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Men’s Track Team Defeats Harvard, Some Earn Spots for Championship

By Ben Schmeckpeper

TEAM MEMBER

The men’s track team traveled down the road to Harvard University’s indoor track to compete against Division I, II, and III schools at the Greater Boston Championships on Saturday, Feb. 7. Knowing they would be running on a banked track, one of the fastest in the region, the runners came prepared to turn some fast times and hopefully qualify a few more competitors for the New England Division III Championships, just two weeks away.

While the Harvard squad would normally not pose a formidable threat to the Engineers, they were without top performers such as Zachary J. Traina ’05 and Nestor F. Hernandez ’05, both of whom suffered hamstring injuries the previous week. MIT expected a close battle with the Crimson. At the end of competition, the Engineers emerged victorious, with 144 points to Harvard’s 116.

In the mile run, the first final of the day, Brian C. Anderson ’04 extended his undefeated season as he opened a gap on the field by the 600m mark and kept pulling away. Despite fading a bit over the final quarter mile, Anderson finished with a personal best and a national qualifying mark of 4:11.87. Anderson’s day was not finished, as he returned to the track to win the half mile going away in a stunning 1:52.88, the fastest time in the nation this season. Anderson capped off his stunning day by running his anchor leg of the 4x400 in 49.7 and nearly erasing the 12m deficit he inherited at the handoff.

Uzoma A. Orji ’06, who currently leads the nation by a foot and a half in the shot put, had trouble finding his rhythm after barely fouling his first attempt at the weight throw. Despite his off day, Orji managed to win both the weight throw and the shot put, winning by over 8 feet and 3 feet, respectively. Orji is undefeated in the shot put this year, and his sole loss in the weight throw came at the hands of teammate and All-America winner Chris Kahn. Resting his injured back, Kahn did not compete in the weight throw, but did heave the shot 48-8 to finish fourth.

For the second week in a row, Joshua F. Chartier ’06 won the pole vault, this time clearing 13' 5.75" to secure the victory before attempting to set a personal record at 14-3. Unfortunately, during his attempt, Chartier bit through his lip and had to abandon his final attempt. Also scoring a victory for the Engineers was freshman Marcus Carson, continuing to improve in the hurdles. The final Engineer to score a victory was Benjamin A. Schmeckpeper ’05 in the 5000m.

The Engineers close out their regular season with a home meet next Saturday. The MIT CoEd Invite begins at noon and the UA athletics committee will be providing pizza for spectators.