The men walked away with several impressive first-place finishes. Junior John Stanton-Geddes won the 3000-meter, and has already qualified for the first two championship meets. Mike Page ’05 took first in the 1500-meter as did the 4 x 800-meter relay composed of Page, Dave Schreiner ’06, Fraser Kitchell ’06 and Andrew Schneider ’04.
Not only did freshman Ngai Otieno win the 55-m dash, but he also took second place in his first attempt at the long jump and fourth place in the 200-meter sprint. The other 55-meter sprinters, James and Julian Seltzer, are also freshman football teammates of Otieno. According to sophomore Matthew Katz, “We have a strong group of freshman sprinters.” Seltzer said of the sprinters, “We have a good future ahead of us in track.”
As the season has progressed, runners’ times have improved. Senior tri-captain Pat Hayes took second place in the 55-meter hurdles, his time dropping below the eight second mark for the first time this season. Katz and tri-captain Alex Lenkoski ’03 took second and third place respectively in the 5000-meter. In the 3000-meter race, Zeke Phillips ’05 set a new personal record, beating his old one by almost 10 seconds. In the same event, freshman Adam David ran his best time of the season, nearly breaking the 10-minute mark and grabbing seventh place.
Several other men broke barriers as well. Schneider ran the 800-meter in under two minutes, taking third place. Schreiner took second place in the 1500-meter while close behind him, freshman Billy McNitt cracked the five-minute barrier and placed seventh. In the triple jump, juniors Julius Nanna and Paul Whiting took third and fourth place, both nearing the forty-one foot mark.
Freshman Lyndsey Scott performed exceptionally last Saturday, earning three first place finishes. Before running the fastest leg of the 4 x 400-meter relay, Scott won the triple jump in her first attempt at the event, nearing the 36-foot mark. In addition, Scott won the high jump, tying her personal record and setting a new school record. Coach Erik Nedeau said, “Scott broke the school record in the high jump from 1991. The old one was 5’1″ and she went 5’1.75″.”
Success in the 4 x 800-meter relay is becoming expected of the women. Alyson Venti ’04, Helen Dole ’04, Ginger Polich ’06 and tri-captain Laurel Kilgour ’03 lived up to everybody’s expectations and took first place.
The women’s relay excitement did not begin with the 4 x 800-meter relay as the preceding event, the 4 x 400-meter relay, set the winning tone. It began with an excellent leg from Scott, followed by strong support from freshmen Ariel Haney and Jessamyn Conell-Price and finished by tri-captain Kate Hamill ’03. Not only did these women take first place, but they also reduced their best time of the season by three seconds.
In the 3000-meter, sophomore Carter Hamill ran solidly and picked up the only other first place finish for the women. Several women earned runner-up honors. In the 500-meter, Kate Hamill took second as did Ariel Haney ’06 in the 400-meter, and Dole in the 1000-meter. Freshman Caitlin Williams’ second place finish in the long jump qualified her for the Div. III New England Championships. In the 800-meter, Kilgour placed second with Conell-Price and Polich coming in behind her in the third and fourth place. Rucker jumped to third place in the triple jump and set a new personal record, as she has done at every meet so far this year.
Nedeau was optimistic about the team’s performance in the championship meets. “We have several women who have qualified for Div. III New England’s with a few others who are on the cusp, and, hopefully, with a little bit of resting this week, will be able to hit the marks needed,” Nedeau said. “The men’s standards are a bit tougher for Div. III but we will still have quite a few who will get in, and others who will run relays in addition to, or in lieu of, individual events.”
There are four championship meets, culminating at nationals. Some of the spots for nationals are still open which people can qualify for with their times, and according to Nedeau, “There are several individuals and possible relays that could qualify, but to date, the only person who has a mark for NCAA’s is [Carter Hamill].”
Both the men and the women are looking forward to Saturday’s upcoming meet at Tufts University, in their final chance to qualify for the championship meets.