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Alford, Norton shine at NE

By jr00576

Section: Sports

February 29, 2008

While most Brandeis community members went away for their February break, the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed twice. The squads first traveled to Cambridge in order to participate in the MIT invitational. Those who qualified for Division III New England Championships then competed last weekend at Smith College and Tufts University.

Both squads experienced significant success in their first championship meets of the season. The Men did well in the relays, and posted some strong individual performances in the distance events. The Women were also able to place in the top four positions in two relay events, and Olivia Alford ’08 was slightly edged out of second place in the 400 meter run, finishing third and earning All-New England honors.

The Women were able to finish off twelfth in New England, as individual and relay standout performances drove the team forward. In addition to Alford, Suzanne Bernier ’10 was also to individually claim All-New England honors, as she tied for fourth place in the high jump with a height of just above 5 feet 2 inches.

Perhaps the strongest performances of the meet came in the relays. The Judges, anchored by Alford, were able to place third in the 200 meter relay event, and a young distance medley team finished well enough to place third.

The Men’s team also experienced some success at their recent competition against top DIII New-England squads. The event that the Judges truly excelled in was the three kilometer run; Paul Norton ’11 was able to place the highest among any of the Brandeis runners, as he claimed second place and All New-England honors. Teammate Dan Suher ’08 also finished fifth, rounding out a strong team performance in the event.

The Men’s side also had a relay team earn honors. The Judges were able to finish the 4×800 meter relay with a time of 8 minutes and 7 seconds, good enough to place seventh. These points were enough to rank the men’s team in fourteenth place, just one point behind Connecticut College and Wesleyan University.

Co-Captain Suher explained some of the strategy that was considered for the recent meet. “On the men’s side at tufts we ran with a very limited squad as this was a qualifying meet,” he explained, “and while we had a number of athletes qualify, we chose to not race some guys in an effort to keep them fresh for more important meets coming up.”

In the end, Suher was relatively satisfied with his team’s performance. “Overall it was an up and down day,” stated Suher “but the ups were pretty up and the downs were insignificant in terms of viewing the season in a holistic sense.”

Norton, meanwhile, was relatively excited about the recent meet. “I felt pretty good about my own performance,” he said. He continued by saying that he “felt smooth and relaxed the whole time and to be second to a Cross Country All-American is nothing to be ashamed about.”

The Judges next compete at the Open New England Championships, before heading to Cleveland for the UAA Championships in early March. This end of the season competition illustrates the strength of certain members of the squads as they round out the Championship season over the next couple of weeks.

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