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Men's track falls to Tufts

Mark Dunzo and

Kevin Scannell

The last time the MIT men's indoor track and field team lost a regular season meet to a Division III school, Ronald Reagan was in his first term as President. As of last Friday night, the team had racked up an impressive winning streak of 94 victories over Division III teams.

Back in 1983, Tufts defeated MIT by a margin of 0.04 seconds in the final event, the 4x800 meter relay, to win the meet. Friday's defeat came at the hands of the same opponent, but not by so narrow a margin.

The Tufts University Jumbos, on the basis of many strong performances, gained a 71.5-48.5 victory over the Engineers.

The MIT team was hindered by a series of misfortunes at the meet. Senior standout Steve Cooke suffered an injury at the beginning of Friday's meet.

Additionally, lead point-scorer Kevin Scannell '92 could not participate due to a hamstring injury during the UMass-Amherst meet and Garrett Moose '91 was out due to a severe head injury.

Moose, who suffered a severe blow to the head while practicing the pole vault the Monday preceding the meet, may not return for the remainder of the indoor track season.

On top of everything else, the power outage at MIT last Friday afternoon forced the meet to move to Tufts' vintage facility.

Despite losing, MIT had several excellent performances. The weight-throwing tandem of co-captain Jean-Paul Clarke '91 and Rob Flemming '93 was successful.

Clarke won the weight throw with a hefty 55@#-3/4" performance, while Flemming set another personal best with a toss of 48@#-3", taking third place. In addition, Clarke threw the shot put 46@#-10 1/2", winning the event and setting another personal best.

In the jumps, senior Steve Cooke managed a personal best of 21@#-11/4" in the long jump before injuring his hamstring, taking third place. In the triple jump, junior John Tewksbury garnered a second place finish with his 42@#-4" leap.

Freshman sensation Matt Robinson continued to display consistency in the pole vault, winning the event at 14@#. Another freshman, James Kirtley, prevailed in the high jump with a 6@#-2" effort.

On the track, co-captain Mark Dunzo '91 attempted a difficult triple-event schedule in order to make up for the absence of Scannell, Moose and Cooke.

After winning the 400, he returned just five minutes later for the 50-yard dash finals, managing to gain fifth place against a well-rested field. The effects of the multiple races were evident in the 200 final, as Dunzo took second behind Tufts' Greg Hutton, who won in 22.95.

Sophomore Jon Claman took the fight to the Tufts runners in the grueling 800, and won by running a smart, tactical race. Trailing after 500 meters, Claman made a bold move, taking over the lead and holding off several challenges during the final lap.

Peter Ronco '92 earned third place in the 1500, sprint specialist Jay Chiang '94, who finished fourth in the 50-yard dash after winning his heat and Tewksbury, garnered fourth place in a bizarre 45-yard high-hurdle race involving just three hurdle barriers.

The 1600 relay foursome of Dan Corcoran '94, Brad Geilfuss '94, Elliott Mason '94 and Dunzo -- returning for his fifth race -- also placed.

The Tufts team will be no stranger to MIT's trackmen over the next month. This weekend, both squads travel to Harvard's Gordon Track for the Greater Boston Championships, where MIT will certainly try to avenge last week's loss.

In late February, the teams will square off again at the New England Division III Championship meet at Bowdoin College. With the return of Cooke and a healthy Scannell, the Engineers will undoubtedly be a strong contender for the title.

(John-Paul Clarke '91, Mark Dunzo '91 and Kevin Scannell '92 are members of the men's indoor track team.)