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Despite Strong Performance, Track Falls to Tufts

By Todd Chamoy
Team Member

The MIT athletes performed above and beyond all expectations, but could not hold off a talented Tufts track team at its last meet, and lost 243 to 231.

The other three teams - Bowdoin College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Fitchburg State University - were not a factor in the competition.

MIT started out strong. In the first event, the 35 lb. weight throw, MIT's four throwers all set personal records in amassing 21 out of a possible 27 points. Michael Butville '98 came within two inches of winning the event with a best throw of 46'5".

Placing right behind Butville were Wade Morehead '98 and Todd Chamoy '98, who both threw over 41 feet. In only his second meet, Jason Dailey '99 came up big with a sixth place throw of 38'9.75".

Unfortunately for MIT, Tufts earned the other four scoring places in the event, giving MIT a mere 5-point lead, 21-16.

Having swept the event each of the last two weeks, the MIT long jumpers were feeling confident entering the meet. Ravi Sastry '98 jumped 21'5" to take second place, followed by Hung Hoang '96 in fourth place with a jump of 20' 6.75", and Jared Miller '99 in sixth place with a jump of 20'5.25".

Once again, Tufts also placed well, taking first, third, and fifth places to outscore MIT in the event 19-15.

The first running event of the afternoon was the 1500 meter. Dan Helgesen '97 finished in third with a time of 4:03.84, just 0.9 seconds out of first place. Joel Ford '98 and Arnold Seto '96 finished close behind in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Joshua Feldman '97 also ran a fast time and finished seventh.

The most successful group of athletes from MIT were the pole vaulters, who came close to a sweep. Paul Ogagan '97, Jason Melvin '97, and Andrew Jamieson '99 all cleared 13 feet to take the top three slots, and Michael Demassa '97 vaulted 11'6" to finish fifth.

Tufts' only entry in the event finished in sixth place, gaving MIT a 26-3 lead in this event.

Tufts takes control

In the other throwing event, the shot put, Keith Bevans G set a huge personal record with a 44'10" heave, but had no hopes of catching the leader from Tufts, who threw 47'. Along with Bevans' second place finish, Butville placed fourth, setting a personal record as well. Patrick Dannen '98 came in seventh for the second week in a row.

From the 800 meters and down, Tufts was awesome. It scored 25 points in the 200 meter, 25 points in the 400 meters, 20 points in the 55 meter dash, 19 points in the 800 meters, and 17 points in the 500 meters.

Strong efforts from several MIT athletes in these events kept the Engineers from falling too far behind. Ogagan placed third in the 55 meter dash. Akin Aina G finished fourth in the 55 meters, and came back to finish fourth in the 200 as well. Alim Needham '97 finished seventh in the 55.

Neil Karchem '99 was MIT's only place-winner in the 400, finishing fourth, and came in right behind Aina in the 200. Edgar Ngwenya '96 ran a strong 500, finishing third. Also placing in the 500 was Marlon Osbourne '98, in seventh place.

MIT did very well in the 55-meter high hurdles. Sastry won the event, while David McGill '99, Bo Light '96, and Lincoln Bonner '97 finished third, fourth, and fifth, scoring 24 valuable points for the team.

Helgesen took another third place finish in the 1000 and Leif Seed '99 finished eighth.

The last field event to finish was the triple jump, where some surprising successes helped MIT score well. Morio Alexander '96 led the jumpers with a second place leap of 42'6.25". Right behind him was Hoang, who jumped 42'5", Sastry placed fifth with a 41'3.75" jump, and Light was eighth place, jumping 38'10.75".

Pacing themselves well, Seto, Michael Parkins '99, and Feldman, shadowed the lead runner from Tufts for most of the race. With only a few hundred meters to go, the race was still dead even. MIT finished hard and took the top three places. Seto finished in 15:29, Feldman was close behind him with a 15:33, and Parkins came in at 15:40, two seconds ahead of the Tufts runner.

Omar Saleh '97, who hung back for most of the race, finished in sixth place with a very respectable 16:18.

After finishing third in the 1600 relay, the score was such that whoever won the 3200 relay would win the meet. After the first two legs of the relay, Tufts held a slim lead. MIT took over the lead, but the race remained close.

The anchor, Ford, who had earlier finished second in the 800 meters, ran an even faster 800 this time around, but the Tufts runner out-kicked him in the last leg and won by a fraction of a second.

Coach Taylor considers this to have been his track team's best meet in over a decade.