The men’s and women’s track and field team came through across the board at the New England Division III Indoor championships this past weekend, as both teams took third place. On the women’s side, the finish was the best in MIT’s history.
The women set the tone early in the field events, starting with the pole vault. Emily Hwang ’09 cleared 10’11.75” on her way to first place, while Karin E. Fisher ’11 finished seventh. Aline Thomas ’08 led the way in the throwing events, surpassing her seed to finish second in the weight throw with a toss of 49’.25”. Thomas placed fourth in the shot put after a throw of 39’1.25”.
On the track, Amy R. Magnuson ’10 set an Institute record in the 55-meter hurdles, after winning the event with a career-best, NCAA automatic qualifying time of 8.26 seconds. The sophomore added to that victory with a fourth place showing in the long jump and finished seventh in the triple jump.
Margaret C. Leibovic ’10 blazed through the 55-meter dash preliminaries with a new Institute record of 7.51 seconds, going on to finish third in the finals. She also ran the 200-meter dash in one of her fastest times of the season.
In a thrilling 800-meter run, Andrea E. Bradshaw ’09 knocked almost five seconds off from her previous Institute record, dominating the field and setting a new standard of 2:17.32. Bradshaw took second place in the event, losing in a photo finish to Izzy Alexander of Bates College.
The Engineers continued to accumulate points in the running events. Leanne M. Veldhuis ’08 broke a four year old school record in the 600-meter run to take fourth in the event with a time of 1:40.01. Adrienne M. Bolger ’09 completed the Engineer’s final record performance of the day, finishing the 1000-meter run in 2:59.03 to take second. Jacqueline M. Wentz ’10 brought in an 8th place finish in the mile run.
A key rookie performance of the meet came from Hazel L. Briner ’11, who finished fifth in the pentathlon. Of the five events, Briner won the shot put en route to an overall finish of 2,594 points.
In the 3000-meter run, Elizabeth M. Finn ’09 and Jennifer A. Doyle ’09 placed in the top 20, while Anna M. Holt-Gosselin ’11, Hana L. Adaniya ’08, and Lauren L. McCarthy ’08 made the top 20 in the 5000-meter run to represent MIT well in the distance events.
Bradshaw, Bolger, Veldhuis and Wentz then teamed up for a fourth place finish in the 4x800-meter relay, just off of another record-setting pace. The relay cemented MIT’s overall third place finish, behind Tufts University and Williams College.
Men Place Third
The men’s track and field team outperformed their seed points over the weekend, with many great efforts and personal bests. Based on seed times and marks from throughout the season, the team was expected to take third, but Williams College and Tufts University, MIT’s biggest rivals year after year, were seeded only a little bit ahead. MIT’s performance was not good enough to move up in the standings though, as Tufts captured first place at their home track, with Williams grabbing second place.
MIT’s lone entrant in the pentathlon on Friday was Nicholas W. Leonard ’11, who set personal bests in four of the five events en route to an 11th place finish. Several members of the team made it out to cheer him on, and that great team support would continue throughout the weekend.
The pole vaulters stepped up on Saturday with some great performances. Omari S. Stephens ’08 won the event with a vault of 14’11”, while fellow senior Patrick R. Barragan ’08 cleared a personal best 13’11.25”, good for sixth place. Greg D. Tao ’10 rounded out the scoring places with a vault of 13’5.25”. In the shot put, James R. Oleinik ’09 threw a season best of 48’1.75” to capture fourth place, even though he had been seeded fifth.
Stephen A. Morton ’10 had an impressive day at the meet, winning two events, taking second in another, and running the first leg of the fourth place 4x400-meter relay. Seeded first in the long jump, Morton trailed in second place for most of the event until his final jump, when he flew 22’5.75” for the win. He won the triple jump once again on his last jump, nailing a personal best 47’1.75”. In the 200-meter dash, after winning his heat in the trials and earning a spot in the fast section of the finals, he ran a flat-track best of 22.41 seconds for second place.
