On Saturday March 4, the last day for athletes to achieve qualifying times and marks for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships, the Amherst men’s track and field team traveled to Boston once again to compete at the Tufts Final Qualifier tournament.
For seniors Kevin Connors and Raymond Meijer, it was also their final time competing at an indoor track meet.
Meijer started off the competition for the Amherst men, competing in the 5,000-meter run. The cross-country standout raced for the first time in a month after choosing to train in favor of racing. The month of hard training paid off, as he completed the 25-lap event in 15:17.21.
Next up for the purple and white was the 800-meter run, in which sophomore Kristian Sogaard ran in the competitive first heat.
The mid-distance standout ran the event for the first time this indoor season after focusing on the mile and relays and finished fifth in his heat with a time of 1:56.65.
Although Sogaard came up short of his goal, his strong indoor season in the mid-distance events shows great promise for seasons to come.
First-year Ralph Skinner placed second in the second heat of the 800-meters, after taking the lead with 300 meters left in the race. The first-year finished in a time of 1:56.38, just edging in front of teammate Sogaard in the overall results to set a new personal best.
The final event of the day for Amherst was the 3,000-meter run, where Connors and Cosmo Brossy ’19 sought to run Nationals-qualifying times. With a competitive field of athletes in the race, the duo was pushed to the best of their abilities.
Connors bested his previous personal best by 12 seconds with a time of 8:25.12. He placed fourth just behind Tim Nichols of Tufts, who placed third at NCAA DIII cross country nationals in the fall.
Not to be outshined by Connors’ performance, Brossy ran a competitive race as well, crossing the finish line in a time of 8:31.76. The sophomore set an impressive three-second personal best in the event to close out a strong indoor season.
“The meet marked a good end to a solid indoor season for the team,” Meijer said. “It was exciting to see three of our five runners [competing at the meet] get personal bests, and I think everyone is feeling ready to carry momentum from indoor into outdoor.”
For the first time since 2008, no member of the men’s track and field team will be competing at nationals.
However, the team ended the indoor season on a high note, and many athletes enjoyed consistent and competitive seasons.
With the outdoor track and field season approaching, the team will shift its focus to training until the Snowflake Classic, their first outdoor meet, on Saturday, April 1.