Men’s Track Qualifies Distance and 4x400 Relay Teams for Nationals
Issue   |   Tue, 03/06/2018 - 21:26
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Ryan Prenosil ’21 ran a 49.5 second split in the 4x400-meter relay race.

On Saturday, the Mammoths returned to Tufts for the third time this indoor season to compete at the Tufts National Qualifying Meet, a last-chance meet to qualify for the Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Amherst had an incredible day, as both the distance medley and 4x400-meter relays earned places on the starting line in Birmingham, Alabama this upcoming weekend at nationals.

The day began for the Mammoths with the distance medley relay, in which the first runner runs 1,200 meters, the second 400 meters, the third 800 meters and the fourth and final leg runs 1600 meters.

Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20 ran the 400- meter leg, moving up steadily throughout the eight-team field to hand off to Ralph Skinner ’20 in fourth with an excellent final lap and a split of 3:04. Skinner, coming back from an injury that has limited his indoor season, held the team’s position in fourth with a stellar 49.8 split in the 400.

Skinner then passed the baton to Jacob Silverman ’19 for the 800-meter leg, and the junior split 1:55 to keep the team in fourth place. Silverman gave the baton to Cosmo Brossy ’19 for the final 1,600 meters, and the junior quickly made up the gap between Amherst and Williams to catch up to the lead pack.

Needing a 4:11 time in the 1,600 to qualify, Brossy delivered, running an incredible 4:11 1,600-meter split to place the team in fourth out of an excellent eight-team field, in which the top-five placing teams qualified for nationals.

The Mammoths finished with a time of 10:01.38 on the flat track at Tufts. After the conversion that translates the time to what it would be if the race had been run on a banked track — like there will be at nationals — the Mammoths sit 11th in Division III with a converted time of 9:53.33.

“I think we were all a little stunned that we had run a qualifying time and it felt awesome making that happen as a team,” Brossy said.

This will be Amherst’s first time bringing a distance medley relay to nationals since 2014, when Amherst held the Division III record - since broken by NESCAC foe Middlebury - and placed third to earn All-American honors.

The 4x400-meter relay also had a stellar day, as the quartet of David Ingraham ’18, Ryan Prenosil ’21, Vernon Espinoza ’19 and Kristian Sogaard ’19 qualified for Nationals.

Captain Ingraham lead off for the Mammoths and shot out of the blocks, running a 50.8 split to hand off to Prenosil in fifth in the six-team field. Prenosil ran a superb race, bringing the team up to third with a 49.5 split.

Espinoza grabbed the baton from the first-year phenom and ran the Mammoth’s fastest split of the day with his 49.0 second time to put Amherst in the lead heading into the final leg. The junior handed off to Sogaard in first, and the junior clinched the win and qualification for nationals with a 49.6 split for a total race time of 3:19.25.

“The 4x400 team has had its sights on nationals since the start of the season, and we finally secured a spot by picking up the win and running three seconds faster than our season best,” Ingraham said. “This is the largest crew we’ve sent to indoor nationals in a long time, and we’re all hoping to cap off the season with some more great performances.”

The Mammoths are 10th in Division III with a converted time of 3:16.13. In the 2016-2017 indoor season, Amherst’s fastest 4x400 time was 3:28, a remarkable display of improvement in just the past season.

The Mammoths will send a strong squad to Birmingham, including both relays, Sogaard, who will compete in the 800 meters as the second seed, and Brossy, who will compete in the 3,000 meters as the 15th seed.

Both relays, Sogaard and Brossy will seek to achieve All-American status, which is earned with a top-eight finish in an event.

This will be everyone’s first trip to the indoor national meet with the exception of Ingraham, who competed in 2014 as part of the distance medley relay.

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