The meet began with an exciting start as the women’s distance medley relay (DMR) of tri-captain Laurel Kilgour ’03, Lyndsey Scott ’06, Jessamyn Conell-Price ’06 and Carter Hamill ’05 ran an NCAA provisional qualifying time and took the second place finish. Once again, the 4 x 800-meter relay team of Helen Dole ’04, Aparna Nancherla ’04E, Alison Rodriguez ’05 and Alyson Venti ’04 took first place. Carter Hamill led the 1000-meter throughout the race, taking the only individual victory for Amherst women in the day’s meet. Dole finished behind Hamill, taking fifth place and grabbed a spot in the event at the Div. III New England’s next Saturday. A few seconds behind Dole, Nancherla posted her best time of the season.
In the 800-meter, tri-captain Kate Hamill ’03 led the race until the last few meters, placing second. Hamill ran her best time of 2:19.04 and just barely missed the provisional cut for NCAA’s by 0.04 seconds.
Freshman Jenny Horowitz competed extraordinarily well in the 3000-meter, where she eclipsed her personal record by almost ten seconds, took fourth place and made the ECAC standard.
Scott set a new triple jump personal record and leapt to a second place finish. The 4 x 400-meter relay quartet of Kilgour, Ginger Polich ’06, Conell-Price, and Kate Hamill ran away with a third-place finish. Polich also stole third in her first try at the 600-meter, with Kilgour right behind her, taking fifth. Conell-Price, trying out a shorter race, the 400-meter, ran to fifth place in the team’s fastest time of the year.
In their first event of the day, the men’s distance medley relay quartet of juniors Andrew Schneider, Chandrasoma, John Stanton-Geddes, and David Molina ’05 stole first place and came close to an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Molina really gave the team a boost, returning to the track for the first time this season and setting a new indoor 800-meter personal record.
Molina attributes some of his persistence and successful recovery from injury to the cohesiveness of the team. He said, “We take care of each other. We cheer for each other.”
Conell-Price also commented on the solidity of the team. She said, “Everyone knows everyone’s name, and it’s great to hear lots of cheering … Dave Molina always cheers for everyone.” Conell-Price was amazed at the men’s DMR performance. She said, “I was impressed at how well Dave did, coming off his injury, and John Stanton-Geddes ran a great leg. He obviously knew what he was doing, and he ran a smart race, slowly working his way up, and then passing the leader to win the relay for Amherst.”
In addition to taking first in the distance medley relay, Schneider took the only individual first-place finish for the men. In the 1000-meter, Schneider ran a great last lap and lowered his personal record.
The 4 x 200-meter relay quartet of James Seltzer ’06, Whiting, Chandrasoma and Otieno set a new school record by more than five seconds, and took second place overall. Sophomore Joaquin Walker took second in the 200-meter dash and fourth in the 55-meter dash. Later he was joined by Whiting, Schneider, and Jamal Aaron ’05 in the 4 x 400-meter relay, where Walker ran the fastest leg, and the men took third place.
In the 3000-meter sophomore Matthew Katz broke nine minutes for the first time and finished second with two great last laps. Coming in behind him in fourth and sixth places respectively were teammates David Schreiner ’06 and Zeke Philips ’05, both of whom also set new personal records.
In addition to his second place 4 x 200-meter relay finish, Otieno also took two top-three individual places. In the 55-meter dash he took third-place, and in the long jump, Otieno inched closer to the twenty-two foot mark, grabbing another third-place finish. In the triple jump, Julius Nanna ’04 broke the 41-foot mark and took a third place finish.
Although the whole team is not moving on to the championship meets, Schreiner commented, “This year’s performances bode really well for next year.” Molina attributes this situation to the age of the team. He said, “We have a young, developing team.”
Coach Nedeau commented, “It has been a much tougher indoor season this year than in the past few [years] because of all the snow and the severe cold that we have had; it has definitely had an effect on training-both mentally and physically.”
Looking at the team’s prospects for the championship season, Nedeau has confidence that the relay teams will be successful as will several individual runners and jumpers including Kate Hamill, Carter Hamill, Conell-Price, Polich, Kilgour, Stanton-Geddes, Schneider, Scott and Otieno. Nedeau said, “I think that we have a good chance of doing very well this weekend, and throughout the championships, both in a sense that people will be ready to perform well but also that they will post some great results that will lead to a lot of points being scored and finishing high in the team scores.”
The women will compete in the Div. III New England’s at Bowdoin College and the men will compete at M.I.T.