Middletown, CT – The Williams men's track and field team returned from their winter recess to capture the Little 3 Indoor Championship title against rivals Amherst and Wesleyan. The Ephs secured the win behind phenomenal efforts across the board, scoring 159 points to Amherst's 120 and Wesleyan's 48.
Head coach Ethan Barron was pleased to come away with a team win. "Today was a solid day at the office," he stated. "People gave themselves a purpose and executed. We still have plenty of growing to do as a team, but the energy and desire is there. Now is the time to stay focused, go back to work, and get stronger."
The meet opened with the throwing events. James Heinl '19 improved upon his season opening weight throw by throwing 13.64m to secure 2nd place. Some of Heinl's runner teammates were chatting amongst themselves after about Heinl's excellent form and technique. His new mark qualified him for the ECAC championships. Christopher Lyons '17 also had a great day, qualifying for Division III New Englands for the first time in the shot put with a 13.48m throw. The junior thrower has been a consistent performer and leader on the team for the last few years.
Starting off the string of strong performances for the runners was Matt Tarduno '16. The senior captain went out in the mile looking very relaxed, staying just behind the leaders for the first three quarters of the race. He pushed himself and the field to their limits, powering past a cluster of runners in the final two laps to capture 2nd place for the Ephs in a near personal best time of 4:22.91. His mark qualified him for Division III New Englands and ECACs.
Pierceson Brown '18 returned to the Little 3 meet this year to repeat as the Little 3 champion. He improved upon last year's winning mark of 4.12m by vaulting 4.40m, just shy of his personal best. Brown also qualified for Division III New Englands in a performance that had his teammates on the edges of their seats till the end.
In a great display of athleticism, Tobias Muellers '18 took 2nd overall in the 60m hurdles on a day he also contested the pole vault, high jump, and 4x400m relay. His time of 9.01 seconds earned him a spot at Division III New Englands, a feat especially impressive given that Muellers ran the 60m hurdles for the first time in his collegiate career today.
To cap off the individual running events, Griffin Colaizzi '18 had an outstanding race in the 3000m. With him in the race were some of Amherst's top distance runners, including three of their top four finishers at last November's cross country NCAA Championship. Colaizzi was the only Eph in the top 6 from early on, and it seemed as if the Amherst athletes were in control; however, Colaizzi stayed focused and fed off the crowd's swelling energy as the race played out. With just under two laps left, Colaizzi surprised the field by charging to the front and attempting to run away from the lead pack. The field house was filled with screams and cheers as Colaizzi held off a final charge by an Amherst athlete to take the Little 3 title with a personal best time of 8:44.87. Colaizzi is now eligible to compete at both Division III New Englands and ECACs.
Along with some of the athletes mentioned above, our individual Little 3 champions are Katakyie Ofori-Atta '16 (60m), Emmanuel Daring '16 (400m), Elliott Fong '19 (600m), Todd Ford '16 (1000m), Nolan Raimo '16 (60m hurdles and long jump), Ian Kagame '19 (high jump), and Christian Holway '19 (triple jump). The Ephs also claimed a victory in the 4x400m relay.
"This team is just beginning to take form and find it's identity," Barron concluded. "We have a long ways to go before we become the team that we all know we can be. This isn't about anyone other than ourselves. We need to look things over and figure out how we can get stronger."
With their 28th consecutive Little 3 title locked up, the Ephs look ahead to competing at Cornell next weekend.