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

Tufts takes first at Amherst's Spring Fling

Hee Jae An competed in the long jump over the weekend.

The men’s track and field team dominated at the Amherst Spring Fling this Saturday. The team scored a total of 176 points, over 100 more than second-place Amherst (72). It was the team's second victory in as many weeks after besting a field of 22 at home the previous week.

Once again, the conditions were not optimal for fast times and long throws.Despite some harsh weather, including winds of almost 30 miles per hour, the Jumbos were able to outlast their competition in the third meet of the spring season.

“We had a couple of things going against us,” sophomore Henry Zhou explained. “Our coach [Ethan Barron] was sick, and the weather was against us, but in spite of that, we brought our A game and did our job and came out of the meet feeling really good.”

Tufts once again fared well in the hurdles, with Zhou (15.99 seconds) along with fellow sophomore Ptah Osayande (16.04) claiming second and third, respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles, while first-year Andrew DiMalti (55.64) and sophomore Nick Usoff (55.94) took the top two positions in the 400-meter hurdles.

In the 1,500, senior Mitch Black claimed yet another first-place finish with a time of 4:02.41. It was an impressive performance for the 800-meter national champion.

In the 400, juniors Francis Goins and Alex Kasemir took first and second place with times of 51.40 and 52.01, closely followed by senior Alex Sheltzer with a time of 52.04. Goins, Kasemir and fellow junior Bryson Hoover-Hankerson finished in second, third and fourth with times of 23.00, 23.36 and 23.37, respectively, in the 200.

“We’re definitely a younger group than in years past,” assistant coach Mike Schmidt said. “We’ve had to look to some of the younger guys to step up and a lot have started to do just that. We still need some of them to start taking roles that were filled by seniors in years past, but we’ve been impressed.”

The track was not the only place the Jumbos had a strong showing; as they also recorded a number of strong finishes on the field. First-year Stefan Duvivier placed first in the high jump, with a clearance of 6’ 2,” and in the triple jump, where he flew 40’ 4.25.” He was followed in the high jump by sophomore Jared Asselin, whose 6' jump was high enough to secure second place.

First-year Linus Gordon also placed behind Duvivier with a leap of 40' 2.25" in the triple jump. Gordon's best finish was in the long jump, where he was measured at 19' 3.25," and first-year Peter Clarke jumped 19' 2.33" to lock up yet another one-two finish for the Jumbos. Senior Brian Williamson placed first in the shot put (48' 9"), while junior Atticus Sweat continued the team's dominance in the field events by winning the discus (121' 8").

"We came in looking to compete," Schmidt said. "We've set ourselves up to challenge for the NESCAC Championship, but we still have some work to do in the next few weeks. This week we have the weather to really work on qualifying, so hopefully our guys have the mindset that they won't let anything stop them from competing."

With the win fresh on their minds, the Jumbos hope to carry some of their momentum forward into the coming weeks as they look toward the championship meets at the end of the season.

"It's a testament to the team not letting anything stop them from giving their best effort," Schmidt said. "We knew we were ahead by a lot, but the guys competing in the second half didn't let that stop them from trying their hardest."

Zhou saw the meet as a good indicator of the team's fitness level early in the season.

"Following this meet, we're going to keep up with the intense workouts," Zhou said. "I think we've done a really good job recognizing everyone's efforts, which is really important in track where you can get fragmented because we all do different things. I'm confident we'll be a strong contender in the NESCAC championship this year."

Next weekend, the Jumbos will be competing at the Silfen Inviational hosted by Conn. College.