Track and Field Both Place Fifth at Division III Championships
Issue   |   Wed, 02/25/2015 - 00:53
Raymond Meijer
Junior Brent Harrison continues to perform well in the mid-distances.


The Amherst College men’s track team traveled to Springfield last Saturday to compete at the 2015 Div. III New England Championships. The Jeffs earned 40 points to finish tied for seventh overall with Bowdoin in the 26-team field.

The highlight of the day for the team was the distance medley relay, in which four Amherst runners continued their strong performances this season. The team of Jesse Fajnzylber ’17, Nathan Showalter ’17, Chris Butko ’18 and Greg Turissini ’15 claimed first place with a time of 10:19.21.

This event is a focus for the team as the season winds down.

“One of our goals is for a successful distance medley relay that would place in the top eight at nationals for All-American status,” Butko said.

In the individual events, the purple and white provided a strong showing in the mid-distance events, with top-five finishes in the 600 meters, 800 meters, 1,000 meters and the one-mile run. Senior captain Romey Sklar led the way in the one mile, claiming third place with a time of 4:17.59.

Butko also competed in the 600 meters, running a time of 1:23.53 to cross the line in fourth place. Brent Harrison ’16 finished the 800 meters in fifth place with a time of 1:55.75, and Kevin Connors ‘17 claimed another fifth-place finish in the 1,000 meters, posting a mark of 2:32.28.

Craig Nelson ’18 highlighted the Jeffs’ performance in the distance events, running a time of 14:54.69 in the 5000 meters en route to third place. Fellow first-year Mohamed Hussein also provided a strong showing, claiming sixth place in the 3000-meter run with a time of 8:30.22.

I think the guys had fantastic performances to kick off championship season,” Hussein said. “We competed to our fullest and that is exactly the mentality we need to bring to our next meet.”

The team returns to action next weekend for the two-day All New England Championships Feb. 27-28 at Boston University.


The Amherst College women’s track team traveled to Northampton last Saturday to compete at the 2015 Div. III New England Championships hosted by Smith College.

The team claimed 51 points in order to notch fifth place among the 30 teams in attendance.

In the running events, sophomore Karen Blake led the team with two top-three finishes in the sprinting events.
Qualifying along with teammate Taylor Summers ’16 for the final of the 60 meters, Blake took second place with a time of 7.79 seconds, while Summers finished in 8.01 seconds to claim seventh place. Returning in the 200 meters, Blake posted a mark of 25.98 seconds in the final to cross the line in third place overall.

Seniors Olivia Tarantino and Kelli Ellingson provided standout performances in mid-distance. Tarantino finished in 3:04.54 to claim sixth place, while Ellingson crossed the line only tenths of a second behind, in 3:04.81, to claim seventh place.

Lexi Sinclair ’16, Savannah Gornisiewicz ’17, and Lizzy Briskin ’15 continued the Jeffs’ strong team performances in the 5,000-meter run this season. Sinclair finished in fourth place with a time of 17:28.58, Gornisiewicz finished in fifth with a mark of 17:29.28, and Briskin finished sixth with a time of 17:30.15.

Kiana Herold ’17 claimed the purple and white’s sole win of the day in the high jump. Herold, along with two competitors, cleared the height of 1.65 meters. Herold won the event by virtue of fewer misses. Her teammate Becki Golia ’18 jumped a height of 1.60 meters to finish eighth.

Amherst’s 4x200-meter and 4x800-meter relays each placed seventh with times of 1:47.35 and 9:43.33, while the distance medley relay team claimed sixth with a mark of 12:45.12.

“Our goal for this meet was to place in the top five, so I think we had a successful day,” Golia said. “We also posted a few ECAC qualification performances, so we’re excited for that.”

The team returns to action this week for the Open New England Championships on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27-28.