Men's Track Races to Top Individual Finishes at NESCAC Championships
Issue   |   Wed, 04/29/2015 - 00:02

The Amherst men’s track and field team traveled northwest to Williamstown to face off against stiff competition for the NESCAC championships. The day opened with a brisk wind and party sunny and cloudy conditions that kept up for the remainder of the day. The Jeffs book-ended the day with two particularly stellar performances, opening and closing the day with two second-place finishes in the 10K and 4x800 meters.

“The team did a great job as a whole, besting our performance last year by 16 points,” Romey Sklar ’15 said. “We started off the day strong with some great 10K performances — two personal bests and were able to keep that momentum going throughout the meet and ultimately finish off strong with a 2nd place 4x800 meter performance.”

To kick the day off, Mohamed Hussein ’18 earned the top individual finish for the purple and white, coming in second place in the 10K with a time of 31:13.52 despite the initially chilly conditions.

“I had to spend sometime in the sidelines and nurse a lingering injury and I couldn’t have asked for a more competitive meet than the NESCAC championship meet,” Hussein said. “The outcome of my race was very reassuring and it boosted my confidence going into the championship portion of the season.”

This finish by the first-year standout earned him a 31st ranking nationally in Division III.

The other top finish of the day went to the men’s 4x800-meter relay team, which boasted a time of 7:51.75. Kevin Connors ’17 led off strong, while Nick Codola ’15 matched pace, losing ground to some strong second-leg runners putting Amherst in second-to-last position. Sklar would have none of it, digging deep to pass multiple runners, moving Amherst into second position. The clutch anchor Brent Harrison ’16 held on to allow the team to finish second overall in a very competitive field.

Dan Crowley ’16 ran his way to a third-place finish in the 5K, snatching a 14:57.43 time, shattering his old personal best.

On the jumps side, senior Mark Cort placed fourth with a leap of 21’ 9.5”. Khalil Fleming ’16 jumped 21’ 2.5” to take seventh.

Stephen Hetterich ’15 followed up with a 17th-place showing in the event, with a jump of 18’ 10.5”. After tweaking his hamstring, Fleming would place 14th in triple jump, while Hetterich took 16th.

Sklar earned a fifth-place finish in the 1,500 meters, clocking in 3:55.52 and setting a new personal best. “I was happy with my 1,500, as it was a personal best, but wish I had been more aggressive in the later stages of the race,” Sklar said.

Sklar bested Kevin Connors ’17 by mere hundredths of seconds, as Connors came in at 3:55.79 to take sixth. Sklar’s time ranks 41st in the nation, while Connors has the 46th-fastest time so far.

Jamie Sandel ’17 ran a gutsy 400-meter hurdle race to come in 9th with a time of 56.11.

The men’s 4x400-meter relay team placed sixth with a 3:27.50 time. The team was composed of David Ingraham ’18, Sandel, Harrison Haigood ’18 and Lucey.

The men’s 4x100-meter team, consisting of Nathan Showalter ’17, Nick Codola ’15, David Ingraham ’18 and Thomas Matthew ’16, snagged a seventh-place finish with a time of 44.10.

“Coach Ned always stresses the importance of ‘getting out there and competing’ and the team did an awesome job of that this weekend,” Seelaus said. “There were many great performances that will give us momentum heading into the last few meets of the season.

The men’s team will compete next weekend in the Division III New England championships.