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Track & Field | Men’s and women’s teams perform well at Bowdoin Invitational

Women’s team wins, shorthanded men’s team comes up short against stiff Div. III competition

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 07:01

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Justin McCallum / Tufts Daily

Junior Max Levitin ran 24.99 in the 200-meter dash as the Jumbos finished third at the Bowdoin Invitational.


Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams trekked up to Maine Saturday for the Bowdoin Invitational. The meet was promising for both teams’ late season prospects, as the men excelled in distance events and the women took home six individual victories.

The men arrived at Bowdoin shorthanded, racing with just half the team, yet still amassed enough high finishes in order to place third of four. Bowdoin won on their home track with 200 points, while RPI placed second with 159 and Tufts earned 108, 27 ahead of Springfield’s total of 81.

Because the top scorers traveled to Boston University for a meet on Thursday evening, the meet was dominated by underclassmen who often found themselves peppered among the leaders in each event.

Freshman Bryson Hoover−Hankerson took third in the 60−meter dash with a time of 7.34 seconds and finished one place better in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet 3.5 inches.

Fellow freshman Woody Butler placed second in the 400 with a tremendous early−season performance of 52.38 seconds.

“Every one of the first year guys has been running well and is poised to continue to bust out big [personal records] as the season progresses,” junior sprinter Max Levitin said.

Sophomores Alex Sheltzer and Alex Schifter teamed up in the 600 to take second and third place, respectively, with Sheltzer crossing the line less than half a second before his teammate.

The lone individual victory of the day was recorded by freshman Mitchell Black, who won the 800−meter run by almost three seconds. The freshman also came in second in the triple jump, where he was defeated narrowly by Springfield’s Tim Johansmeyer.

The Jumbos also fared well in field events aside from the long jump and high jump. Senior Andre Figueroa and freshman A.J. Fields finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the shot−put. Freshman Alex Karys notched a jump of six feet in the high jump, just barely behind eventual victor Stephen Silber of RPI, to claim fifth.

Though the team entered the competition without their top athletes in every event, the Jumbos emerged basically unscathed and locked down a number of highlight performances to boot.

“A win would have been nice, but I don’t think we got anything less than we deserved,” freshman Woody Butler said.

The Tufts women had a slightly different experience, overcoming host Bowdoin by two points to hold on for the win. With six victories—two in track events, four in field events—and 15 top−three results, the Jumbos primed themselves for a showdown against the Polar Bears later in the season, a team that figures to be a top contender in the NESCAC.

Unlike the relatively inexperienced men’s team, the women’s team brought plenty of star power to the meet despite missing a number of top runners who raced earlier in the week. They displayed this balance early on and maintained it throughout the course of the meet.

Veteran distance runners senior Toby Crispin and junior Laura Peterson earned the two wins on the track. Crispin won the mile with a time of 5:17.48, and Peterson did the same in the 3000 with a time of 10:33:55. Peterson only had to edge out her teammates as the Jumbos swept the event with sophomore Meghan Gillis, freshman Michelle de Mars, senior Lydia Jessup and freshman Alexandra Kiesling rounding out the top five.

“Crispin had a great day,” freshman Sydney Smith said. “She didn’t have much competition in her mile, and she still pushed herself to run for time, not just [for] the win.”

Though there were no individual victories in the sprinting events, Tufts still picked up a great deal of points in those events. Junior Jana Hieber placed third in the 60−meter hurdles in 9.89 seconds, while freshman Marilyn Allen finished third in the 60−meter dash in 8.30 seconds.

As they have since last year, the Jumbos were strongest in the field events, where they produced four of their six event−winners.

Seniors Sabienne Brutus and Ronke Oyekunle won the weight throw and shot put, respectively, with ease. Brutus won her event by about seven feet, heaving the weight 57 feet on the nose.

Oyekunle’s toss of 42’8” landed her over three feet ahead of Ivy Muchuma of RPI, who finished second.

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