The MIT Track and Field teams hosted the New England Division III Outdoor Championships last weekend, as 29 women’s teams and 31 men’s teams gathered at Steinbrenner Stadium on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Despite less than ideal conditions, including several lightning delays, the MIT Women’s Track and Field team avenged last year’s loss to Williams College to capture its second New England Division III Outdoor Championship in three years. The Engineers picked up a key win in the 4x400 meter relay, the second-to-last event, and were able to hold off the Ephs by 3.5 points, finishing with a total of 141.5 points.
Jamie L. Simmons ’12 and Portia M. Jones ’12, who were part of both the winning 4x400 and 4x100 relays, were critical point scorers for the Cardinal and Gray. Jones won the 200 with an NCAA provisional cut of 24.58 seconds and took second in the 100 (12.16) and 100 hurdles (14.57), which were both also provisional-quality times. Simmons was the New England Champion in the 400 hurdles, with a time of 1:02.16, and placed second in the 400 (56.28).
Martha M. Gross ’12 joined Jones and Simmons on both relays. Hazel L. Briner ’11 rounded out the 4x400 that finished in 3:50.34, and Jacqueline A. Brew ’14 completed the 4x100 squad (48.28). Both relays came in under the NCAA provisional standard, with the 4x400 missing the automatic mark by just three-tenths of a second and the 4x100 setting a new MIT record.
Gross added key points for Tech, finishing fifth in the 400 (58.59) and fourth in the 200 (25.42).
Briner earned another New England title for Tech in the heptathlon with a total of 4431 points. Briner won the 100 hurdles and the long jump and finished second in the 800 and shotput portions of the event as she broke her own program record by more than 50 points.
Karin E. Fisher ’11 repeated as New England champ in the pole vault, leading the way for four MIT vaulters to score in the event. Fisher, who won the pole vault at the New England Indoor Championship, outclassed the rest of the field with a 13-1.50 foot vault, a foot higher than second-place teammate Lauren B. Kuntz ’13 and the third-best mark in Division III of the season. Briner took fourth, and Rebecca L. Stavely ’11 was eighth.
Anna M. Holt-Gosselin ’11 took second in the 10,000 on Friday evening with a time of 35:20.72, posting the second fastest time in the nation, less than two seconds behind the top mark set in the same race by Jennifer Gossels of Williams.
The Men’s Track and Field team staged a late rally in the final two relay events of the day, but was unable to catch Williams College, as Tech had to settle for a second-place finish and fell just short of sweeping the three track championships this year. The meet went well into the evening after being delayed twice due to lightning before the Ephs were able to secure the team title with a 151-147 advantage over the Cardinal and Gray.
The Engineers needed to make up a 15-point gap over the final two relays and would need some help from Williams’ competition. Joshua D. Duncavage ’13, Tyler S. Singer-Clark ’14, Daniel J. Ronde ’13, and Patrick K. Marx ’13 got things started off well by winning the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:19.42 and adding 10 points. Williams took sixth in the event, meaning it would need just a seventh-place finish in the 4x800 relay to guarantee at least a share of the title.
Despite an impressive performance by Jared M. Forman ’13, Justin L. Bullock ’14, Kyle J. Hannon ’13, and Logan R. Daum ’11, who came through in 7:45.70 to win the event, Williams cruised to a third-place showing and their 19th New England Championship.
Nicholas W. Leonard ’11, who ran a leg of the first-place 4x100 relay, along with Duncavage, Singer-Clark and Nathan E. Peterson ’12, got the weekend started for MIT in the decathlon on Thursday and Friday afternoon. Leonard took first in the 100, second in the 100 hurdles, third in the 400, and fourth in the pole vault for a third-place result in the decathlon with a total of 5507 points.
Cyrus Vafadari ’12 gave Tech a huge lift in the pole vault with a surprise victory. Vafadari was the only vaulter to clear the bar at 15-11.00 feet, 10 inches better than his previous best and moving him up five places from his seed. Peterson backed him up with a sixth-place finish.
Vladimir Sobes ’11 won the javelin by a huge margin with a 214-05 feet effort, an NCAA automatic mark and the fourth best in Division III of the year.
Matthew D. Falk ’12 also outperformed his seed in the high jump, getting over the bar at 6-4.00 feet to place third overall. Falk was projected to finish seventh in the event.
Paul D. Welle ’11, Richard J. Prevost ’11, and Stephen R. Serene ’12 earned crucial points for MIT in the 3000 steeplechase, as Welle took second place with a time of 9:17.07. Serene finished in 9:22.77, good for fourth place, as both he and Welle came in under the NCAA provisional standard. Prevost was fifth with a time of 9:25.25.
Singer-Clark and Duncavage finished their busy weekend with third and fourth-place results, respectively, in the 200. Singer-Clark came through in 22.18 with Duncavage not far behind at 22.24.
Both teams will continue competition in the New England Regional Championships next weekend. The Engineers will square off with teams from across Divisions I, II, and III at Southern Connecticut State beginning on Friday, May 13.