Indoor track and field runs wild in weekend performances

Women’s Track

At the St. Valentine Invitational on Friday and Saturday, senior co-captain Carter Hamill, juniors Ginger Polich and Lyndsey Scott and sophomore Shauneen Garrahan set the Div. III leading time in the distance medley relay with a time of 11:53.03. The time qualified the relay team provisionally for the NCAA Championships, where the Jeffs finished second in the same event last year.

Garrahan and Hamill also performed outstandingly in the one-mile run, recording times of 4:57.41 and 5:02.21, respectively. In addition, Polich and Scott competed individually in the 800- and 200-meter dashes, respectively.

At the Tufts Stampede on Saturday, senior Lee-Jay Henry had an incredible meet, finishing first in the 55-meter hurdles, third in the long jump and seventh in the 200-meter dash. Henry became the first Amherst hurdler to finish the 55 hurdles in under nine seconds.

The team picked up another first-place finish from first-year Heather Wilson, who won the 5000-meter race. A number of other women put in solid performances. Senior Alison Rodriguez placed second in the 3000-meter run, while sophomore Hannah Campbell and first-year Laura Mortimer finished third in the 55-meter dash and one-mile run, respectively. Campbell also picked up fourth in the 200-meter dash. Junior Julia Rucker rounded out the women’s impressive showing at Tufts with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter dash.

Men’s Track

Back at BU, senior Jack Morgan qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championships with his 12th-place finish in the 800. Also competing at the St. Valentine Invitational was senior Mike Page, who placed 34th in the 5000.

At Tufts, sophomore John Babbott had a tremendous showing. “Babbott had the best performance on the weekend,” according to Morgan. “He ran a great mile, a several second [personal record] and a solid relay leg.” Most notably, Babbott placed first in the one-mile run with a time of 4:22:13, trailed by fellow sophomore Richard Wilson, who claimed eighth.

The men showed a great deal of depth in the long- and middle-distance events. Senior Matt Katz took home a first-place finish, completing the 3000-meter run in 8:50.44. First-year Rom Cabeza finished third in the 600-meter race and sophomore Cooper Knowlton earned bronze as well, taking third in the 5000. First-year Mike Harbus placed fourth in the 3000-meter run, followed by junior Evan Guiney, who crossed in sixth place, and sophomore Rob Boley, who took ninth, besting his personal record by more than 20 seconds. Capping off these performances was sophomore Sam Hayman’s eighth-place finish in the 800-meter run while sophomore Geoff Stricsek set new personal records in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes.

The men and women will split up this weekend for the Div. III New England Indoor Championships as the men return to Tufts and the women head to Smith College. “For the upcoming weeks, the men’s [distance medley relay] is also looking to qualify again for Nationals and Michael Page is looking to receive an automatic national qualifier for either the men’s 1500- or 5000-meter runs,” said Morgan.

According to Garrahan, the women’s team has similarly lofty goals. “Despite having one of the smallest teams [at New Englands], we’re looking to place in the top three.”