The men’s track and field team competed at Middlebury at the indoor New England Div. III Championships on Friday and Saturday, and placed third overall out of 23 teams.
“At the championship meet, it's definitely all about just scoring points in whatever ways possible, whether it's switching into event that you might normally not run, filling in for people who are injured, being an alternate on a relay team," junior Alex Lemieux said. "Individual performance and [personal records] are kind of secondary."
Senior Ben Stein and junior Carter Rosewell had exceptional showings in the heptathlon, placing second and sixth, respectively, in the event. In the heptathlon, an event that took place over the course of both days, Stein showed his versatility by placing first overall in the 1000-meter race, the high jump and the long jump. Roswell finished second overall in the 60-meter dash and in the high jump and third in the long jump.
Lemieux led the sprinters in the 60-meter dash with a second place time of 6.90 seconds, and a victory in the 200-meter race with a time of 21.91 seconds.
“It’s more about places and just earning points," Lemieux said. "I’m just really psyched that I was able to do that. I think, in total, I earned like 20 points for the team ... It was just a good accomplishment, and I was happy I was able to contribute in three events.”
Lemieux also participated in the 4x400-meter relay, in which he was joined by junior Andrii Campbell, and first-years Ethan Forde and Noah Turner. The squad finished second in the event with an overall time of 3:25.08. Turner and Forde also ran the 400-meter, finishing sixth and tenth, respectively, in the event. Campbell placed fifth in the 600-meter, and was joined in the event by junior Sawyer Wilson, who finished eighth.
The Jumbos had a strong showing in the field events as well. They were led by sophomore Harry Rienecker-Found, who won the high jump with a jump of 6’9” (2.06 m), scoring ten points for Tufts. Senior Alex Zsikla jumped 44'11.75" (13.71 m), placing sixth in the triple jump and scoring three points for the Jumbos.
In addition to these strong performances, the Jumbos also showed a level of adaptability which helped to make them successful at this meet.
“One of our long sprinters who normally runs the 600 … went a bit early to run with some of the distance guys in the [distance medley relay] race," Lemieux said. "He ran the 400-meter leg of that.”
Individual efforts combined with the team’s overall success has improved the team’s camaraderie and energy.
"There's a lot of talk about Tufts magic," Lemeiux said. "Some of my coaches bring it up where on meet day, there’s something about the energy that ... propels the team to get those great results and do better than we expected to."
The Jumbos will now shift their focus to the Tufts National Qualifying Meet hosted at the Gantcher Center this Saturday, where many of the athletes will attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships.