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Varsity Track Team Holds Off Alumni Challenge, 69-53

By Daniel Wang
Sports Editor

Last Saturday, past and present members of the track and field program gathered together at Johnson Athletic Center for the meet pitting the current varsity against the alumni. Having a few former national champions, the alumni looked like they could present a challenge. In the end, however, the Engineers prevailed over the "Has-beens," 6953.

The alumni displayed dominance on the field, with two former national champions combining to win all but one event. Bill Singhose '90 showed what made him a titleholder in the decathlon, as he captured first place in the pole vault, long jump, and triple jump.

In both the pole vault and long jump, Singhose needed only one attempt to secure the win. In the pole vault, he cleared a height of 12 feet, 6 inches with his first try. Although he had cleared greater heights in the past, he elected to stop with his result.

The second place finisher Jason Melvin '97 cleared 11' 0" on his first attempt, but was unsuccessful in three tries with the bar at 12' 0".

In the long jump, Singhose completed a leap of 21' 3/4" on his first attempt in the final round, then passed on his remaining two tries. The varsity took the next five places, led by Hung Hoang '96 with a 19' 3/4" followed by Jesus Muniz '98 and Andy Ugarov '95, who tied for third with a distance of 19' 5-3/4".

A similar result occurred in the triple jump which followed. In this event, Singhose covered a distance of 43' 8-1/2". Ugarov came the closest, with a distance of 42' 1-1/4".

J.P. Clarke G, who was difficult to match in size, was also difficult to match in the two throwing events. In the 35-pound weight throw, his heaves often caused the weight to bounce past the safety net used to stop it. The Engineers' current top thrower, John Wallberg '96 came the closest to Clarke's 53 foot, 4-1/2 inch effort, with his best hurl traveling 48' 6-3/4".

The rest of the field came closer in the shot put, but in the end, Clarke and Wallberg placed first and second again. Clarke delivered a throw of 45' 4-1/2", while Wallberg threw a distance of 44' 7-1/4". Singhose showed his versatility by placing fourth in this event, with a 41' 11-1/4" effort.

The lone Engineer victory came in the high jump, as Ugarov topped the field after clearing a height of 6' 6". In this event, Tom Washington '92 of the alumni prevented a varsity sweep of the top places by taking second, with a height of 6' 2". The next best performance came from Daniel Feldkhun '98, who cleared 6' 0" for third place.

Since 1982, the alumni had defeated the varsity in the final team score only three times in this annual event. Early on, the chances of another triumph for the alumni looked good. After three events, the alumni led, 1611. However, two events later, the varsity claimed the lead, with the score 2520, and never relinquished it.

The results on the track seemed to make the difference in the meet. The turning point for the Engineers appeared in the mile run, the first scoring running event.

In this race, the Engineers faced a challenge from Mike Piepergerdes '93, a second-place finisher at the 1993 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Championships in the 1500-meter run. Josh Feldman '97 responded to the challenge by starting out on a fast pace. Piepergerdes sat back and appeared to wait for Feldman to tire and slow down.

However, Feldman kept the lead and finished strong to win, with a time of 4 minutes, 12.95 seconds. Piepergerdes was not able to close the gap, and even finished behind Richard Rosalez '98 to end up in third place.

Singhose performs on track

Singhose furthered showed his all-around ability by taking a first in one running event, and finishing second in another. In the 55-meter high hurdles, he gained a fairly easy win, clocking 8.04 seconds to establish a comfortable margin from Colin Page '95, Ernest Bonner '97, and Don Lee '98.

Three events later, Edgar Ngwenya '96 denied Singhose victory in the 800-meter run. Ngwenya started out in the lead and stayed there, gaining a winning time of 2:01.44. Singhose, meanwhile, sat in fourth place before sprinting ahead of Eric Nicholson '98 and Joel Ford '98 to finish second, a little more than one second behind Ngwenya.

The 400-meter and 200-meter races were conducted in heats, as races against the clock. John Kim '98 came out on top of the 400-meter event, with a time of 54.76. In the 200-meter dash, Malik King '95 won a close race, in which 0.12 seconds separated fourth place from his winning time of 24.03.

Matt Sandholm '96 was the victor in the 55-meter dash, edging two alumni runners, Ayisi Makatiani '90 and Jay Chiang '94, in a time of 6.77 seconds.

In the penultimate event, the 5000-meter run, Ethan Crain '95 and Jesse Darley '95 displayed teamwork that translated into astounding success. Throughout most of the race, the duo paced each other, with each one taking turns in the lead.

Two alumni runners, Terry McNatt '87 and Eugene Tung '88 ran close to each other and tried chasing the Crain-Darley pair. However, Crain and Darley proceeded to increase their lead with every lap completed.

Near the end, they had only each other to race against. With about 800 meters left, Crain pulled away and cruised into the finish line with a winning time of 15:01.5. Darley followed with second, coming in with a time of 15:04.95. Together, they lapped all of the other runners, except for McNatt, who covered the distance in 15:22.95.

In the final event, the 4 x 200-meter relay, the lone alumni team held off a challenge from four varsity teams to finish first. However, the Engineers had already clinched the team victory.

The next meet for the Engineers will be the Beaver Relays, also at home, on Saturday, Jan. 14. The meet will serve as a warm-up for the official team competitions that begin the following week.