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Track and field faces challenging opponents at Open New England Championships

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Section: Sports

March 5, 2010

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed last weekend in the Open New England Championships, each managing to score points in the prestigious meet.

Held this year at Boston University, the meet features athletes from colleges all over New England competing head-to-head regardless of their NCAA division. Qualifying to compete is difficult in and of itself, but Brandeis had seven athletes representing the school in the two day competition.

“We were definitely the little fish,” Suzanne Bernier ’10 told The Hoot. “We were competing against schools like UConn and BU.”

Only one Judge was in action on the opening day, Friday, Feb. 26. Paul Norton ’11 had the Judges’ best finish of the meet, taking sixth place in the 5000-meter run with a time of 14:49.56. The high placing earned the Brandeis men three points and earned Norton All-New England honors.

Bernier got the Judges off to a quick start on Saturday. Competing in the high jump, an event in which she holds the all-time Brandeis record, Bernier leaped 1.65 meters and tied for fifth.

She eventually finished seventh after the tie-breaker, which considers the number of jumps, was applied; this was still the highest position for a Division III athlete in the event. Brandeis received two points for the finish, and Bernier was also named All-New England.

Unfortunately, those were the last points that either the men or the women would register. Each team had two runners in the 1-mile run, but not one was able to break into the top ten.

Alex Kramer ’13 clocked a time of 4:17.79, only good enough for 18th place; his teammate Marc Boutin ’12 finished 23rd with 4:20.85.

The women fared slightly better. Beth Pisarik ‘10 had a personal-best time of 5:00.11, which earned her 12th place and moved her into the top 15 in Division III in the mile. Marie Lemay ‘11 was just 4.09 seconds and three positions behind her.

Lucia Capano ‘11 finished the meet for the Judges by recording a mark of 10.53 meters in the triple jump, leaving her in the 20th position.

“Those who went really held their own,” Bernier said, “and did well despite the obvious advantages that the bigger schools have, with personal trainers and what not.” Brandeis left the Open New England Championships ranked 30th out of 34 schools on the women’s side and 32nd out of 34 for the men.

Their seasons continues today and tomorrow in the UAA Championships and next weekend in Greencastle, Indiana, where all qualifying athletes will take part in the NCAA Championships.

“We are definitely looking forward to the meet this weekend. UAAs is what we train the whole season for,” Bernier explained. “Also to have it on our home turf is wicked exciting. We only get one home meet a year usually and home turf is definitely an advantage.”

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