Boston, MA — This weekend, the men's track and field team took a strong team to the Boston University Valentine Invitational. With professional, Division I, Division II, and Division III athletes all in attendance, every event field was challenging. The Ephs made excellent use of the competition and of Boston University's fast track, with personal and school records set across the board.
Opening the meet for Williams on Friday night was the Distance Medley Relay team made up of senior captain Tristan Colaizzi, senior Kevin LaFleche, junior Cole O'Flaherty, and junior Aidan Ryan. The team's race was one of the highlights of the meet as they won the event in a blistering time of 9:46.98, setting a new school record. The Eph quartet was just .04 from breaking the NCAA DIII mark set in 2017 by Middlebury.
Each member of this star DMR team brought their A-game, with Colaizzi running a 3:01.25 in the 1200m leg, O'Flaherty running a 48.71 in the 400m, LaFleche running a 1:52.33 in the 800m, and Ryan dropping a 4:04.69 to bring it home in the 1600m leg. The time will likely qualify the DMR team for nationals this year.
On Saturday, the first event on the track was the unseeded 5000m, where junior Chris Avila ran a strong race, setting a new personal record of 15:02.38 taking 11th overall. In the unseeded 3000m that followed, Freshman Will Spollen and sophomore Ryan Watson also set personal records, coming in at 8:48.05 and 8:41.87 respectively. In the 800m, LaFleche ran a brilliant race, taking 2nd in his heat (39th overall) with a time 1:52.97.
The sprints team, just like mid-distance crew, delivered a series of personal records across several events. Freshman Kevin Zhang was up first in the 60m taking 3rd in his heat (23rd overall) with a 7.19, a personal record. The Ephs brought a strong 400m crew, and they performed: O'Flaherty took 39th overall in 49.11 (less than half a second off his personal record), sophomores Nolan Holley, Chris Basset, and Karol Regula ran 50.45 (1st in heat), 50.93 (1st in heat), and 53.91 (4th in heat) respectively. Holley and Basset's times were both personal records. Freshman KJ Kogawa broke 52 seconds, finishing first in his heat with a time of 51.47, also a personal record. In the 200m, Zhang set another personal record with a time of 22.61, finishing 2nd in his heat (90th overall), while Regula posted a 23.92 to take 3rd in his heat (212th overall).
In the 1000m, sophomore Sam Schraver and freshman Oliver both set personal records and both finished 8th in their heat with times of 2:31.81 and 2:35.44 respectively. Sophomore Jett Ballantyne finished 9th in his heat with a 2:37.69.
The mile featured strong performances from the mid-distance crew: Colaizzi and senior Peter Kirgis both set new personal records with times of 4:11.45 (82nd overall) and 4:12.84 (97th overall) respectively. Sophomore Elias Lindgren and senior Benjamin Hearon ran strong races as well, coming in at 4:19.41 and 4:24.70 respectively. Freshman Grant Gattuso made his collegiate mile debut clocking a time of 4:30.19.
The 4x400 relay followed, and the Ephs' team of Holley, Basset, Kogawa, and freshman Adam Roupas delivered a solid performance, taking 97th overall with a time of 3:24.02.
In the penultimate event of the day, the seeded 3000m, seniors Kenneth Marshall and Jake Lange '20 ran times of 8:31.77 and 8:36.92 respectively (15th and 167th overall), new personal records for both Ephs. And in the 5000m, the final event of the meet, senior Will McGovern set a new personal record of 14:27.29, taking 3rd in his heat and 27th overall. Ryan Cox 'also performed well with a time of 14:58.71 placing 16th in his heat (81st).
Ultimately, the invitational was a great opportunity for the Ephs to test themselves against challenging competition. The plethora of personal records across events sets the team up well for this coming weekend's invitational at Springfield College.