This past weekend, the men’s track and field team competed at the Boston University Valentine Invitational and the MIT Gordon Kelley Invitational. Mostly distance runners and a few sprinters competed at BU, while the rest of the team competed at MIT.
The track at BU is well known for being a very fast track, as the track is banked which allows runners to run faster than on a flat track.
Sophomore Ryan Prenosil ran a personal best in the 400-meter dash and first year Henry Buren broke the 22-year school record in the 200-meter dash.
For Prenosil, the race was especially fulfilling after a disappointing outdoor season in 2018 after a successful first-year indoor campaign.
The last time Prenosil set a personal best in the event was at this same meet in 2018. Later in the indoor season, he ran on the Mammoths 4x400-meter relay, which qualified for the Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships. His first outdoor season did not bear the same fruit, however, despite his promise in the middle distances.
This year, Prenosil is coached by Lilah Drafts-Johnson, the 2018 Division III National champion in the 400-meter hurdles who competed for Oberlin College. Reflecting on his race, she said he “made his race look easy. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what I believe he can accomplish this season.”
Later in the meet, Buren set another school record, this time in the 200-meter dash, adding to his school record in the 60-meter dash. With his time of 22.32 seconds, Buren broke the school record held by Mario Watts ’97, who was an all-American in the 400-meter dash.
Buren’s event coach, Chris Plankey, was impressed with Buren’s run. “I think what we saw out of Henry’s 200 this weekend is a glimpse into the potential of a talented, hardworking young athlete,” said Plankey.
Along with Prenosil and Buren’s personal bests, senior Stadtler Thompson also set a personal best in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.92 seconds. “It’s an exciting time to be a sprinter at Amherst,” Plankey said.
Personal best runs highlighted the weekend for other athletes, including junior Jack Dufton’s personal best in the heptathlon with a score of 4010, improving more than 300 points from his last heptathlon. The heptathlon is a unique event, as it is conducted over two days and consists of the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put and high jump on the first day and 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run on the second day.
At BU, Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20, Billy Massey ’21 and Clark Ricciardelli ‘20E set personal bests in the mile, running 4:18, 4:14 and 4:17, respectively. In the 800-meter race, first years Lev Robertson and Bobby Innes-Gold both set personal bests in the event, running 2:01.
This weekend, the Mammoths will travel to Middlebury College for the Middlebury Team Challenge.