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Track team ties for sixth at nationals

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Indoor Track at

NCAA Division III

Championships

at Brunswick, Maine

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Pole vault - 1, Alex Greeland, St. Lawrence, 16'-1/2"; 2, Dave Forshew, Mount Union, 15'-3"; 3, Bill Singhose, MIT, 15'-3".

35-pound weight - 1, Scott Deering, MIT, 59'-93/4"; 2, Peter Goodrich, Bates, 57'-2"; 3, Ben Pautch, St. Thomas, 53'-51/2".

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By David Rothstein

The indoor track and field team finished in a tie for sixth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Championships, held last weekend at Bowdoin College. Co-captain Scott Deering '89 earned first place in the 35-pound weight throw, and Bill Singhose '90 took third in the pole vault. The mile relay also contributed a sixth place finish towards MIT's highest finish in the five-year history of the meet.

North Central of Illinois won the meet, scoring 661/2 points, while MIT and the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater both earned 17 points for the sixth-place tie.

Deering set a facility record in the weight throw with a toss of 59'-53/4", outdistancing Peter Goodrich of Bates College by more that 21/2 feet.

"I was pretty confident I was going to win," said Deering, who has run off an impressive string of wins in post-season competition this year, including first places at the Greater Boston Championships and last weekend's Eastern Coast Athletic Conference Championships.

Deering's second throw of the competition turned out to be enough to take the gold medal, but he said he would have been happier had he surpassed the MIT record. Patrice Parris '85 had hurled the weight 61'-6" four years ago to break a 29-year-old MIT record.

Deering became only the fifth MIT athlete to win a national track title -- the first since Parris in 1985. Parris' victory came in the first year that the national indoor track championships were broken down by NCAA Division. In the past, the competitions were open, featuring athletes from all three Divisions. Competing in the open championships, Dave Kieda '82 and John Pearson '74 both won the hammer throw in their senior year, and Frank Richardson '77 took the title in the 10,000-meter run in 1977.

In the shot put, Deering threw 50'-0", good for 11th place.

Singhose vaulted 15'-3" to take third, duplicating his place from last year's Division III Championships. This was only his second week back after missing almost five weeks of competition due to hamstring injuries in both legs. Singhose narrowly missed second place, which went to Dave Forshew of Mt. Union, who finished above Singhose at 15'3" by virtue of fewer misses.

Singhose, who led the three-hour vault competition in the early goings, said he was pleased with his performance, especially in light of his being absent from practice for so prolonged a period of time.

The mile-relay team, consisting of Kevin Scannell '92, Paul McKenzie '90, Mark Dunzo '91, and Doug Cornwall '89, ran in a fairly strong field and finished sixth among the six final teams. While Scannell (51.3 seconds), McKenzie (49.4), and Dunzo (50.1) ran well, Cornwall -- who plays for the varsity basketball team during the winter season and captains the outdoor track team in the spring -- showed signs of lack of preparation with a 53.1 anchor leg.

Head coach Gordon Kelly said that Cornwall, who ran and triple-jumped at the ECAC meet, had won a 300-meter trial during practice Wednesday to determine who would be the fourth man on the relay team. But he admitted that he had "gambled on a 51.5" or better from Cornwall.

According to pre-meet seedings, MIT was expected to score 24 points, which would have put it in fourth, ahead of Loras College (21 points). The Engineers, however, did not get all the points they expected.

John-Paule Clarke '91, who had been improving greatly over the season in the weight throw, fouled on all three trial throws and failed to score. Senior Sean Kelley finished 10th in the 5000 meters at 15:23.00. Only the top six finishers are awarded points.

Other individual competitors included Dunzo, whose 50.72 trial time in a strong 400-meter field was not enough to make the finals, and Mike Piepergerdes '92, who did not qualify for the 1500 meters final, despite a 3:57.64 effort in the trials.

While most of those who competed throughout the entire four-week championship season will be resting before the start of the outdoor season, the track team will begin its quest to defend the outdoor New England Division III title this week. The Engineers open the outdoor season with a trip to Florida during the spring break.