The Amherst men’s track and field team had a busy and successful weekend, as several mid-distance and distance runners competed at the Silfen Invitational hosted by Connecticut College on Friday, April 14. The next day, Saturday, April 15, the majority of the team competed across town at the UMass Minuteman Invitational.
Sophomores Kristian Sogaard and Vernon Espinoza kicked off the action this weekend for the Mammoths by placing second and third in the 800-meter run. The duo finished the two-lap race in 1:54, demonstrating their speed as the NESCAC Championships approach.
First-year Ralph Skinner continued his strong track campaign, placing eighth overall with a time of 1:56.
In the competetive 1,500-meter race, senior Kevin Connors broke four minutes for the first time since his sophomore year with a time of 3:57. First-year Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ran a time of 3:58 to finish closely behind Connors.
The Mammoths had four entrants in the 5,000-meter run, and Clark Ricciardelli ’20E led the squad by breaking 15 minutes for the first time to complete the 12.5-lap race in 14:59. Cosmo Brossy ’19 crossed the finish line right after Ricciardelli, finishing in a time of 15:03.
Tucker Meijer ’19 led older brother Raymond Meijer ’17 to round out the Amherst squad, as the sophomore ran 15:12 and the senior 15:26.
On Saturday at UMass, action kicked off with the 1,500- and 800-meter races. Estevan Velez ’20 won his heat of the 1,500 with a time of 4:06. Later in the day, Jacob Silverman ’19 ran 4:09 to finish 10th in his heat, while Ben Fiedler ’17 finished sixth in his heat in a time of 4:13.
The Amherst underclassmen shined in the middle-distance races, as Ermias Kebede ’19 won his heat of the 800 meters with a near personal best time of 1:59 to lead Alexander Mangiafico ’20, who completed the race in a time of 2:02.
Ferguson-Dryden and Connors also hit the track to compete in the 800-meter event. The first-year set a new personal best with a time of 1:56 to finish second in his competetive heat, while Connors placed fourth in a time of 1:57.
Jack Dufton ’20 placed fifth in the high jump with a leap of 1.84 meters, and classmate Jordan Edwards placed sixth with a jump of 1.79 meters.
Edwards had a successful day in the horizontal jumps as well, placing third in the long jump with a leap of 6.35 meters and fourth in the triple jump with a Division III New England Championships qualifying leap of 13.18 meters.
Leading the throwers, Sam Amaka ’19 placed sixth in the shot put with a throw of 12.54 meters and third in the hammer throw with a throw of 41.48 meters. Widsom Yevudza ’19 placed seventh and 10th in the events, respectively.
Cornell Brooks ’19 was the lone Amherst entrant in the discus throw, placing eighth in a competitive field with a throw of 28.52 meters.
In the 400-meter dash, Kristian Sogaard ’19 also returned to the track and led the Amherst contingent by placing second overall with a time of 50.28 seconds.
The sophomore showcased his range, having also competed at the cross-country national tournament in the fall at the 8,000-meter distance, to set a new personal best in the one lap event. Right behind him was Ralph Skinner ’20, who ran a time of 50.43 seconds to place fourth overall.
In the 100-meter dash, first-year Mayowa Tinubu led the Mammoths with a time of 11.40 seconds to lead teammate Aziz Khan ’18, who ran 11.45 seconds in the shortest sprint of the outdoor events.
Hurdlers Maxim Doiron ’19 and Yonas Shiferaw ’20 placed fifth and seventh, finishing in 16.19 and 16.35 seconds, respectively. Shiferaw returned to hurdle action in the 400-meter hurdles to lead teammate Jeff Ewing ’18 as the pair ran times of 57.57 seconds and 1:02, respectively.
In the 200-meter dash, Khan led the team once again with a time of 22.78 seconds, qualifying him for Division III New England Championships.
Classmate David Ingraham ’18 finished shortly behind Khan, running a time of 23.06 seconds.
The weekend’s action concluded for the Mammoths with the 5,000-meter run, where first-year Chris Stone set a significant personal best with a time of 15:50. Jack Wesley ’18 finished behind Stone with a time of 15:51.
“I thought people were especially motivated for the meets this weekend and that translated really well into their races,” Ferguson-Dryden said. “Definitely some good personal and season bests across the board as well so I’m excited to see what we can do in the next couple weeks.”
Next weekend, the Mammoths will travel to Trinity to compete at the Trinity Invite. This will be the team’s final tune-up before the NESCAC Championships on April 29, which Bowdoin will host.