Track recaptures NE Division III crown
By David Rothstein
The indoor track and field team recaptured the New England Division III crown last Saturday with a performance at Bates College that both set a championship meet point record and insured MIT's legacy as a mini-dynasty in New England track and field. The title is the Engineers' fifth in the past six years and seventh overall.
With its 146-point total (Brandeis University was a distant second, with 69), MIT simply overwhelmed the other 15 teams assembled, taking first places in nine of 18 events. And, according to some of the Engineers, MIT was not even trying hard.
"This [meet] is definitely a good thing for the team," said co-captain Bill Singhose '90 after the meet, "because we actually backed off on this. We didn't go all out on this meet and we still walked everyone."
The caliber of competition rises quite a few notches, however, this evening and tomorrow as MIT competes in the All-New England Indoor Championships, which are being held at the Johnson Athletics Center. In all, 45 New England teams from all three divisions will be represented.
[Friday: 10 am (pentathlon), 4-9:15 pm (general events); Saturday: 12:30-4:10 pm (general events); MIT students gain free admission.]
The Division III Championships featured Singhose and junior Mark Dunzo, both of whom won two events. Dunzo was tops in the 200- and 400-meter runs, with times of 22.3 and 49.42 seconds, respectively. In both races, Dunzo narrowly defeated Fitchburg State's Willis Todman, who crossed the finish line in an identical 22.3 seconds in a photo-finish 200, and in 49.59 in the 400.
The junior's 200 meter time set a championship meet record.
Dunzo also ran the third leg of MIT's victorious 1600-meter relay team, which won handily in 3:22.51.
Singhose narrowly missed setting championship meet records in both events that he won. His 7.70 showing in the 55-meter high hurdles was only .01 seconds slower than the record, set by MIT's Sean Garrett G.
"All I had to do was comb my hair forward and I would have had it," joked Singhose after the meet.
And after winning the pole vault at 15 feet, three inches, Singhose had three attempts at 15'-7", which would have put him 3/4" over the previous record. But that mark would not be broken.
Both Singhose and Dunzo missed last year's championships with injuries.
In addition to his first place finishes, Singhose also ran on the 1600-meter relay team, and took second in the triple jump, at 44'-91/2", and fourth in the long jump, at 22'-11/4".
In the 5000 meters, the Engineers got gutsy performances from distance men Sean Kelley '89 and Jim Garcia '80. The two were seeded 9th and 10th, respectively, but pulled out a 1-2 finish, in 15:11.8 and 15:13.8, respectively.
Leading sprinter Boniface Makatiani '90 was resting a sore hamstring, and entered only the 500 and the 1600 meter relay. In the former, Makatiani set a championship record with a 1:04.09 time (previous record 1:04.28).
Competing in a separate facility, weightmen Eric Shank '91 and John-Paul Clarke '91 finished 1-2 in the 35-pound weight throw, with marks of 54'-11/2" and 53'-8" respectively.
Sophomore Mike Piepergerdes won the 1500 meter race easily in 3:55.0, but it was a race marked with controversy. Several coaches, most notably Brandeis' Norm Levine, protested that the 1500 meters had been started improperly, and that half the runners, including Piepergerdes, were lined up on a stagger line 15 meters from the proper line, and were thus given an unfair advantage. The protests were not upheld, however.
Kevin Scannell '91 finished the day with a third in the long jump, at 22'-61/4", a fifth in the 200 meters, in 22.7, and a speedy 49.6-second opening leg in the 1600-meter relay.
Other scorers were: Tom Washington '92 (high jump, 3rd, 6'-41/2"); Garrett Moose '91 (high jump, 6th, 6'-21/2" and long jump, 6th, 21'-51/4"); Joe Kowalski '90 (500 meters, 6th, 1:07.64); Chris Masalsky '91 (shot put, 5th, 47'-81/4"); John Tewksbury '92 (triple jump, 4th, 43'-4"); and the distance medley relay (Kowalski, Dan Rubenstein '92, Ted Manning '89, Piepergerdes, 4th, 10:30.7).
With a clear sense of mission accomplished, the Engineers' thoughts Saturday were drawn toward this weekends championships.
"We did what we were capable of doing," said head coach Gordon Kelly after the meet. "With this team that we have, we have a Division I team, and we have to prove that next week."
"If we don't finish in the top five," added Kelly, "I'll be disappointed."