Men’s Track and Field Snatches Fourth With Help from Strong Distance Running
Issue   |   Tue, 01/30/2018 - 20:59

With victories in the 60-meter hurdles, 5,000-meter run and 4x400 meter relay on Saturday at the inaugural Branwen Smith-King Invitational hosted by Tufts, the Amherst men’s track team showed that they are a team with many strengths, one to be feared as championship season approaches.
The meet was scored and the Mammoths finished fourth with 76 points, as Division II Stonehill College won the meet with 147 points.
The day started with the weight throw, where Sam Amaka ’19 finished fifth with a Division III New England qualifying throw of 15.86 meters (52’ 0.5”), which is also a new personal best for the junior.
In the shot put, Amaka set another personal best to place 12th with a throw of 13.06 meters (42’ 10.25”).
“I had a lot of fun throwing today and watching the team come out to support each other,” Amaka said. “It brought great energy all around and it definitely reflected in the great performances we had across the board.”
Despite four fouls, Jordan Edwards ’20 placed third in the triple jump with a leap of 13.68 meters (44’ 10.75”).
Sophomore Theo Bates, the newly minted school record-holder in the 60-meter hurdles, returned to his signature event with a victory in a time of 8.48 seconds, just 0.01 seconds slower than his time from last week, a remarkable display of consistency.
His classmate Yonas Shiferaw just missed the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, placing 10th in the prelims with a time of 9.04. Teammate Maxim Doiron ’19 wasn’t far behind the sophomore standout, finishing in 13th place with a time of 9.19.
Mayowa Tinubu ’20 just missed the finals of the 60-meter dash, running a time of 7.34 seconds. Biafra Okoronkwo ’20 and Stadtler Thompson ’19 ran identical times of 7.42 seconds to tie for 15th.
Sophomore Spencer Ferguson-Dryden placed fourth in the mile with a time of 4:23, while teammate Kristian Sogaard ’19, an All-American in the 800 meters, returned to the track after injury to place sixth with a time of 4:24.
With their efforts, both qualified for Division III New Englands. First-year Braxton Schuldt set a new personal best with a time of 4:29.
Foreshadowing their meet concluding victory in the 4x400, the 400-meter runners had a successful day as Vernon Espinoza ’19 placed third with a time of 51.41, Ryan Prenosil ’21 placed sixth in 51.88 and captain David Ingraham ’18 placed seventh with a time of 51.95.
The 600-meter run showcased the many strengths of the Mammoths, as Jacob Silverman ’19, typically an 800-meter runner who also runs cross country, placed fourth with a time of 1:24.
Andrew Swenson, a first-year who trains exclusively with the long sprinters, placed fifth overall with a time of 1:25, having led wire to wire to claim victory in his heat.
Sophomore Estevan Velez placed seventh in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:37.
Thompson returned to the track after running the 60-meter dash to place seventh in the 200 meters with a time of 23.47 seconds, while teammate Stanley Dunwell ’20 placed 14th in 23.88 seconds.
In a display of distance depth, as evidenced by the Mammoths’ fourth place podium finish at the Division III Cross Country Nationals this fall, the Amherst men dominated the 5,000-meter run.
Captain Cosmo Brossy ’19 stormed to victory with a personal best time of 14:36, which should qualify the junior for Division III Indoor Nationals in March.
Classmate Tucker Meijer ’19 clicked off consistent splits to finish fifth in 15:16.
Fellow captain Justin Barry ’18 placed 12th in a time of 15:48, while sophomore Chris Stone set a new indoor personal best time with his 16:03 clocking.
The meet concluded with the 4x400 meter relay, as the team of Harrison Haigood ’18, Ingraham, Espinoza and Prenosil combined to run 3:22, over two seconds ahead of their closest competitors.
Next weekend, the Mammoths return to Tufts for the Cupid Challenge, another large and competitive meet that will set the Mammoths up well for the upcoming championship season.