Williamstown, MA—The men's track and field team will send 4 athletes to compete at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. This meet will be hosted in New England for the first time in more than 20 years, a significant home field advantage for the Ephs. The Ephs have qualified for NCAAs in the 800 meter run, the mile, and the 3000 meter run. The athletes competing will be aiming for at least top-8 finishes in order to score points for the the team and garner All-America honors. Williams currently ranks 27th in the country by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
At NCAAs, as with most other track meets, 1st place is awarded 10 points, 2nd place 8, and then 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 respectively for the successive places following. Winning team scores tend to be in the mid-30s, while podium finishes (top 4 teams) usually require around 30 points.
Competing in the 800 will be Tristan Colaizzi '20 and Kevin LaFleche '20. Both juniors have already had accomplished NCAA careers. Colaizzi, as a freshman, ran the 800 leg of the Distance Medley Relay team at NCAA indoors that finished 5th, and as a sophomore, finished 8thin the 1500 at NCAA outdoors. Colaizzi comes in with a seed time that ranks 7th in the country, and should contest for his 3rdAll-American honors. LaFleche, too, is a two-time All-American. At this meet last year, LaFleche finished 8th in the 800; this past spring, LaFleche finished 7th in the outdoor 800. Although LaFleche enters this meet seeded 14th, his racing skills and famous finishing kick should serve him well at these championships.
Co-captain Lucas Estrada '20 will be competing in the mile. Estrada has shown himself, this season and in past seasons, as an intelligent racer who navigates the tactics of the indoor mile with aplomb. Estrada competed in this meet last year, running the 1600 leg of the DMR (a mile is approximately 1609 meters). Although he enters the meet as the 20thand final seed, he is more than capable of qualifying for the final and racing for All-America honors.
Aidan Ryan '21 enters the 3000 as the 3rd seed, with a time that he ran to win the New England Division III Championship by over 6 seconds over a formidable opponent. After missing the previous indoor season and much of the last outdoor season due to a lingering injury, Ryan has been a force this season. He has won five out of six races this season, with the one loss coming at a meet featuring DII, DI, and professional competition. The sophomore has shown both impressive fitness and smart racing tactics. Although the competition at this meet will be fierce, Ryan can certainly compete for a very high finish.
Head Coach Ethan Barron was excited about the runners competing at this year's championships, saying "Track & Field is a team sport. We're rolling in with four men who embody that. You have another gear when you're racing for the team and these four can go there. Nationals can be tough sometimes because you lose that visceral connection to the team. It is definitely a huge boost to be racing at a venue where the team can travel. The more we're able to hold onto that connection, the better we'll be."