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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Jumbos compete in one last meet before NESCACs

The Jumbos had four top-seven finishers in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday.

This week marked the last meet of the regular season for the men’s track and field team, as most of the team traveled to UMass Lowell to compete in the annual George Davis Invitational. It also was the last week for team members to qualify for the NESCAC Championships.

The Jumbos impressed the most on the field, as the team earned a handful of strong performances.

Senior co-captain Brian Williamson continued his string of strong performances as he placed fourth in the hammer throw with his best throw of the season (165’ 1”), and third in the shot-put (49’ 5”), while sophomore Tom Wang claimed fourth in high jump, clearing 5' 10.50”.

In the long jump, junior Bryson Hoover-Hankerson notched the only first-place finish for the Jumbos with his jump of 21’ 1.25”. He was followed by senior Allan Yau (20’ 6.50”) and junior Alex Karys (20’ 4.25”), both multi-event athletes, in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Yau and Karys also tied for second in the pole vault, as both cleared 11’ 5.75”. First-year Stefan Duvivier, a basketball transplant who has made a phenomenal impact this outdoor season, leapt 42’ in the triple jump.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, first-year Ty Enos (10:04.14), sophomore Bobby McLaughlin (10:19.07), junior Nick Adams (10:23.76) and senior Joe Poupard (10:37.12) finished second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

In the 4x400-meter relay, juniors Francis Goins and Alex Kasemir, sophomore Nick Usoff and first-year Andrew Dimaiti claimed first place with a time of 3:23.90. Dimaiti also took second place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.37.

In the 800-meter run, junior Alex Apostolides (1:57.72), senior Alex Sheltzer (1:57.92) and first-year Peter McCawley (1:58.67) took fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. All had their best 800 races of the season.

The story for much of this season has been the weather. The cold, snow and wind have made it difficult for the Jumbos to put up their best times while trying to qualify for the postseason, but this weekend was a fortunate break from the dismal weather that has plagued the year thus far.

“You could tell that people were frustrated," Adams said. "It was so windy that it was difficult to move on the stretch, but over time people just had to accept it. Just because the times weren’t great because of the weather doesn’t mean we didn't run well.”

Though the forecast isn’t looking great for the NESCAC Championships this weekend, the team has had more than enough practice with the wind, and is looking forward to giving it their all.

The most impressive performance of the weekend didn’t take place with the rest of the team, as NCAA Div. III indoor 800 champion, junior Mitch Black, traveled to compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton. There he competed in the 800-meter run, in which he ran 1:50.00 for both a new school record and the top time among Div. III athletes this spring. He placed 11th out of 98 competitors, finishing ahead of all Div. II and Div. III runners in the event.

As many look forward to the postseason, Adams looked back on the season as a whole, and how much the team has grown this year.

“Coming off of indoors we weren’t doing as well as we’d hoped as a team,” Adams explained. “The focus is always to win NESCACs in the spring, but more importantly, we wanted to be a whole team, and support each other during the outdoor session, and I think we improved a lot this year.”

For many team members, the NESCAC Championships next week are the moment they have been working toward all season.

“We’re all looking forward to the championship,” McLaughlin said. “It’s not going to be an easy day -- the weather isn’t looking great -- but this is what we’ve been preparing for. The consistent practice and consistent training we’ve had this season [are] really going to help us next weekend.”