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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Men's track and field produces myriad of team bests at BU Valentine Invitational

The men’s and women's track and field teams competed at Boston University’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational, named after the legendary track and field athlete David Hemery, on Friday and Saturday. This was no ordinary collegiate meet: it featured the top high school, college and professional athletes around the country, many of whom broke national records.

“People were flying all the way from Texas to run at a meet, ... and they don’t want to travel all that way just to run a mediocre time, so people were definitely very hype in the arena," sophomore Jack Taylor said. "The atmosphere definitely lended itself to wanting to go out there and compete at your highest level.”

The Jumbos certainly got to a high level, performing well against competitors from all over the nation and across all levels from Division I to Division III.

Taylor, the only Jumbo in the 1000m, finished with a time of 2:29.03 and placed 23rd out of 66 finishers. This is both a team best in the 1000m this season and a personal best for Taylor.

“Once I was in the race, I felt pretty good going into it," Taylor said. "I felt pretty relaxed and didn’t have too many nerves. I was pretty confident going into it that I would run well, and I was pleased with it in the end that it went about as planned."

In addition, junior Alex Lemieux performed extremely well in the 60m invite race, in which only 26 runners ran, and the 200m, achieving times of 7.04 seconds and 21.75 seconds, respectively. These performances netted him 14th overall out of 25 finishers in the 60m and 20th out of a whopping 210 competitors in the 200m. Lemieux was able to break through the crowd, and not only finish in the top 20, but also come very close to the personal best that he achieved two weeks ago at another Boston University meet.

Sophomore Luke Botsford performed impressively in an equally large field of 196 competitors in the 400m event. With a time of 48.65 seconds in the event, he placed 24th overall. Along with it being his personal best in the indoor 400m and the team’s best this season, after the banked track conversion, it is the 14th best time in Division III across the nation this season. Junior Andrii Campbell, who came in 64th with a time of 49.99; first year Noah Turner, who came in 79th with a time of 50.37 and first year Ethan Forde, who came in 91st with a time of 50.62, rounded out Tufts’ top 100 finishers in the event.

In the 800m, senior Nick Delaney finished 93rd out of 226 with a time of 1:55.68. It was only 0.22 seconds off of his personal best in the event, despite this being only his second race after fully recovering from an injury he has been dealing with for almost two years.

“Nick Delaney ... had been battling injury for two years, and he had his first race in the 1k the week prior to this and then he came out in the 800 and ran a 1:55, which was an amazing time for someone who had a run through so much adversity in the past two years,” Taylor said.

In the mile, first-year Alex Friedman finished with a team-wide season best time of 4:20.13, which was good for 179th out of 275. Four Jumbos ran the mile under 4:30. This race had an extremely competitive field, with 12 runners going under four minutes.

The highest finish that the Jumbos got in any of the races was by senior Sam Gatti, who finished 11th out 72 in the 5000m unseeded race. With a time of 14:45.70, it is the 40th ranked time in the nation this season. Finally, sophomore field standoutHarry Rienecker-Found finished third out of 26 competitors in the high jump, jumping 6 feet 7 inches.

The team will now focus its attention on the Triangle Classic this Saturday at Springfield in preparation for the New England Division III Indoor Championships happening the following weekend at Middlebury.