Somerville, MA—The Williams men's track and field team started February with an emphatic note at the Tufts Cupid Challenge. Throughout the day, in every event, Ephs competed with a purpose, and set numerous seasonal and personal bests.
The meet started with the field events. Sam Mecha '21 set a seasonal best in the long jump, with a mark of 5.47m, for 17th. In the high jump, co-captain Ian Kagame '19 comfortably bested the competition, clearing 1.90m without a miss. In the pole vault, Carson Kurtz '22 and Marshall Borrus '20 each performed well, clearing 4.10m and 3.65m, respectively, for 7thand 10thplace. In the weight throw, co-captain Mykel Miller '20 and Scott Fineberg '22 each had personal bests, throwing the weight 14.15m and 13.88m respectively, for 8thand 9thplace. Both returned for the shot put, where Miller was again 8th, putting the shot 12.91m. Fineberg was 22nd, with a mark of 9.68m. In the triple jump, the first-year duo of John Zhou '22 and Jacob Rosenberg '22 each acquitted themselves well. Zhou jumped a personal best 12.47m, while Rosenberg followed in 11.84m. Zhou finished 4th, and Rosenberg 8th.
On the track, the Ephs kept up the strong performances. In the 60-meter dash, both co-captain Jeremy Thaller '19 and Trent Hall '21 qualified for the semifinals, with times of 7.31 and 7.33 seconds. They would finish 10thand 9thin the semifinals, with respective times of 7.34 seconds and 7.31 seconds. In the 5000, Sam Gilman '21 ran a patient, intelligent race, striking with 600 meters to go to win his heat (and finish 13thoverall) in 15:24.70. Co-captain Zeke Cohen '19 finished 2ndin that heat and 14thoverall with a fiery kick, finishing in 15:26.34. Both qualified for Division III New Englands. Also close behind was Jenks Hehmeyer '20, who ran 15:35.97, for 19th.
In the mile, Tristan Colaizzi '20 ran a bold race, running aggressively throughout to finish in 4:16.49 for 2ndoverall. Co-captain Lucas Estrada '20 was 6thin 4:22.68, while first-year Ryan Watson '22 ran an impressive race, finishing in 4:24.76 and qualifying for Division III New Englands.
The Ephs handled the long sprints with aplomb. Cole O'Flaherty '21, racing the 400 for the first time this season, showed absolutely no race-rustiness, pulling away to win by a full second in 49.80, qualifying for Division III New Englands. Chris Bassett '22 ran a well-executed race, finishing in 6thin 52.25. In the 600, Elliott Fong '19 ran a well-paced race, closing well to finish in 1:25.35 for 6th. Fong qualified for Division III New Englands with his performance. Nolan Holley '22 was 12th, in 1:29.06.
In the 800, Kevin LaFleche '20 took the lead after 400 meters and never relinquished it, winning in 1:55.09 and qualifying for Division III New Englands. In the 1000, all four Ephs entered qualified for Division III New Englands. Nick Gannon '20 showed heart and tactical acumen as he finished 2ndin 2:31.46. Just behind him, hard-charging first-year Jett Ballantyne '22 outleaned Ben Hearon '20 for 3rd, 2:34.01 to 2:34.22. Sam Schraver '22 was 5thin 2:35.13.
In the 200, O'Flaherty turned in another impressive performance, finishing 2ndin 22.64, qualifying for Division III New Englands. Karol Regula '21 was 10thin 23.66 seconds, with Hall 14th, Bassett 17th, Thaller 19th, and Borrus 23rd, in times of 23.76, 24.05, 24.56, and 25.38 seconds. In the 3000, Aidan Ryan '21 pushed himself hard, winning by 13 seconds and turning in a time of 8:25.90, currently #4 on the national list. Jacob Kahrs '19 was 3rdin a personal best of 8:43.07 with a huge kick, while Jake Lange '21 and Elias Lindgren '22 were close behind, in 8:46.88 and 8:47.01 for 5thand 6th. All three qualified for Division III New Englands.
The end of the meet saw the 4x400 and 4x800 relays, along with the entire team not in a relay forming a cheering tunnel for their teammates. In the 4x400, the team finished 3rdin 3:33.14. In the 4x800, a two-team race between Williams and WPI, the team of Gannon, Hearon, Colaizzi, and LaFleche all ran impressive legs to win in 7:59.09.
Head Coach Ethan Barron was excited with how the team competed today, saying "This is an impressively resilient crew. They're weathering some impressive storms and still excelling and improving. The energy and support was fantastic and powered us to a number of season best and PRs. Our guys showed up with a purpose today and threw down, and it showed."
The Ephs will return to competition next Saturday, February 9, at the BU Valentine Invitational.