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Track and field continues season mid-break

For the average Brandeis student, winter break is a time of relaxation, far away from Waltham. However, for Brandeis’ men’s and women’s track and field teams, winter break was spent on campus practicing and preparing for two meets, including the 2017 Reggie Poyau Invitational. The Judges tied for third in this meet, which was both their first home meet and first scored meet of the season. Here is a timeline of the track teams’ winter break:

On Jan. 5, the Judges track and field teams back to campus, significantly earlier than the majority of students. Practice began immediately, as the teams were to compete at the USM Invitational just two days later. Because residence halls were closed, the team relocated to the Village for four days.

The USM Invitational, though unscored, was still an important meet for the Judges. Regan Charie ’19, who placed third in the men’s 55 meter dash and second in the men’s 200 meter dash at the event, explained, “Since the USM meet was right after vacation it was kind of good to see where we were all at after a couple weeks away from campus.” After a strong showing at this meet, notably including a first place finish by Irie Gourde ’17 in the men’s 200 meter dash, the Judges returned to practice to prepare for their first home meet.

The next week entailed long practices as the Judges prepared for their home meet. “Because we didn’t have much else to do during the day, practices were longer and we stayed at the end stretching/rolling/icing more than normal to spend more time with each other,” Maya Bliss ’19 explained. “The workouts were hard but not necessarily harder than normal.

During their down time, the teams had plenty of opportunity to bond with one another. Both teams made sure to eat and cook together throughout the week. They even went to Josephs Two one night in Waltham. The campus was very quiet over break, which some members of the team stated that they enjoyed. The team spent tons of time together outside of meals as well; some members of the team went bowling one night, and others could be found binging the television show “Black Mirror” together throughout the week.

At the 14th Annual Reggie Poyau Invitational on Jan. 14, both the men’s and women’s track teams posted third place finishes. The meet, held in Gosman, was open to any team or individual who wanted to participate. The men’s team scored 70 points to tie Merrimack College for third, finishing just one point behind Bentley University, who finished second in the meet. The women’s team posted 67.5 points to secure third place, but fell short of University of Southern Maine, who captured the title in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

For the men’s team, Irie Gourde ’17 stole the show with three second place finishes in just his second ever meet, with times of 23.13 and 51.46 in the 200 and 400 meter runs. Gourde also led the 4×400 meter relay, with Jeremy Wilson ’17, Erez Needleman ’20 and Jacob Judd ’20, which finished in second place with a time of 3:38:92. Additionally, Michael Hutton ’18 placed second in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 8:47.46, the 15th fastest time in Division-3 this season.

The women began the meet by dominating the 3,000 meter run, with Emily Bryson ’19, Maddie Dolins ’17 and Julia Bryson ’19 taking the top three spots in the race. Their respective times of 10:14.16, 10:28.96 and 10:36.81 were the fifth, seventh and 21st fastest times in Division-3. Doyin Ogundiran ’19 took home first in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:24.97, the 19th best time in Division-3. Willa Moen ’20 won the high jump in her first ever meet, with a height of 4 feet, 11 inches.

The Judges look to continue their success in their coming meets. Both track and field teams competed in the non-scoring open meet, Greater Boston Track Club Invitational at Harvard University. The teams will not race at home again until Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26, when the Judges host the UAA Conference Championships.

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