April 16, 2011

Track and Field Achieves Regional and National Qualifications at Home Invite

CAMRBIDGE, Mass. – MIT hosted its annual Track and Field Spring Invitational on Saturday, welcoming a dozen squads to the Steinbrenner track for a non-scoring meet. Without having to worry about team performance, the Engineers focused more on individual qualifications for the upcoming Championship season.

Despite unseasonably cool and windy conditions, a number of individuals were able to put up strong performances, particularly in the sprint events, which were aided by the high winds. Josh Duncavage had a pair of personal bests in both the 100-meter dash (10.94) and 200m (22.22), barely missing the NCAA qualifying standard but securing a spot in the New England Division III Championship in both events. Tyler Singer-Clark took third behind Duncavage in the 200m with a time of 22.69 seconds. Singer-Clark was also third in the 400 with his time of 50.95 and was a part of the winning 4x400 relay (3:26.35), along with Daniel Ronde, Mac Gager and Patrick Marx.

Marx was a winner in the 800, in a very tight race between teammate Justin Bullock and Connor Rose of Tufts. Marx beat out Rose in a photo finish by just one one-hundreth of a second, crossing in 1:58.48. Bullock came through in 1:58.87.

In the distance events, Tech runners came away with a number of event wins while qualifying four athletes for the regional Championship. Richard Prevost was a run-away winner in the 3000m Steeplechase with a time of 9:46.21, nearly 10 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. Stephen Serene won the 5000 meters in 15:27.14 and Daniel Harper (32:41.30) and Roy Wedge (32.47.85) went one-two in the 10k, with all three easily qualifying for the New England Championship.

On the women's side, Alina Gatowski (17:54.32) and Tania Morimoto (18:18.93) joined Harper and Wedge with regional qualifying times in the 5000. Gatowski finished second while Morimoto was fourth. Louise van den Heuvel had an outstanding race in the 800, claiming second with a time of 2:22.40. Chandler Burfield placed third, finishing in 2:25.85.

The hurdles were a bright spot for the Tech women, as Jamie Simmons began to recapture her All-American form in the 400 IH. Simmons won the race with a time of 1:04.20, hitting the National provisional qualifying standard on the nose. In the 100-meter hurdles, Amy Magnuson led an excellent showing by the Cardinal and Gray, taking first in 15.14 seconds. Megan Bumgarner was second with a personal-best time of 15.82 and Hazel Briner checked in third at 15.98.

Martha Gross had a pair of strong sprint efforts, taking second in the 100-meter dash with a personal record (12.64). She backed that up with a win at 200 meters, coming through in 26.24 seconds.

Next weekend, MIT will travel to Springfield College for an Invitational meet on Saturday, its final tune-up before the upcoming New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship in two weeks. During the week, some of the Heptathlon and Decathlon athletes will compete at Holy Cross on Wednesday and Thursday, April 20 and 21.