Geneva, OH—Tristan Colaizzi '20 and Aidan Ryan '21, representing the Williams men's track and field team, concluded competition today at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Although the weather was brutally hot and humid, both athletes summoned up their best for the team. Thanks to their efforts, the Ephs scored 14 points, good for 19thoverall.
Colaizzi and Ryan each competed in the finals of the 1500 meters. Ryan got off the line better than the rest of the field and led the first couple hundred meters at a relatively relaxed pace, while Colaizzi kept a good position in 3rd. Another athlete led for much of the second lap, but in the home straightaway before the penultimate lap, Ryan abruptly surged and took the lead, injecting some serious pace into the race. Ryan gapped the field by several meters, as at first only Colaizzi recognized the significance of the move and moved into 2nd. By the start of the final lap, however, several athletes had almost caught up to Ryan, and they made their various bids for the win entering the final turn. Ryan kept a cool head and maintained a slight lead until the last 50 meters, when he unleashed his final kick and pulled away, winning his first national championship in 3:49.14. Ryan's last 400 meters were completed in 55 seconds. Behind Ryan, Colaizzi closed very well himself, running a 58 second final lap to finish in 8th in 3:52.47, garnering All-America honors in this event for the second consecutive year.
A scant 3 hours after winning the 1500, Ryan returned to compete in the 5000 meters. The temperature had only climbed since 1500, and had reached 89 degrees in the shade. This race therefore featured numerous officials handing out cups of water twice each lap, and was more a test of heat acclimatization and toughness rather than pure speed. The pace in the early going was slow out of respect for the conditions, but a number of athletes still fell off even that pace. An athlete made a strong surge after the first mile. A pack of 10 athletes, with Ryan at the back of the pack, went with the move. Around 3 kilometers into the race, Ryan became separated from the front pack, and found himself in no-man's land. Ryan gutted out a tough close, picking off runners who couldn't stand the pace in front of him, and fending off challengers from behind. Although seeded 9th, Ryan passed the test of the conditions to finish 6th, in 14:53.19. Ryan was one of only two athletes in the field of 20 to finish within 30 seconds of his personal best.
This meet concludes competition for the 2018-19 season.