Track and field send two to national meet

Two Judges from Brandeis University will head down to Guilford College for the 2020 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships in Winston-Salem, NC this upcoming weekend, taking on the country’s finest track competition. On the women’s side, Niamh Kenney ’21 will participate in the 3,000-meter run event, while Jack Allan ’20 will represent the men’s team and contend in the heptathlon. Allan will be the first Brandeis male to ever qualify for the NCAA championships in this event. Both of these qualifying scores came from the Tufts Last Chance Meet held on Jan. 31.

Kenney punched her ticket to nationals with a time of 9:51.40, coming in with the fifth-fastest time across all of those competing in NCAA Division III. This was almost 10 seconds faster than her previous personal record (PR). With this time, Kenney is headed back to the NCAA Championships where she competed along with her cross country teammates in the fall of 2018, but is now making her first appearance in the indoor track setting. Her first race will be held at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 13 for the preliminary round, and then later the next day for the finals at 4:45 pm on Saturday, March 14.

Allan set the Brandeis University all-time record in the heptathlon with a score of 4782, making him stand in the 15th seed as he enters the national meet. Although this record was set at the Tufts meet, Allan has continued to improve, setting further PR’s in four out of the seven events in the heptathlon. At the Championships, Allan will compete in the first four events on Friday, and finish the last three on Saturday to round out the meet.

Other members of both the men’s and women’s teams competed at the Tufts Last Chance meet, hoping to drop their seed times and qualify for the national meet. 

All-American Devin Hiltunen ’22 placed second at the meet in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.61 seconds. Hiltunen is currently ranked 24th amongst all Division III runners and was five hundredths of a second away from qualifying, with only the top 20 participants in the event qualifying for the meet. 

Hiltnunen also competed in the 400-meter dash, placing fourth with a time of 59.38 seconds. She is currently ranked 37th amongst all Division III runners and was less than half a second away from qualifying. 

Danielle Bertaux ’20 placed seventh at the meet with a time of 10:12.26. She is currently ranked 49th amongst all Division III runners after the meet. Andrea Bolduc placed tenth in the mile with a time of 5:21.58. The distance medley relay team of Bolduc, Kenney and rookies Sydney D’Amaddio ’23 and Victoria Morrongiello ’23 were ranked 28th in Division III after a second place finish at the University Athletic Association conference meet with a time of 12:16.72. 

On the field, Willa Moen ’20 placed ninth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.55 seconds and seventh in long jump with a distance of 4.89 meters. 

On the men’s side, Josh Lombardo ’21 PRed for the fourth weekend in a row, running his first mile under 4:20, placing fifth with a time of 4:19.26. Classmate Aaron Baublis ’21 finished ninth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.20 seconds. Allan placed fourth in the long jump with a distance of 6.46 meters. 

As of publication time, NCAA President Mark Emmet and the Board of Governors has cancelled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships amidst the evolving public health threat of COVID-19, according to the NCAA’s website. The competition was originally closed to spectators with only essential personnel in attendance. 

Editor’s Note: Victoria Morrongiello is the deputy news editor for The Hoot and a member of the women’s track and field team. Josh Lombardo is a staff writer for The Hoot and a member of the men’s track and field team. They did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.