the 800-meter race, with six Amherst runners in the top ten.

Kevin Connors ’17 took first with a time of 1:58.79 while Greg Turissini ’15 had the same time to the nearest hundredth of a second to place second.

“It was exciting to run in front of a home crowd,” Connors said. “The coaches worked hard all week to make this meet possible, and our team had some solid performances to make their efforts worthwhile.”

Closely following his teammates in the 800, Brent Harrison ’16 edged out a Connecticut College runner by mere 10ths of seconds to place third.

Romey Sklar ’15 rounded out the top five with a time of 2:00.89, while Steven Lucey ’17 and Lucas Lebovitz ’15 took eighth and ninth respectively.

Sklar, Turissini and Harrison made reappearances in the 1,500 meters to take third, fourth and seventh respectively. First-year standout Mohamed Hussein nabbed a ninth place finish to place four Jeffs in the top ten.

The longer distances were certainly not to be outdone by the performance of the middle distance runners, as Dan Crowley ’15 ran away with the win in the 5,000-meter race, finishing with a gap of more than 25 seconds in front of the rest of the field.

His teammate Jeff Seelaus ’16 took second, while first-year Justin Barry claimed fourth. Ben Fiedler ’17 took sixth in the event placing four Jeffs in the top six.

The current Amherst Athlete of the Month, Mark Cort ’15 lived up to his title with a third-place finish in the long jump with a mark of 19’ 2.5” despite the windy conditions.

“The weather made things really difficult especially for the jumpers, but I am glad the entire team came out to compete,” Cort said. “We all pushed ourselves hard and shook off some of the rust, so I am sure this weekend at UMass will be even better.”

Khalil Fleming placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 18’ 5”, while teammates Elijah Langston ’18 (17’ 10.75”) and Stephen Hetterich ’15 (17’ 6.75”) claimed seventh and eighth. Fleming also took sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 37’ 6”.

In the 110-meter hurdles, Jamie Sandel ’17 took fourth followed by fellow sophomore Nathan Showalter in eighth.

The duo then took on the grueling 400-meter hurdles, in which Sandel, exhibiting remarkable consistency took fourth while Showalter came away with thirteenth.

In the shorter sprints, Nick Codola ’15 and David Ingraham ’18 took fourth and fifth in the 400 meters. Ingraham also took fifth in the 200 meters, while Josh Young ’17 placed tenth.

Young doubled up, placing fourth in the 100 meters as well, while teammate junior Dennis Kennelly took seventh place in the event.

Amherst’s 4x400 relay came in fourth, while the 4x800 relay snagged second place overall.

Despite the less than ideal weather, the meet concluded on a positive note, as the men’s and women’s team along with parents and fans celebrated in the Field House with a potluck.

“It was amazing to have my second home meet of my Amherst career,” Cort said. “It feels good to finish a jump and know your friends are there cheering you on.”

The Jeffs compete next weekend at the UMass Invitational, where they hope for warmer weather and continued stellar performances.