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Men's Track and Field Dominate Opponents Despite a Slow Start

By Matt Potts
Team Member

In their last home meet of the season, the Engineers posted an impressive performance, defeating Colby College, Bowdoin College, and Bates College and improving their record to 41. This comes just one week after Tech's heartbreaking loss to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Engineer's Cup.

Although they got off to a slow start because of a dropped baton in the 4x100m relay, MIT took charge when Mike Parkins '99 won the 3,000m steeplechase with a New England Division III leading time of 9:28.5. Freshman Mark Strauss placed fourth in only his second attempt at the event.

Leif Seed '99, Chris McGuire '00, and Sohail Husain '98 then put the hammer down in the 1,500m by placing first, second and fourth respectively. Seed led with a strong final lap while Sohail ran a personal record 4:10.10.

Even more points were being scored in the field and sprint events. Captain Ravi Sastry '98 walked away with victories in both the long jump (22'2.5") and the 110m hurdles (14.9). Junius Ho '01 placed a solid fourth in the 110m hurdles with a personal best of 16.24. Sastry then went on to embarrass his opponents in the 100m dash with a time of 11.0. Before the day was over he also scored two third place finishes in the high jump and 200m dash to score a total of 18.5 points.

Kalpak Kothari '01 produced the biggest upset of the meet by victimizing Bates' NE Division III Indoor Champion in the triple jump with a jump of 42'6.25". Sam Thibault '00 brought in a fourth in the triple jump with the second best jump of his career (40'8.75").

To push MIT even further ahead of their opponents, Sean Montgomery '01 and Neil Karchem '99 ran strong races in the 400m dash to place third and fourth with times of 51.2 and 51.7. Joel Ford '98 and John Biesiadecki '01 crushed the 800m field with times of 1:58.4 and 1:59.6 to finish first and second. Seed raked in his second victory of the day in the 400m hurdles (56.64) to give MIT a 22-point lead over their opponents. The lead only widened as Sastry and Todd Rosenfield '01 both posted personal bests in the 200m dash to place third and fourth.

Clinching the triple win for MIT was Thibault with a huge victory in the pole vault. His jump of 14'1" was the best jump so far this year in NE Division III. It also bumped him up to seventh place on MIT's all-time vaulting list. The 5,000m squad further oppressed their opponents with first, third, and fourth place finishes. Defending NE Division III champion McGuire could not be touched as he cruised in with a time of 15:57.2. Rich Rosalez '98 ran his final race at MIT to place third with a time of 15:43.7. Freshmen Liyan Guo (15:57.2) and Ed Keehr (16:00.8) brought home fourth and fifth place finishes in this event.

In the final race of the day, MIT's 4x400m relay team of Montgomery, Seed, Ford, and Karchem ran an amazingly competitive race with splits of 51.6, 51.0, 51.5, and 50.8. Although edged out of first by just 0.2 seconds, the team clocked their fastest time this season.

To finish the meet off, Nikos Michalakas '01 threw the javelin 176'3" to maintain his undefeated collegiate record. MIT left the track with a score of 82.5, while Colby followed far behind with 53.5, Bowdoin 41, and Bates 25. With this momentum, the Engineers intend to put up a fight next Saturday at Northeastern University when they go up against a number of Division I schools.