Men's Track and Field Chases Qualifiers and Quick Times at BU Valentine Invitational


Boston, MA—The men's track and field team competed at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational today, hosted by Boston University. The few competing hoped either to secure qualifying marks or record quick times against professional, DI, DII, and DIII competition on BU's world famous track.

The distance medley relay team consisting of Tristan Colaizzi '20, co-captain Tobias Muellers '18, Kevin LaFleche '20, and Peter Kirgis '20 actually competed on Friday evening, as one of the few men's events of the day. Colaizzi led the team off with a strong 3:03 1200 leg, before handing of to Muellers. Muellers ran a quick 48-400 meter leg, while LaFleche brought the baton to Kirgis having run a 1:53 800 meter leg. Kirgis needed a 4:11 1600 leg to likely qualify the Ephs to the NCAA Championship, a tall order given his mile PR of 4:16. Kirgis competed gamely with a strong 4:14 leg as the Ephs finished 9th in 9:58.71. Williams seems poised to qualify for NCAAs at a future meet.

The next day, three Ephs, co-captain Alex Cowen '18, Jackson Ennis '20, and Felix Biwott '21 competed in the 800. Cowen shook off a month of interrupted training to run a fast 1:55.84, finishing 3rd in his heat. In Ennis' heat, the sophomore ran a smooth, even race, finishing with a personal best of 1:58.76, his first time breaking 2 minutes. Biwott, in his first track season ever, quite nearly broke 2 himself, kicking hard to finish in 2:00.32.

In the 400, Eliot Fong '19 and Dysron Marshall '20 each had solid performances. Marshall ran a 50.52, while Fong ran a 52.46.

In the 1000, Nick Gannon '20 and Chris Avila '21 sought a qualifying time for Division III New Englands, a 2:37 on a flat track or somewhat faster on a banked track like BU. Gannon ran a smart race, closing well to finish in 2:33.82, well under the qualifying standard. Avila, meanwhile, ran aggressively for the qualifying standard, running with pure heart over the last 400. His finishing time of 2:34.87 converts to 2:37.005. It is as of yet unclear whether this time will round to 2:37.00, which would qualify Avila, or 2:37.01, which would unfortunately mean Avila missed the qualifying standard by about one inch.

Many Ephs competed in the mile. They were led by Lucas Estrada '20, whose resurgent season found yet another peak today. Estrada took charge of his heat, leading most of the race before finishing a close second in 4:16.27, a personal best by more than 4 seconds. In the next heat, Ben Hearon '20 and Jake Lange '21 each had good races, finishing in 4:20.51 and 4:23.14 respectively, a personal best for the former and an encouraging result for the latter. Shortly afterward, Sam Gilman '21 ran in his heat, and had a smart race, moving up throughout to finish 2nd in the heat in a personal best 4:23.45. Somewhat later, Jenks Hehmeyer '20 and Zeke Cohen '19 competed in their own heat. Hehmeyer ran a measured and well-paced race, closing hard to finish in 4:32.98. Cohen, meanwhile, shook off the last vestiges of injury and race-rustiness, finishing in 4:34.96. In the following heat, Matthew Peacock '21 ran a tremendous race, taking charge much like Estrada, and simply running away from all competition. He won his heat in 4:33.92.

Two throwers, Mykel Miller '20 and Magnus Herweyer '20 also competed today. Miller competed in the weight throw, with a mark of 10.60m. Herweyer competed in the shot, putting it 14.47m. While neither athlete had their best performance today, both are poised to score significant points at Division III New Englands.

The Ephs will return to competition next weekend at the Division II New England Championship. Middlebury will host this year's championship.