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Track sweeps NE Outdoor Championships

By Michael J. Garrison

and Harold A. Stern

MIT swept to victory in Saturday's New England Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, setting new meet records for highest score and winning margin. The Engineers scored a whopping 150 points (Brandeis was second with 69) led by Bill Singhose '90 with 26 points and Boniface Makatiani '90 with 25.

Many Engineers qualified for nationals at the meet, including: Singhose in the decathalon (6806 points, first place); both the 4x100 (Dave Wright '89, Doug Cornwall '89, Mark Dunzo '91, and Makatiani, 42.32, first, new MIT record) and the 4x400 (Cornwall, Paul McKenzie '90, Dunzo, and Makatiani, 3:15.47, first) relay teams; Dunzo in the 400 (47.44, first); McKenzie in the 400 intermediate hurdles (53.55, second); and Mike Piepergerdes '92 in the 1500 (3:52.15, first, new MIT freshman record).

Singhose had previously qualified for nationals in the pole vault, which he won Saturday by clearing 4.29 meters. Scott Deering '89 had also previously qualified in the hammer throw -- his performance Saturday of 53.88 meters was good for second place.

Other MIT first-place finishes were turned in by Makatiani, who anchored both relays, in the 100 (11.0, hand timed) and 200 (22.03) sprints and Kevin Scannell '92 in the long jump with a leap of 6.82 meters.

Head coach Gordon Kelly expects Makatiani will qualify for nationals in the 400 during this weekend's All New England meet. "He is our best in the 400," Kelley explained, "but we have been using him as a sprinter." If Makatiani fails to qualify, Kelly mused, "I would have made a serious error on his behalf." Kelly predicted that Makatiani would have a good chance to win the 400 in the nationals.

Kelly also gave Singhose a good chance to win in the decathalon, and he speculated that the 4x400 relay team might take home a victory. MIT placed ninth in the nation last year, and Kelley said that the team goal for this year was to place inside the top five.

It was a rigorous week for Singhose, who is still sore after having competed in 18 events over the past seven days -- the decathalon and four other events at Williams as well as four at the Greater Boston Championships last Sunday.

At the Division III Championships he hurt his elbow while throwing the javelin in the decathalon. As a result, he took as few attempts as possible in the pole vault, making no further tries after vaulting high enough to win the event. Singhose might skip the season's final meet -- the IC4As at Villanova -- to rest and was confident his elbow would be better in time for the nationals.

Singhose competed in both the decathalon and the pole vault at the nationals last year, finishing in third and fourth place respectively. The decathalon will be "wide open" this year, he believed, as the two people who finished above him have both graduated. Singhose said he thinks he can improve on his score from the Williams meet, which he treated as a warm-up for the nationals. His score at last year's championships was about 50 points higher than it was at this weekend's meet, he added.

The pole vault will be a tougher event; Singhose, who finished third in the nation at the indoor national championships, has not competed very much outdoors in this event. He has vaulted in only three or four meets outside this season, he explained, and has not been challenged enough, winning with lower heights.

The nationals will be held May 24-27 at North Central College, in Naperville, IL. Before that, about 15 MIT athletes will compete in the All New England meet this weekend. The All New England, which is open by invitation only, includes Division I and II schools as well as some Division III colleges.