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Track places fifth at GBC

By David Rothstein

Last weekend the indoor track and field team went up against Boston's best at the Greater Boston Championships at Harvard University. Facing Division I schools like Harvard University, Northeastern University and Boston College, MIT was not expected to finish high among the seven teams competing, much less win the GBC outright.

MIT Afternoon at the Greater Boston Championships: a photo essay. See page 35.

No, MIT did not engineer a great upset. It finished fifth, with 38 points, just missing fourth place to Boston University, which had 381/2.

Harvard won both the men's (94 points) and women's titles by comfortable margins.

Despite its several impressive performances Friday evening and Saturday in Harvard's Albert H. Gordon Track and Tennis Center, MIT's mood at the end of the championships was subdued. Scoring more points than it had ever scored at the GBC, and taking home two first-place victories, in the 400-meter dash, and in the 35-pound weight throw, could not fully replace the hollow feeling of a battle lost by half a point.

Nor would the points and the wins replace leading scorer Bill Singhose '90, who injured his right hamstring while competing in the long jump Friday night, and may be out for as long as four weeks. Singhose, who competes in the pole vault, high, triple, and long jumps, and has run on the mile relay, was nearing full recovery from an injury to his left hamstring when his right one gave out after undergoing the combined stress of long jumping and running in the 200-meter semifinal.

Singhose still managed to place fifth in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 43/4 inches.

Head coach Gordon Kelly said that without Singhose, the team will have a heavier load on its shoulders when it competes in the New England Division III Championships, held Feb. 18 at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.

"Some of the other guys will have to come through," said Kelly.

"Before we had a cushion [in Singhose]," he said, "but now we just can't have a bad day."

Those whom Kelly will be counting on most will include the runners and field men who competed this weekend.

Co-captains Scott Deering '89 and Mark Dunzo '91 led the Engineers with first-place finishes in the 35-pound weight throw and the 400 meters, respectively.

Deering threw 59'2" to win the weight throw by more than five feet over the second-place finisher. It was an impressive win for the man who has qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Championships in the weight throw every year since his he was a freshman. Deering also placed fifth in the shot put at 48'3".

Dunzo's win was equally fine, as he led the field of six runners from start to finish, holding off BU's Horace Bryan by two-hundredths of a second to finish in 49.92. Dunzo bettered his personal best indoor time by .96 seconds on the fast Harvard track, which is banked, unlike MIT's level track in the Johnson Athletic Center.

Dunzo would anchor MIT's third-place mile-relay team to a time of 3:21.70 showing at afternoon's end, joining Kevin Scannell '92, Paul McKenzie '90, and Karim Roshd '89.

McKenzie also had a good day on the track, placing third in the 55-meter high hurdles (7.99) and fifth in the 200-meter dash (23.47). McKenzie was joined in the hurdles by freshman Dean Moon, who took fourth in 8.19. To Kelly, having two competitors in the hurdles final was a "real pleasant surprise."

John-Paul Clarke '91 came on strong in the weight throw competition Friday night, placing fifth with a throw of 52'2". That may also qualify Clarke for the Division III Championships, held Feb. 10 and 11 at Bowdoin College. The top 11 weight men in the country will compete.

Deering has already assured himself a spot at the national championship, as has Singhose, in the pole vault.

One of the day's more competitive events came in Section I of the men's mile run. MIT's entry was freshman Mike Piepergerdes, who placed fourth in 4:15.7. Surprised, perhaps, by the amount of jostling that went on in the race as runners jockeyed for position, Piepergerdes found himself in the middle of the pack in the early part of the race.

But by the bell lap, Piepergerdes had moved up and was challenging BC freshman Jamalh Prince for third place. Prince held on to beat Piepergerdes by about two seconds.

Scannell jumped a personal-best 22'93/4" on Friday to take third in the long jump, and followed that Saturday with a 44'33/4" triple jump, good for fourth place. Scannell missed third by an agonizing 1/4".

Two seniors were upset in what are usually their strong events, but both came back to run solid legs on relays.

Co-captain Kyle Robinson '89 went out hard in the 1000 meters, and led for several laps before falling behind. He finished in 2:45.41, well off his personal best.

Eugene Tung '89 also led all runners in his race, the 5000 meters, on Friday evening, but Tung faded in the second half of the race. Sean Kelley '89 placed fifth in the 5000 at 14:51.27, a personal record.

Robinson came back for the 4x880-yard relay with a strong leg, joining Patrick Cazeau '92, Piepergerdes and Joe Kowalski '90. The relay finished fourth in 8:16.20.

Tom Washington, who earlier this season set a freshman high jump record, faced stiff competition Saturday from the likes of BC's Ken Moody, a seven-foot jumper. Washington placed fourth with a leap of 6'6".

MIT's distance medley relay did not finish among the top five DMR teams, but the foursome of Nate Getrich '91 (1/2 mile), Tim Alosi '90 (1/4 mile), Kelly (3/4 mile), and Tung (mile) put in a solid effort to finish in 10:35.41.

Freshman Garrett Moose competed in the pentathlon Friday, finishing a solid fourth.

MIT travels to Bowdoin Saturday for its final regular-season meet.

The New England Division III Championships are a week from Saturday, and Kelly anticipates a strong performance from his team.

None of the Division III schools at the championships will be of the caliber of the Division I schools MIT faced at the GBC, Kelly said. Kelly had expected a stronger performance by Northeastern, but said that "Harvard always has talent, no doubt about it."