Men’s Track Competes at Valentine and Kelley Invitationals
Issue   |   Tue, 02/13/2018 - 20:56
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Tucker Meijer ’19 finished 45th out of 170 in the 3000-meter run at BU.

The Amherst men’s track and field team split up this weekend, with one group travelling to compete at the Boston University Valentine Invitational and the other at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gordon Kelley Invitational.

The track at BU is banked and is often regarded as the fastest indoor track in the United States, and perhaps the world. With competitors from all three NCAA divisions in addition to amateur and professional athletes, the meet gave the Mammoths a great opportunity to post fast times going into the DIII New England Championships next weekend.

On the other hand, the track at MIT is flat, and thus it was mostly Amherst athletes whose events do not take place on the track that competed there.

The day at BU started for the Mammoths in the 800 meters, where junior Kristian Sogaard competed in the fourth heat, placing fifth with a time of 1:54, slightly slower than the time he ran at Tufts the weekend prior.
Jacob Silverman ’19 led a slew of Mammoth 800-meter personal bests for the day, when he placed third in his heat with a new personal best time of 1:55. Estevan Velez ’20 set a personal best with his 1:57 to place third in his heat, while teammate Ermias Kebede ’19 wasn’t far behind in eighth place in 1:59.

Jack Malague ’19 also set a new personal best, breaking two minutes for the first time with a time of 1:59. The junior rallied over the last lap with a strong kick to break the two-minute barrier.
In the 400 meters, Vernon Espinoza ’19 narrowly missed breaking 50 seconds, running 50.04 to place second in his heat. Just two heats later, first-year Ryan Prenosil broke 50 seconds for the first time, running 49.83 and taking third in his heat.

Stanley Dunwell ’20 ran a collegiate personal best in the 400, finishing the event in 51.72 seconds and later coming back to run the 200 meters in a solid time of 23.60 seconds.

The mile was a popular race at BU, as there were 29 heats for the event. In the 11th heat, sophomore Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ran 4:21 to place 11th. In the 25th heat, Chris Stone ’20 ran 4:35, a worse time than he had hoped for due to his heat going out slower than expected.

The Mammoths assembled an excellent 4x400 relay, as captain David Ingraham ’18 led off and handed the baton to Prenosil. The first-year standout then gave the baton to Sogaard, who was coming back after finishing the 800 earlier in the morning. Sogaard gave the Mammoths the lead, which Espinoza maintained to finish first in their heat with a time of 3:18, which is currently ranked 17th in the nation in DIII and constitutes the third-fastest mark in Amherst history.

“We knew going into it that [BU] was going to be a fast meet,” Prenosil said. “For the 4x400, I think the combination of the atmosphere and our training created an opportunity for us to excel.”

In the 3k, Cosmo Brossy ’19 ran a new personal best time of 8:24, but was tripped up several times in the race by other runners. The remarkable junior looks to qualify for nationals in the event later in the season in addition to his likely qualification in the 5k.

First-year Braxton Schuldt ran an excellent race in his heat of the 3k, qualifying for DIII New Englands next week with his time of 8:47, while captain Justin Barry ’18 ran a consistent race, finishing in 8:55.

Over at MIT, Biafra Okoronkwo ’20 placed second in the 60-meter dash in 7.32 seconds.

In the 400-meter dash, the Mammoths continued to excel, as first-year Kyland Smith ran a time of 52.89 seconds to set a personal best and claim third place. The trio of sophomores Brad Besson, Teddy Lane and Alexander Mangiafico ran times of 53.48, 53.49 and 53.63, respectively.

Jack Dufton ’20 continued the wave of sophomore success, winning the 800 meters with a time of 2:07.

Hurdlers Maxim Doiron ’19 and Yonas Shiferaw ’20 placed back-to-back in fifth and sixth, running times of 8.86 and 8.87 seconds, respectively in the 60 meter hurdles.

In the field events, the Mammoths only entered throwers, as Elorm Yevudza ’19 placed 19th with a throw of 10.09 meters (33’ 1.25”) in the shot put and 16th in the weight throw with his 11.83 meters (38’ 9.5”) throw.

Next weekend, the Mammoths travel north to Middlebury for the DIII New England Championships, a meet the team has been aiming to perform well at all season. With a more well-rounded team than in years prior, the Mammoths will hope to surprise its competition.