Morton, Tao Nab Spots on Awards Podium at NCAA Mens Track & Field Championship
GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The MIT men’s track & field team entered the NCAA Division III Indoor Championship with hopes of improving on their 32nd place showing from a year ago. Bolstered by tremendous performances by Stephen Morton and Greg Tao, the Engineers finished in 17th place out of 65 scoring teams.
Tao started things off on Friday morning for the Cardinal and Gray in the pole vault. After clearing the first two heights, Tao made it over the bar at 16-1.75 feet on his third attempt. That height proved to be difficult for much of the field, as all but six vaulters were knocked out by that point. This put Tao onto the All-America stand with a sixth-place finish, improving on his eighth-place showing in 2009.
Morton entered the meet with high expectations, coming in with the top overall mark in the triple jump and was seeded second in the long jump. After a disappointing foul out in the long jump, Morton finished first in his preliminary flight of the triple jump. The senior followed that up by shattering his own Institute record in the finals, jumping 49-3.00 feet, just one half-inch behind the National Champion, Chrys Jones of Centre College. The All-America nod was the fifth in Morton's illustrious career, as he became the most decorated jumper in Institute history.
MIT’s other entry in the meet was Kyle Hannon in the mile. Hannon was the victim of a slow heat in the prelims, running 4:21.26, nearly 10 seconds slower than his season best.
North Central College won the team National Title with a total of 52.3 points.