This past weekend, the Brandeis men’s and women’s track & field teams saw some incredible performances while competing at Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) at Staten Island, NY. ECACs is the final meet before the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. Here the Judges had several personal records, two NCAA qualifiers and one All-ECAC performance.
In only the fifth meet of his career, Evan Scott ’16 had a career best in the high jump with a leap of 1.98 meters—6 feet, 6 inches. At the meet he tied for fourth-best and based on number of attempts earned sixth-place.
Brandeis had women running in three events at the championships. With the highest finish for the runners, Kelsey Whitaker ’16 placed ninth in the mile with a season-best time of 5:11.19, while classmate Maggie Hensel placed 11th in the mile with the time of 5:13.51. Kyra Shreeve ’18 shaved about four seconds off her season-best with a time of 5:17.92, earning her 17th place. Then Haliana Burhans ’18 placed 14th in the 400-meter run with a time of 59.34 seconds, while Tove Freeman was just behind in 15th place with a time of 59.49 seconds.
In addition to these personal records, two of the Judges qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships. After his University Athletic Association championship in the 3,000-meter run, Ryan Stender ’18 led the way with a run that qualified him to compete at Grinnell College in Iowa next weekend for the NCAA Championships. With a time of 8.21.36, Stender surpassed his UAA championship time by more than 12 seconds, earning him fourth place. This season his time is ranked 13th in Division III. Due to injury, Stender had missed the end of cross country season and the early part of indoor track. This will be his first appearance at an NCAA championship. Of 3,000 competitors, he will be one of five representing the New England area, the only UAA runner and one of three sophomores in the field. Brandeis has not seen a runner at NCAAs since 2013, making this an important moment for Stender and the Brandeis athletic community.
For the women, Emily Bryson ’19 will also be representing the Judges at Grinnell College this weekend. Having previously qualified in the fall for the cross country championships, this will be her second straight appearance at an NCAA championship event. Finishing in 31st place at in that event, she was honored with an All-American title. For track, Bryson will compete as the 16th seed in the mile. On Feb. 19 at the New England Division III Championships at Middlebury College, she ran her second-best time of 5:02.34. In Division III, her time ranks 33rd, but she was able to get a spot at NCAAs due to several competitors choosing to focus on other events. Bryson will be one of seven New England competitors and the only UAA competitor for the mile