Track Teams Earn a Number of First-Place Finishes
Issue   |   Tue, 04/22/2014 - 22:15
Photo Courtesy of Megan Robertson '15
Jamie Sandel '17 won the 400m hurdles and was beat out for gold in the 110m hurdles despite running a personal best in the event.

Looking to defend their home track, the men’s track team competed in the Little Three Championships against rivals Williams and Wesleyan. The men capped off a strong day by finishing with 128 points — good enough for second place.

“Williams historically wins, then Amherst, then Wesleyan — and this year, we came the closest to Williams that we have been since 2000, actually,” first-year Jamie Sandel commented.

The Jeffs were led by senior Matt Melton and Sandel. Melton won the 400-meter dash in 49.30s, finished second in the 200-meters and third in the high jump. Sandel continued his strong first-year campaign by winning the 400-meter hurdles and coming in second in the 110-meter hurdles.

“Although I had a personal record in the 110, I’m still a little unsatisfied with my performance, and at NESCACs and Div. III New England’s, I’ll try to run more focused and consistent races to qualify for ECACs and Open New England’s,” Sandel remarked on his performance.

Amherst competed excelled in the distance events, as Jeff Seelaus ’16 and Kevin Connors ’17 scored important points by finishing first and second, respectively, in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Dan Crowley ’16 and Greg Turissini ’15 finished back-to-back in the 5000-meter run for first and second place. The Jeffs had an excellent opportunity to go one-two-three in the event, but KC Fussell ’15 was unable to finish the race.

The field events also had a number of stellar performances. Juniors Mark Cort and Stephen Hetterich finished first and second, respectively, in the long jump. Hetterich continued a stellar afternoon by winning the triple jump with a jump of 12.86 meters. Football transplants Rob Perdoni ’16 and Sam Caldwell ’16 were able to shake off a fair amount of rust and finished third and fourth in the shot put, respectively.

Highlighted by a number of impressive performances over the weekend, the Amherst women’s track team competed hard in the Little Three Championships. Led by first-year Karen Blake and senior Naomi Bates, the Jeffs scored 100 points in their third place finish.

“I think as a team we competed extremely well with Williams and Wesleyan — the best we could provided we didn’t have people in the throwing, pole vaulting or 400-meter hurdle events,” Taylor Summers ’16 said.

Bates continued her stellar senior season, winning the 200-meter dash, long jump and triple jump. She edged teammate Summers in the long jump, leaping 5.82m and defeated the top seed in the triple jump, Williams’ Candice Dyce, on a final jump of 11.30m.

Karen Blake ’17 blew by the field in the 100-meter to win the event in the nation’s second fastest time this season at 12.25s. Blake is now program record holder in the event.
Bates and Blake were joined by Summers and Shyloe Jones ’14 to break another school record and win the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 46.80.

Also of note, Victoria Hensley ’16 continued to build off a strong performance at the UMass Invitational by finishing second in the 400-meters with a time of 1:00.29.

“For the rest of the season, we are trying to secure a spot in nationals, and I think we will be able to get there,” Summers said.

The Jeffs will look to continue their strong outdoor season in the NESCAC Championships this weekend at Colby.