Men’s Track and Field Finishes Second at Both Little III and Pioneer Invitationals
Issue   |   Tue, 01/24/2017 - 23:12
Amherst Athletics
Junior sprinter David Ingraham placed first in the 500-meter race at the Benyon Invitational this weekend with a mark of 1:08.09.

The men’s track and field team enjoyed a successful interterm break, placing second at both the Little III Championship and the Pioneer Invitational Tournament.

The team opened the year at the Little III tournament, which was hosted by Wesleyan on Jan. 14. This is the third year that the meet has been held during the indoor track season, after being held during the outdoor track season prior to 2015.

Little III has a unique scoring system, as a team may only earn points for their first two finishers in each event.

The team placed second at Little III, outrun only by Williams, scoring 101 points to the 153 scored by the Ephs, the defending NESCAC team champions.

With only the first-year members of the cross country team allowed to compete for the track and field team following the concluded investigation of the cross country team’s emails, there were few athletes to run the distance events, which ranged from the 800-meter to 3,000-meter runs, along with the 4x800-meter relay.

The purple and white showed off its strong recruiting class in the sprint events, with Elijah Ngbokoli ’20 and Biafra Okoronkwo ’20 placing second and fourth, respectively, in the 60-meter dash. The trend continued in the 200-meter race, where Amherst first-years Ngbokoli, Mayowa Tinubu and Okoronkwo placed second, fourth and fifth in the event, respectively.

In the 400-meter run, Yonas Shiferaw ’20 and Maxim Doiron ’19 placed second and third, earning valuable points for Amherst. In the 600-meter race, veterans David Ingraham ’18 and Jay Drain ’18 led Stanley Dunwell ’20 as the three placed third through fifth in the unique three-lap event that is only held indoors.

First-years competed in all of the distance events, and Jack Dufton ’20 and Alex Mangiafico ’20 placed fifth and seventh in the 800-meter run. In the 1,000-meter race, another event that is only run indoors, Estevan Velez ’20 placed third, coming back strong after a cross-country season where he was unable to compete due to injury. Only Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20 competed in the mile race, placing fifth in 4:26.

Doiron showed off his hurdling ability, winning the 60-meter hurdles in 9.01 seconds, leading teammates Shiferaw and Theo Bates ’20. The two first-years placed third and fourth in the only indoor hurdling event.

In the field events, Jordan Edwards ’20 won the triple jump with a jump of 13.44 meters and qualified for the New England DIII Championships. In the long jump, Theo Bates ’20 placed fourth.

Edwards continued his early-season success in the high jump, leading the team once again by placing second in the high jump, jumping 1.83 meters.

Sophomores Sam Amaka ’19 and Wisdom Yevudza ’19 competed in both the shot put and weight throw, earning points for the team in the throwing events.

The 4x800-meter relay team placed fourth, and the 4x400-meter relay concluded the meet for the purple and white, placing second to Williams.

After another week of training, the purple and white returned to action and placed second to Division II Assumption College at the Pioneer Invitational hosted by Smith College on Saturday, Jan. 21.

The Amherst first-years continued their dominance in the sprint events at Smith, where Ngbokoli, Tinubu and Okoronkwo all qualified for the 60-meter dash final, placing third, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Dunwell earned his first collegiate win, placing first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.51 seconds. Not far behind him were teammates Ingraham and Bates, placing third and fourth.

The purple and white dominated the 500-meter race, as captain Ingraham, Drain and Dunwell took the top three finishes in the event. In the 800-meter event, Velez continued his strong indoor season to place second with a time of 2:00.32.

Ralph Skinner ’20 and Ferguson-Dryden placed first and second in the 1,000–meter event, qualifying both runners for the New England Division III Championships.

Doiron continued his hurdling success, winning the 60-meter hurdles for the second week in a row. Bates placed second to Doiron, and both qualified for the New England Division III Championships.

Edwards won the triple jump for the second week in a row and also led Amherst long jumpers by placing third. The purple and white continued to enjoy relay success, as the 4x200 meter relay placed second and both the 4x400 and 4x800 meter relays claimed first place.

“I’m really impressed with what the team was able to accomplish over the past three weeks,” team captain Ingraham said. “Despite being down in numbers, we’ve scored highly at our meets, and I’m excited to see us continue to improve as we head toward championship season.”

The men’s track and field team returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 28 as they travel to Springfield College to compete at the Massasoit Classic. This will be the first meet where some cross country team members will be able to don their Amherst jerseys once again.