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Singhouse, DAvis lead track to best-ever finish

By David Rothstein

DEDHAM -- The men's track and field team recorded another best-ever performance with a third-place finish in Sunday's Greater Boston Championships. The Engineers scored more points, 561/2, and placed higher than they ever had in the history of the meet.

It was easy to lose track of one detail about MIT at the GBC, held at Northeastern's Solomon Track: MIT is a Division III school. That did not stop the Engineers from beating up on two Division I schools -- Boston University and Boston College -- and serving notice to winner Harvard University (87 points) and second-place finisher Northeastern University (801/2) that this small school with a 59-meet undefeated streak is fully capable of stirring up a little trouble of its own.

Take, for example, the 400-meter relay, which Harvard won by one-tenth of a second over MIT's 43.0 (hand-timed). The Engineers got a strong first leg from senior David Wright, and after a second leg by Doug Cornwall '89 and third leg from Mark Dunzo '91 they led the six-team field by two meters, running in the outside lane.

It just so happened that Dunzo's handoff to anchorman Boniface Makatiani '90 was, well, rather lengthy, and Harvard managed to overtake MIT and hang on to the split-second lead.

But where was Boston College? Where was Northeastern?

The Engineers had two champions on the cold, overcast day, along with three second-place finishers and five thirds. The top five finishers in each event earned points.

Junior Bill Singhose, the team's leading scorer in the 1988-89 indoor as well as this outdoor season, led the way again with 11 points, earned with a first place in the pole vault at 14'-0", a third in the long jump (21'-101/4") and a fourth in the triple jump, at 45'-91/2".

On his fifth jump in the finals of the triple jump competition, Singhose unleashed what appeared to be a 47-foot-plus jump, but was called for a foul at the jump board. It couldn't have been more than an inch, but a foul nonetheless.

And freshman Kelly Davis had a solid day, leading a strong MIT showing in the 110-meter high hurdles with a first-place finish in 15.54, taking third in the triple at 46'-51/2", and placing fifth in the long jump at 20'-91/2".

It was a cold, rainy, windy, early Sunday morning that greeted the contestants at the GBC. It must have seemed especially so to Garrett Moose '91, a decathlete, who overslept and missed the team's 8:30 am bus. Undaunted, though, when he woke up and realized his error, Moose jumped on his 10-speed and bicycled out to Dedham.

Fifteen miles. In a 40-degree drizzle. A good warmup.

Moose arrived at the track, his bag customarily slung over his left shoulder, too late to compete in two events, but in time to compete in the pole vault. Moose cleared 13'-0", a personal best, and tied for fifth place.

While some of the other school's athletes pulled out of races because of the cold, MIT had no scratches for that reason.

"The weather helped us," head coach Gordon Kelly said yesterday. "All of our guys were there, ready to go."

The field events saw MIT score 261/2 points.

Kevin Scannell jumped 22'-31/4" to take second in the long jump, and may have placed in the triple had he not twisted an ankle landing in the rain-hardened pit. MIT got the bottom three scoring slots, however, in the triple, with Davis, Singhose, and Kwaku Prakah-Asante '90, who placed fifth with a

45'-5" jump.

The other field points came from Scott Deering '89, who took third in the shot put

(47'-7") and fourth in the hammer throw (183'-8"), and from Chris Masalsky, who placed fourth in the javelin, at 182'-2".

On the track, MIT was unable to score in events longer than the 400 meters, but in the 400 and under, the Engineers ran well.

Davis led a 1-2-5 showing in the high hurdles, as Sean Garrett G placed second at 15.65, and John Tewksbury '92 placed fifth (no time was available).

Makatiani had a busy day, running both the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, as well as the open 400- and 200-meter dashes. Makatiani placed second in the 400, in 48.61, and third in the 200, at 22.65.

The junior turned in a 49.2 anchor leg in the 1,600-meter relay, but could not catch the Harvard anchor. MIT finished in 3:17.81, good for second.

Cornwall ran a hard 50.2 leg out of the blocks to pass the baton to Paul McKenzie '90 with MIT in third place. McKenzie, who earlier in the day had placed third in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in a personal-best 54.33, attacked the two runners ahead of him and was battling for first at the 200-meter mark.

MIT was in second place, trailing by one meter, when Dunzo took the baton.

Dunzo ran a 48.7 split, but got into the same trouble that Makatiani would encounter in the anchor leg. Both runners were almost even with the Harvard leaders at the 200-meter mark, just before the track's second turn.

Both runners -- perhaps tired from the three previous events in which they competed -- ran conservatively on the backstretch. Both, in order to avoid running in the second lane around the curve, lost a stride as they fell in behind the Harvard runners.

Makatiani faced a two-meter deficit as he took the baton from Dunzo. The same distance separated Makatiani from the Harvard leader with 100 meters left in the race. Harvard won by about seven meters.

Dunzo, like Makatiani, competed in the 200, the 400, and both relays.

Dunzo's 49.63 narrowly missed out for fifth place in the 400. In the later, 200-meter race, Dunzo, running in the outside lane, blasted out of the blocks and ran the curve well, but lost something as he approached the straightaway, and faded to a 23.43 finish.

"We didn't get anybody hurt," Kelly said, remembering the indoor GBC at which Singhose pulled a hamstring muscle, forcing him to miss four weeks of the season. "That was important."

This weekend the Engineers head to Williams College for the New England Division III Championships. MIT will send three decathletes -- Singhose, Moose, and Tewksbury -- early for the decathlon competition, which begins Thursday, and will compete as a team on Saturday. MIT is the defending outdoor champion.

"Big points," mused Kelly in his office as he thought forward to his team's performance.

"This year's team is better [than last year's]," he said. "It's got more quality, [and especially] more depth."