Men’s Track and Field Finishes Eighth at Silfen Invitational
Issue   |   Tue, 04/17/2018 - 19:51
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Kristian Sogaard ’19 , an All-American in the 800-meter run last season, paced the Mammoths in the 800, finishing seventh overall with a time of 1:53.91.

On Friday and Saturday, the Mammoths travelled to Conn. College to compete at the Silfen Invitational. On Friday, only elite sections of mid-distance and distance events competed, while on Saturday all events took place. Both days featured nice weather, a stark contrast to the cold weather of the prior week’s Amherst Spring Fling.

The first event for the Mammoths on Friday was the 3,000-meter steeplechase, a race nearly two miles long that features four barriers and one water barrier that athletes jump over each lap. First-year Braxton Schuldt took on the event and had no falls to finish in a time of 10:18, good enough for 13th place overall in the field of 21 runners. Schuldt was the third-highest finishing first year in the field.

There were three sections of the elite men’s 800 meters on Friday night, and the Mammoths competed well in each heat.
Estevan Velez ’20 placed fifth in the third heat with a time of 1:58, while fellow sophomore Ralph Skinner won the second heat with a time of 1:56 after getting caught up in some pushing with one lap to go in the race. Jacob Silverman ’19 finished eighth in the same heat with a time of 1:59.

Two-time All-American junior Kristian Sogaard competed in the fastest heat and entered with the fastest seed time, thanks to his 1:50 mark from last year’s Open New Englands. Sogaard used his trademark kick over the last 100 meters to close well for a seventh-place finish with a time of 1:53.

Clark Ricciardelli ’20E had a stellar first full race of the outdoor track season, finishing second in the elite section of the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:50. The cross country All-American moved up well throughout the race and set a new personal best by nine seconds, impressive considering he sat out the majority of the indoor track season due to an injury.

Sophomore Spencer Ferguson-Dryden had an excellent race as well, just sneaking under the 15-minute barrier and finishing the race with a time of 14:59.99 to place ninth.

In Saturday’s section of the 5,000 meters, first-year Jamie Mazzola ran away from the field to win in a new personal best time of 15:29.

In the 10,000-meters, Justin Barry ’18 negative-split the race to finish fourth in a time of 32:41, just five seconds off his personal best time, boding well for the senior captain’s final track season.

On Saturday, sophomores Elijah Ngbokoli and Mayowa Tinubu, running in the 100-meters dash, ran times of 11.34 and 11.56 seconds, respectively, in the same heat where Ngbokoli earned his victory.

Junior Vernon Espinoza had a great day in the 400 meters, finishing second in a time of 49.44 seconds to set a new personal best time. Skinner returned to the track and ran a time of 50.57 seconds in the one-lap event to place seventh.

In the 110-meter hurdles, Maxim Doiron ’19 set a new personal best with a time of 15.61 seconds to place fifth in a deep field.
“I hadn’t set a new personal best in a long time so it felt really good to get such a big one,” Doiron said. “I’m looking forward to more good races as we get closer to the important meets.”

Alex Mangiafico ’20 ran a great race to win his heat of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 59.15 seconds, as sophomore Jack Dufton placed second right behind him in a time of 59.59 seconds.

Jordan Edwards ’20 competed well in the horizontal jumps, placing sixth in the long jump with a leap of 6.13 meters (20’ 1.5”) and third in the triple jump with a hop, skip and a jump of 13.15 meters (43’ 1.75”).

In the throws, Sam Amaka ’19 had a career day, setting new personal bests with throws of 35.38 meters (116’ 1”) in the discus and 46.42 meters (152’ 3”) in the hammer throw. Cornell Brooks ’19 also had a great day, setting new personal bests in the discus and hammer throw as well, with throws of 33.74 meters (110’ 8”) and 35.44 meters (116’ 3”), respectively.

With these results, the Amherst men’s track and field team finished a solid seventh overall in the 19-team field. Amherst finished behind NESCAC rival Tufts, which dominated the competition from start to finish, winning the meet with 129 points, which was 19 points better than the second-place squad. Conn College finished in ninth place behind the Mammoths. Amherst finished the meet with 51 points overall.

Next weekend, Amherst will return to Tufts to compete at the Tufts Sunshine Classic, hoping the weather cooperates with the name of the meet. With the NESCAC Championships the following weekend, some Mammoths will not be competing in order to prepare for the conference championship.

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