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Both Track teams struggle at Tufts

By jr00576

Section: Sports

February 8, 2008

Both the Men’s and Women’s squads competed this past weekend in Medford, Mass. at the Tufts Invitational This meet was more of a prep competition for the Judges, as they tried out different events and only ran a smaller version of their rosters; runners were not placed in their traditional events, and injury left deep holes in the sprinter and jumper teams. The meet involved squads from all over New England, including Division II teams. Nevertheless, some of the athletes had great performances, as the Judges got some different types of running under their feet before the championship meets later in the season.

With an understaffed roster, and many athletes running in uncompetitive events, the Men’s team as a whole did not rank high this weekend. They placed last among the field of 11 teams, but this result hides the personal progress that was illustrated. On the sprints side, Co-Captain Patrick Gregoire ’09 barely missed making it to the finals in the 55 meter dash, as he finished seventh with a time of 6.82 seconds.

Teammate Ned Crowley ’10 was able to place, on this slow track, in the 400 meter event. He ended up with a time of just under 53 seconds. Paul Norton ’11 and Ben Bray ’11 finished sixth and seventh in the mile run and had among their personal records in the event. In addition, Dan Suher ’08 ran under 2 minutes in the 800 meters to place fifth for the Judges. Mike Stone ’09 also placed fourth in the 1000 meter event finishing out the distance events strong for Brandeis.

The Women’s squad fared better this weekend and was able to place sixth among the 14 teams. Olivia Alford ’08 was able to place third in the 200 meter event putting the Judges on the map in the sprints. Marie Lemay ’11 had a personal best and finished the 800 meter event in 2:23.

The Women also excelled in the jumps as Ali Sax ‘09 won the triple jump and placed in the long jump. Suzzane Bernier ’10 also placed third in the high jump. Perhaps the best victory of the meet was in the 4×400 meter relay. The Women were able to win the event with a time of slightly more than four minutes, Brandeis’ only first place finish of the day.

Members of the Men’s team saw this past meet as a bump in the road, but believe that it provided valuable preparation for future competitions. “This week’s meet had some highs and some lows,” explained Suher. “This would happen at some point in the season, and if it were to happen at anytime, this was the meet for it to happen.”

Suher is looking forward to the next meet at Boston University this weekend. “What I can say is that this got rid of the mid season misstep, and now we look forward to BU this coming weekend and the upcoming championship season. We have many athletes qualified for Div. III New England and we are hoping to meet the National Qualifying standard in the Distance Medley Relay this weekend.”

Athletes on the Women’s team also looked to the bright side. “Yes, the meet did not go as well as we all probably hoped,” explained women’s Co-Captain Katy Agule ‘09. She went on to state, “Tufts is a smaller meet with Div. III competition, and it was a good meet to run controlled and strong races.”

The Judges head back to Boston Saturday to compete at the St. Valentine’s Day Classic. “The Valentine Invite is a much stronger meet competition-wise and is much bigger,” said Agule. “We all hope to run very well there.”

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