Morton was not the only MIT jumper who had a great day on Saturday. Co-captain Anthony D. Teixeira ’08 had a great jump of 21’2” to take seventh in the long jump, improving on his tenth place seed. In the triple jump, Teixeira again grabbed seventh place with a distance of 45’5.25”, followed by teammate Mattias S. Flander ’11, who jumped 45’3.5”. Teixeira capped off a great day with a fourth place performance in the 55-meter hurdles. His time of 7.87 seconds cracked the top ten all-time list for MIT.
On the track, the MIT runners put in some great performances. Stephen W. Oney G led off the scoring with an eighth place 51.13 seconds effort in the 400-meter run, a flat-track personal best. Meanwhile, John A. Granata ’11 tried hard to make a move on the final lap of the 600-meter, but could not get around the leaders. Nevertheless, he placed fifth with a personal best 1:22.91, bettering his sixth place seed. William S. Phipps ’10 ran a great race in the 800-meter with a time of 1:57.13.
Jeremiah “Yermie” R. Cohen ’09 had one of the toughest performances of the day in the mile race, where he grabbed seventh place in 4:18.28 despite running on an injured right ankle. Unfortunately, he was unable to compete in the 1000-meter or the 3200-meter relay due to the injury.
MIT picked up some big points in the distance events. Co-captain Joseph D. Roy-Mayhew ’08 took the lead in the 3000-meter with 1300-meter to go, trying to break up the pack. He was out-kicked by two runners in the last two laps but took third overall in 8:42.55. Gihan S. Amarasiriwardena ’11 had a great race as well, with his 8:50.14 earning him sixth place.
The next race was the 5000-meter run. Christopher Wong ’08 ran a smart race, staying back in the pack before grabbing the lead with less than 800 meters to go. With his characteristic finishing kick, he held onto second place in 15:08.38, a personal best. Also securing a personal best with a great race was M. Brian Jacokes ’08, who ran 15:15.48 for seventh place.
The final events on the track were the relays. Four freshman (Kevin G. Kleinguetl, Nicholas W. Leonard, Shawn S. Conrad, Paul D. Welle) composed MIT’s distance medley relay team. Kleinguetl, who also ran the 1000-meter, led off the 1200-meter leg in 3:13, trailing the leaders a few places back. Leonard and Conrad kept it close, handing off to Welle who had the 1600-meter anchor leg. He went out hard and closed the gap, but could not keep up his fast pace, holding on for third place overall. Their 10:29.65 finish was a freshman record, and would have won the event last year.
In the 1600-meter relay, Morton handed off in fifth place to start off for MIT, fatigued from his long day. Oney and Matthew F. Bieniosek ’09 followed him with solid legs before handing off to Granata for the anchor. Granata ran a solid 50.0 second anchor leg to bring MIT to fourth place in 3:25.61.
The 3200-meter relay was the final event of the day. By this point, Tufts University had locked up the win, but MIT trailed Williams College by only one point for second. David N. Reshef ’08 led off for MIT with a solid leg, handing off right with the Williams runner. Richard J. Prevost ’11 ran a great second leg, followed by a strong showing from Peter J. Mulligan ’08 and Phipps. The relay was intense, with MIT runners jumping ahead of the Williams runner at the midpoint and trying to break away. Unfortunately, the Williams relay team pulled away to finish second place, ahead of MIT’s fifth place time of 7:58.78.
The team support was fantastic throughout the meet. If an athlete was not warming up or competing, he was cheering on his teammates. Joining those competing were many team members, past and present, who came out to support the effort. Chants of “MIT” could be heard all day long at the shot put, the long jump pit, and the backstretch of the track.
As some athletes take a week off to prepare for the outdoor track and field season, many will still be competing in the weeks ahead, at the All-New Englands, the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships, and the National Division III Championship meet.