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Men’s Track Dominates Williams, RPI, Westfield

By Yuval Mazor

TEAM MEMBER

MIT and Williams have dominated New England D-III track for over 20 years, but the Ephs have had the upper hand for nearly a decade, including a 3.5 point heartbreaker last year. This past weekend, the Men’s Indoor Track & Field Team traveled to Williamstown, Mass. to face their biggest rival, the Ephmen of Williams College.

With revenge on their minds, and one of the most talented teams MIT has ever had, the Engineers crushed Williams 253-198. RPI took third in 98, and Westfield State trailed the field with 39.

The meet started with the long jump and weight throw, and MIT looked to jump out to an early the lead. Thomas M. Hoover ’05 led the way for the jumpers with a leap of 21-7 1/2, good for second place. Craig D. Mielcarz ’03, Victor L. Williamson ’04, and Austin K. Neudecker ’05 took the last three scoring places, as all three were over 20 feet. However, Williams took first and fifth places, and the Engineers had to be satisfied splitting the event, 13-13.

On the other side of the track, Christopher J. Khan ’04 led the weight throwers, winning with a National Qualifying mark of 53’ 9”. Marios Michalakis ’04, David P. Saylor ’04, and Peter J. Bluvas G took three of the next five places, as MIT outscored Williams 23-7.

The 1500m kicked off the first running finals on the track, and MIT stacked the event, hoping to score big early and still be able to double their runners back. The gamble worked as Sean Montgomery G continued his undefeated season with a 3:57.44 time, easily winning the race and qualifying for nationals. Brian C. Anderson ’04, Sean Nolan ’03, and Daniel R. Feldman ’02 finished in second, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

In the 55m high hurdles, Victor L. Williamson ’04 had a two tenth of a second improvement, leading MIT with a 7.95 and second place showing. Richard F. Rajter ’04 finished right behind Williamson in third, with Junius K. Ho G, and Mielcarz taking fifth and sixth.

Strong start did not seal win

Even with strong early performances and a big lead, MIT was wary of Williams. In each of the previous three meeting with the Ephs, MIT had jumped out to an early lead, only to watch Williams come back in the middle distances, and sprints. Last year, Williams had used the 400m and 600m to start their comeback, crushing the Engineers by twenty points between the two events.

Determined not to let that happen again, Matthew A. Lehman ’03 and Gabriel N. Sanchez ’05 finished second and third, respectively in the 400m with times of 51.82 and 52.41, and Yuval Mazor ’02 and Jesse R. Alejandro ’05 took second and fourth in the 600m in 1:22.98 and 1:24.27. Hoover and Russell A. Moriarity ’04 both scored out of slower sections in the 400m, and Adrian E. Townsend ’04 did the same in the 600m, as MIT outscored Williams in the long sprints, 34-24.

The middle distances were more of the same for MIT, as Anderson doubled back with a 1:58.21 in the 800m, leading Alan R. Raphael ’02 and Mark N. Jeunnette ’02 to a 1-2-3 sweep. Montgomery followed suit with a 2:32.73 to win the 1000m, followed by George R. Hanson ’03 in second, and Craig B. Wildman ’03 in fourth.

Back in the field events, Mielcarz led the way in the high jump, winning with a leap of 6’ 7”, and narrowly missing a national qualifying height at 6’ 9.75”. Rajter took second with a jump of 6’ 5”, and Neudecker and Hoover took fifth, and seventh. In the pole vault, all three MIT jumpers cleared 13’ 3”, with Nathan B. Ball ’05 taking second in the event with a 13’ 9” clearance. Daniel Y. Kwon ’02 and Daniel F. Opila ’03 took fifth and sixth, as MIT cleaned up in the vertical jumps.

Williams makes late run in sprints

On the track, the tide started to turn late in the meet as Williams took control of the sprints. With MIT’s top sprinters Zachary J. Traina ’05 and Jin Lin ’05 suffering from hamstring injuries, MIT was overpowered in the 55m dash as David E. Kloster ’05 and Robert H. Gray ’02 managed only sixth and eighth places. The same was true in the 200m, where Mazor and Lehman doubled down, but could only achieve fifth and eighth, respectively. Even the field events turned sour for MIT as the throwers were shut out of scoring in the shot put.

However, it proved to be too little, too late, for an overmatched Williams team. MIT’s distance crew took charge in the 3000m, as Nolan and Feldman doubled back to take second and third in 8:40.67, and 8:48.00, respectively. Benjamin A. Schmeckpeper ’05 followed close behind in fourth with a time of 8:48.18. In the relays, MIT’s depth proved to be too strong for Williams, as Mazor, Lehman, Sanchez, and Montgomery won the 1600m relay in 3:29.15, and Jeunnette, Raphael, Hanson, and Alejandro took the 3200m relay in 8:20.35.

The triple jumpers finished the meet off in style as Williamson and Neudecker both cleared 43 feet, to take 2-4, and Townsend grabbed sixth, giving MIT a 14-10 edge in the last event, and a definitive victory.

Next weekend MIT heads to Boston University to take on Bentley, Brandeis, Harvard, and Northeastern in the Greater Boston Invitational.