The Amherst men’s track and field team returned to competition on Sunday, April 2 after a month-long break following the indoor season.
The meet was originally scheduled for Saturday, but after a snowstorm was forecasted, the meet was moved to Sunday and took place in much warmer temperatures.
The sprinters, jumpers and throwers of the team decided to skip the meet in favor of preparing for the rest of the season, so only the mid-distance and distance runners traveled to Tufts.
Competition for the purple and white opened with the 10,000-meter race, where Clark Ricciardelli ’20E led a strong Amherst contingent by winning his first outdoor collegiate race.
The transfer from Villanova covered the 25-lap race in 32:14 in his debut.
Teammates Tucker Meijer ’19, Cosmo Brossy ’19 and Raymond Meijer ’17 ran with Ricciardelli for the first 5,000-meters of the race, where they crossed the halfway point in 16:21 at a tempo effort, and then finished the latter half of the race individually.
Tucker Meijer led classmate Brossy and older brother Raymond in a sweep of places third through fifth. The three crossed the finish line in times of 32:18, 32:22 and 32:33, respectively.
Not far behind them was Justin Barry ’18, who finished the race in 33:08. Classmate Aaron Zambrano ’18 was the final Amherst competitor across the finish line, running a time of 34:05.
With their races, Ricciardelli, Tucker and Raymond Meijer, Brossy and Barry qualified for the Division III New England Championships.
Next for the purple and white was the 1,500-meter run, where first-year Ralph Skinner finished eighth in a time of 4:06. The first-year carried momentum from his strong indoor track season, while teammate Kristian Sogaard ’19 ran 4:07 for a 10th-place finish. Jacob Silverman ’19 placed 13th in a time of 4:09.
Sophomore Vernon Espinoza placed second in the 800-meter run, covering the difficult two-lap race in a time of 1:57.
First-year Spencer Ferguson-Dryden successfully raced his first collegiate track 5,000-meter race, finishing the 12-and-a-half lap race in 15:42 to place fourth. Senior Kevin Connors placed eighth in a time of 15:56.
First-year Chris Stone ran the race in 16:46, and Kevin Dooley ’19 crossed the line in a time of 17:28.
The purple and white ended the meet with the 4x800-meter relay, where the three Amherst relay teams were the only competitors in the race.
The team composed of Jacob Silverman ’19, Ralph Skinner ’20, Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20 and Tucker Meijer ’19 crossed the finish line in first with a time of 8:21. The other two Amherst teams finished the relay race in times of 8:31 and 8:37.
“From the 800 to the 10K, we performed exceptionally as a unit, cheering each other on and performing,” said Espinoza. “We are all coming off of a few weeks of heavy mileage so we’re excited to see what’s to come.”
On Saturday, the entire track and field team will return to action at the Amherst Spring Fling, the only meet of the year that Amherst hosts.
The meet provides a great opportunity for the Mammoths to compete at the newly renovated Pratt Field for the first time since Amherst hosted the NESCAC Championships last April.