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MIT track team wins its opener

By David Rothstein

Already it has been a year of firsts for the indoor track and field team. Last year's assistant coach, Halston Taylor, is this year's rookie head coach. Boniface Makatiani '90 and Bill Singhose '90 are no longer on the team roster. And the 1600-meter relay team lost a regular-season race for the first time in recent memory.

But one thing remains constant: The track team wins. It might not humiliate its opposition on the same, regular basis that it did last year with what was arguably MIT's finest team. But no other New England Division III team will touch the Engineers this season.

MIT opened the 1990 campaign with a win Saturday in a quadrangular meet at the Johnson Athletics Center, scoring 73 points to Amherst College's 33, Worcester Polytechnic Institute's 28, and Fitchburg State College's 25.

Kevin Scannell '92 led an all-around MIT assault in the field events, taking firsts in the long jump (21 feet, 2 inches) and the triple jump (43@#-31/4"). He also recorded a second in the 200-meter dash (23.39 seconds) and ran the anchor leg on MIT's second-place 1600 relay team.

Senior John-Paul Clarke got to work early, winning the 35-pound weight throw with a 51@#-113/4" toss that qualified him for the national championships. He took second in the shot put, with a 44@#-71/4" toss.

MIT scored 42 points in the six field events alone, against the 24 points collected by the three other teams combined. Garret Moose '91, recently returned to the track team after the football season, vaulted 12@#-6" to win the pole vault and jumped an impressive 21@#-11/2" to take second in the long jump.

Junior Tom Washington picked up a second place in the high jump, with a 6@#-4" effort.

The running events showed that MIT will be a strong competitor in most categories, although experimentation on Taylor's part resulted, surprisingly, in only two MIT firsts in the running events: John Claman '93 won the 800 meters in 2:01.18, and the 3200-meter relay team (James Kirtley '94, Dave Brann '94, Rajesh Suryadevara '94 and Claman) took first in 8:43.91.

Claman took the lead from MIT's Steve Cooke '91 on the third lap and fought off a late surge from Amherst's Jeff Greenfield to win first with a 15-hundredths of a second margin.

In perhaps the afternoon's only true upset, senior co-captain Mark Dunzo was edged by Amherst's Kevin Bolduan in the 400 meters. Dunzo led strong for about 300 meters, but tightened up as Bolduan pushed him on the homestretch. After taking an extra-long time evaluating the photograph of the finish, meet officials declared Bolduan the winner, in 51.08 seconds to Dunzo's 51.09.

(Word on the street after the meet, however, was that Dunzo would get Bolduan back the next time they race together, in the New England Division III championship meet.)

The Engineers had a very good showing in the 55-meter high hurdles, with Dean Moon '92 (third place, 8.14) and John Tewksbury '92 (fourth, 8.19) both qualifying for the New England Division III meet.

And Peter Ronco '92 set a huge personal best mark in the 3000, taking second place in 8:59.00

The 1600 relay team of Cooke, Kevin Knoedler '94, Elliot Hui '94 and Scannell faced stiff competition from Amherst, and only made things harder on itself with three (of three possible) terrible handoffs. The 35-meter deficit that Scannell faced as he entered the anchor leg was too much, and the relay came in second, in 3:33.49, to Amherst's 3:29.94.

Taylor commented after the meet that he was "very pleased with the field events.

"We came up against some good competition, not team-wise," he said, "but individual-wise."

MIT hosts the Division I College of the Holy Cross Thursday evening at 6:00.