Middletown, CT—The men's track and field team kicked off 2018 competition with a victory today at the Little Three Championship, hosted by Wesleyan. The Ephs faced tough competition from Amherst, but managed to win the day, scoring 151 points to Amherst's 124. Wesleyan was 3rd with 76 points.
The Eph men's track & field team has now won 30 consecutive Little Three titles.
Williams jumped out to an early lead in the field events. In the weight throw, Mykel Miller '20 was champion with a mark of 13.98m, a personal best by nearly a meter. Finishing 2nd overall, Magnus Herweyer '20 threw 13.27m, a solid early season performance. In the long jump, first-year Dan Renwick '21 threw down an impressive 6.69m mark for 1st overall. Christian Holway '19 fouled on 5 of his 6 attempts, but still managed to jump 5.91m for 5th. Renwick return in the high jump for another victory, clearing the bar at 1.93m. James Dunivan '19 finished 3rd, clearing 1.88. In the shotput, seniors Lloyd Campbell '18 and Liam Pembroke went 1-2, throwing 13.83m and 13.49m respectively, helping the Ephs achieve a substantial early lead.
In the mile, several Ephs had solid performances, although Amherst still scored valuable points, edging closer to Williams in the standings. Co-captain Ben Decker '18 finished 3rd with a time of 4:28.34, while Kenneth Marshall '20 was 5th in 4:32.21, both times solid for their first races of 2018.
In the 60 hurdles, the Ephs reasserted themselves at the top of the standings. Renwick returned for yet another victorious performance, running a time of 8.56 seconds. Co-captain Tom Riley '18 exuberantly finished 2nd, running 8.78 seconds himself. The momentum continued in the 400 and 600. In the 400, first-year Cole O'Flaherty finished 1st, running 50.78 seconds. Dysron Marshall '20 was 4th in 52.80. In the 600, Tristan Colaizzi '20 ran a measured 1:24.42, winning his heat handily and beating the best time from the other heat. Co-captain Alex Cowen '18 was 3rd in a time of 1:25.94. In the 60-meter dash, Jeremy Thaller '19 won by a full tenth of a second, running a strong 7.08 seconds. First-year Trent Hall '21 was 3rd in 7.24.
After taking a hit in the standings in the middle of the meet, Amherst came loaded for bear to try to close the gap. In a somewhat odd 800, Amherst finished 1st and 2nd, while first-year Felix Biwott '21 finished 4th in 2:10.02. Yet although Amherst brought two of their best distance runners to race the 1000, the Ephs more than held their own. After missing the cross country season due to illness, Lucas Estrada '20 had a triumphant return to competition, leading the 1000 wire-to-wire to win in 2:33.50. Ben Hearon '20 also had a strong performance, finishing in 2:34.65 for 4th. In the 3000, the Ephs again held their own against a strong Amherst contingent. In the 200, O'Flaherty had his second victory of the day, running 23.02. Senior Michael Kidd-Phillips was 4th in 24.44. In his 3000-meter debut, Peter Kirgis '20 showed impressive restraint, waiting until the final 200 meters to make his decisive move, pulling away to win in 8:43.90. Sam Gilman '21 was 7th in 9:02.86.
After building a strong lead, the Ephs maintained their distance over the last 4 events. In the 4x800, Williams scored an exciting victory in a time of 8:03.54. In the 4x400, Williams was 3rd in 3:38.07. In the pole vault, Pierceson Brown '18 was 2nd, clearing the bar at 4.25m. Renwick finished up his remarkable day with a 5th place finish, clearing 3.50m. And in the triple jump, Holway was 3rd with a jump of 12.70m. First-year Bariki Innis '21 made his own return from a long period of injury, jumping 12.06 for 5th.
Eph head coach Ethan Barron was pleased with the team's performance, saying "There were a lot of solid performances. Across the board there was a lot to be pleased with today. It's obvious this team has done work. Mid D has definitely stepped up and are training and racing with a chip on their shoulder. And we've added some depth in needed areas." Barron highlighted two athletes, Innis and Riley, saying that "it was great to see both back competing after a pretty long road to recovery."
But Barron cautioned against the Ephs growing complacent, explaining that "it's just a first meet. A season isn't a javelin you throw with it's trajectory set once you release it. Our season is a sled pull. The moment we stop working or pulling, this sled stops."
The Ephs will return to competition next Saturday at the Middlebury Winterfell.