Mammoths Find NESCAC Title Success on the Track

This past weekend, the track and field team took the trip to Hamilton for this year’s NESCAC Championships. Mammoth competitors won seven events and set two program records on the way to fourth and fifth place finishes for the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.

Max Spelke '23, Alton Machen '24, and NESCAC Championship winner Ellis Phillips-Gallucci '23 run the 400-meter hurdles at the Collier Invitational earlier this season. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

The Mammoths took the long bus ride to Clinton, New York, this past weekend for the 2022 NESCAC Championship Meet. On Saturday, April 30, the Mammoths took to the track, with six runners bringing home wins in seven individual events to go with a bevy of top 10 finishes across both the track and field events.

Women

Two members of the women’s team put in NESCAC title-winning performances on the way to a fifth-place team finish. Junior Sophie Wolmer ’23 crossed the line first in the meet’s longest event, the 10,000 meters, with a blazing-fast time of 34:59.86. Wolmer finished 90 seconds faster than the second-place runner, broke the meet and facility records, and earned all-NESCAC honors in the event.

The other Mammoth winner was Eliza Cardwell ’25, who took home not one, but two NESCAC titles in her first championship appearance. Cardwell won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.30, a meet record, and the 400-meter hurdles in 1:02.66, netting her all-NESCAC honors in both events. She also set a school record in the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries with a time of 14.23. For her dominant season (and performances this past weekend), Cardwell was awarded the title of NESCAC Women's Most Outstanding Rookie for the 2022 outdoor season.

She said of her title-winning weekend, “I had a lot of events back to back, so I just had to focus on one thing at a time, which definitely helped mentally with the different races. One thing that our [head] coach [Steve Rubin] emphasizes is just to trust the work we’ve put in outside of the meet.”

But titles weren’t the only successes that the Mammoths had, as they earned all-NESCAC honors, given to the top three finishers in each event, in three other races. Anna Madden ’22 matched her school-record time of 57.36 to take third in the 400 meters, and the team’s school-record-holding 4x400 relay team of Madden, Juanita Jaramillo ’22, Sam Tichelaar ’22, and Casie Eifrig ’25 placed second with a time of 3:54.56, less than a second behind the first-place team from Wesleyan. Julia Schor ’25 finished third in the 1,500 meters to round out the Mammoths’ podium finishes. She crossed the finish line in 4:30.09.

Mary Kate McGranahan ’23 placed fourth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 11:12.5. Julia Zacher ’25 took fourth in the high jump with a best height of 1.62 meters. Bethany Martin ’24 came in fourth in the hammer throw, launching it just under 40 meters. Sidnie Kulik ’25 crossed the line fourth in the 5000 meters, posting a 17:42.59, and Jaramillo notched a fifth-place finish in the 400 meters with a time of 58.51. Carolina Andrade ’24 and Annelise Romero ’22 took spots four and five in the javelin with best throws of 32.24 and 30.84 meters, respectively. Cardwell and Muffie Mazambani ’24 took fourth and fifth in the long jump, respectively, to round out the Mammoths’ top-five finishes. Cardwell leaped 5.56 meters, while Mazambani was just behind her, clearing 5.55 meters.

Amherst also got top-10 placements from Eifrig (eighth in the 400 meters) and Ally Deegan ’24 (ninth place/season best in the 1,500 meters); Ava Tillman ’23 and Trintje Nydam ’24 ran personal bests in the 400 meter hurdles to finish seventh and eighth, respectively, in the event. The team also got a sixth-place finish and school-record-tying performance (3.40 meters) from pole vaulter Mia Bawendi ’24.

Nydam had quite the memorable race. As she made her way around the track, she noticed that three of her hurdles were higher than normal; they were set to the men’s height, a full six inches higher — a good deal of height in a event that relies on the finest of margins. Nevertheless, she still managed to finish with the ninth-best time, one place out of scoring position. Due to the oversight, the meet organizers allowed her to run the race again, this time by herself. Her re-run was affixed to the end of the day's schedule, becoming the final event of the day. As she took the starting line all by herself, her teammates cheered her on. Running alone, at the end of a long day, she was able to improve her time and claim the eighth spot with a personal-best time, adding points to the team’s overall score.

Men

The men’s team took NESCAC titles in three events and all-NESCAC honors in six en route to a fourth-place finish as a team. Henry Buren ’22 is officially the fastest man in the NESCAC, winning the 100 meters in 10.79 seconds and setting a program record in the process. The men’s 4x800 meter relay team of Nick Edwards-Levin ’25, Braedon Fiume ’24, Kolya Markov Riss ’24, and Jack O’Hara ’25 took the conference crown in 7:47.89. Ellis Phillips-Gallucci ’23 won the 400-meter hurdles in 54.42 in only his third race of 2022.

Through everything, Phillips-Gallucci credited his support systems as what really contributed to his season-defining win. “My teammates’ encouragement and support is huge … [and] on a personal level, in a unique race like the 400[-meter] hurdles, I think staying relaxed and patient was most important,” he said. “I’d say [I was] just grateful just to be out there. It was my first NESCAC championship meet, and my third race of the season — between Covid and my injury, I missed out on a lot — so I felt like I needed to leave it all out there and just have fun.”

Rounding out the all-NESCAC placements for the Mammoths: Buren took second in the 200 meters with a season-best 21.85, Troy Colleran ’22 placed second in the javelin with a throw of 47.75 meters, and Kelechi Eziri ’23 did the same in the triple jump with a leap of 14.28 meters. Eziri also finished eighth in the long jump.

Other top-five conference finishers abounded for the Mammoths. David Brown ’25 took fifth in the discus, Chris Gong ’23 finished fourth in the long jump, and Camden Heafitz ’25 finished fifth in the high jump. The 4x100 meter relay team also ran well, taking fourth in a season best 42.67.

Mammoth scorers also included top-eight finishers Alton Machen ’24 and Jack Trent ’23 in the 110 meter hurdles, Gabriel dos Santos ’24 in the high jump, Wilson Spurrell ’24 in the 800 meters, and Brown in the shot put. Machen qualified for the NEICAAA Championship with his personal-best time of 15.25 in the preliminaries; Spurrell also ran a personal best in his race (1:54.07).

The Mammoths are back in action this weekend, competing for more titles at the regional level at the New England Division III Championships. The meet, held at Williams, will run for three days, with the decathlon beginning at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, and events continuing through Friday and Saturday.