Brandeis and six other schools competed for the indoor conference title at the two-day long UAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 25-26 at the Gosman Athletic Center.
The first day of events included preliminary heats for running events, as well as men’s jumping events.
Mark Franklin ’17 led the Judges in the jumping events, earning an all-UAA title for the high jump. It was the senior’s fourth year in a row scoring points for Brandeis. He reached 1.89 meters with three other competitors, but with his lack of misses, he earned third place. Franklin’s six points accounted for all of the men’s team’s points after the first day.
In the preliminary heats, two men’s runners progressed to final rounds on Sunday. Irie Gourde ’17, in his first season on the track team, secured spots in the 200-meter and the 400-meter races. His teammate, Regan Charie ’19, also secured a spot in the 200-meter, finishing just behind Gourde in the preliminary times.
Rookie Jack Allan also earned an appearance in the finals of the 55-meter hurdles, placing fifth in the preliminary races on Saturday.
The women’s track and field team had three individuals score one point each, along with one point scored in a relay race. The women ended the Saturday competition with four points and one runner advancing to finals on day two.
The team collected points from a sixth-place long-distance relay, a sixth-place weight throw from Jordin Carter ’18, a sixth-place finish in the long jump from Kayla Fahey ’20 and a sixth-place 5,000-meter race from Julia Bryson ’19. Doyin Ogundiran ’19 was the only Brandeis runner to advance to the finals, scoring the second-fastest time in the preliminaries for the 800-meter.
Between the two competition days, the track teams spent the evening resting and rejuvenating for a full day of events on Sunday. “Our coach just told us to take it easy, get our carbs back. A lot of hydration and energy foods, and just rest and mentally prepare to do it all again,” Gourde said.
In the finals races, Gourde contributed the most points to Brandeis’s score with two second-place finishes in the 200-meter and 400-meter sprints for a total of 16 points.
In the 200-meter dash, Charie fell right behind Gourde to earn six points for his third-place finish in the 200-meter. Gourde described the event as a key moment in his races, where both he and Charie ran a “fantastic race,” keeping steady around the bend which normally gives racers trouble. The 200-meter dash provided 14 of the Judges 47 total points.
Charie also earned a fourth-place finish in the short 55-meter dash, adding four points to the Judges’ score.
The races culminated in an impressive 4×4 event, featuring runners Gourde, Churchill Perry ’20, Charie and captain Jeremy Wilson ’17. The squad finished just 0.6 seconds behind third place to add four points to the score. After competing in four previous races, Gourde recalled, “I was kind of a dead man walking for those first couple of meters, and the energy of my previous runners and their voices carried me through the final 300 meters.”
The 47 points secured the Judges in the sixth-place spot, but a few impressive individual showings “surprised some folks” in this year’s UAA Indoor Track Championships, according to Gourde.
The women, however, ended the day in seventh place with 30 total points. Significant results came from Ogundiran who took third in the finals of the 800-meter, as well as Brandeis’ long-distance runner Emily Bryson ’19, who took first in the mile run and third in the 3,000-meter run.
Going forward, “UAAs was a big boost,” Gourde said. The team has just two more meets before entering the outdoor track season, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships in Ithaca, NY, and the Last Chance Meet at Tufts, where runners will have one last chance to make the indoor NCAA Championships on Friday, March 10.
The team looks to continue their stride into the outdoor season, which generally has faster race times and a more energetic atmosphere due to the build of the track. Gourde looks forward to building on the team’s results. “The only way we can go is up.”