Indoor Track Sprints Ahead
By Tim Butterfield '12, Staff Writer

The indoor track teams raced in the Valentine Invitational last weekend. At Boston University, with the women running on Friday and the men on Saturday.


Sophomore distance runner Melissa Sullivan said of the invitational, “Both the track and the competition at Valentine are ideal for fast times, so we really wanted to use that to our advantage.”

The meet began with fast times indeed, as the Jeffs first competed in the 500m event. Junior Susan Wasserman and senior Mary Doris Reggie earned 15th and 21st places, respectively, in the race. Their times of 1:19.37 and 1:19.66 placed the two women in the top half of the field. Several Amherst runners placed well in the mile run — an event tackled by 139 runners from 12 sections. Placing 16th in that field was Sullivan, who broke the challenging five-minute barrier with a time of 4:58.91 — an NCAA provisional qualifier. First-year Keri Lambert earned 70th place with her 5:24 mile time. She was followed one second later by sophomore Eliza Schalch, two seconds later by Elodie Reed ’13 and four seconds later by Kristen Moulton ’13.

“Going into the race, I was a little overwhelmed because I knew the girls in my heat would be much faster than any of the other heats I’d been in this season,” said Sullivan. “I was actually kind of surprised I could run as fast as I did, but I know there are also things I could have improved on strategy-wise, so I’m looking forward to racing the mile again later in the season.”

Senior captain Hoiwan Cheung earned a personal best time in the 800-meter run, as she completed the half-mile distance in 2:20.64.

Other standout performances were displayed in the five-kilometer event, where Ali Simeone ’13 placed 16th in 17:55.70. First-year Rebecca Alizzi ran a 19:26.46 in the race, earning “Performer of the Meet” recognition from head coach Erik Nedeau.

“This weekend was the team’s last chance to hit qualifying times for the championship meets,” said Sullivan, “so now everyone is focused on going to those meets and bringing everything together to run even faster. We’ll start to incorporate speed into the training to complement the strength we already have, which should get us tuned up to race well for the next few weeks.”

The women race next Saturday at the University of Southern Maine for the Division III New England Championships.


In the men’s distance medley relay, juniors Steve Corsello and Tommy Moore combined with Ben Scheetz ’12 and Jimmy Swanson ’10 to post a 10:00.90 time. This NCAA provisional qualifying time also earned the men fifth place in the event.

The 400-meter dash proved to be another strong point for several of Amherst’s runners, as three Jeffs — Sophomore Andrew Reed and juniors Tommy Moore and Andre Gary — finished in under 51 seconds. Running a personal best time in the event was senior Keith Pendergrass, who clocked a 52.21.

In the mile event, Corsello and Pat Grimes ’13 both ran their best career times, and Corsello’s 4:14.79 time was another provisional qualifier for NCAAs. Earning a qualifying time at the half-mile distance was Scheetz, whose 1:54.19 earned him 19th place of 170 total competitors.

Scheetz also competed in the 4x400-meter relay, where he was joined by Moore, Gary and Reed. The team’s time of 3:18.48 broke the previous school record by more than three seconds.

In the five-kilometer event, senior Dan Murner ran a nearly unbelievable time of 14:24.22. The time was his personal best, a new school record, and is currently the fastest DIII time in the country.

“Overall, the team ran well,” said Murner. “Several runners hit NCAA qualifying marks and many more set great PR’s [personal records]. The meet definitely gives us some confidence as we try to do some damage next week at DIII New Englands.”

With the invitational portion of its indoor season now over, the men’s team will head to Bates College this Saturday for the Div. III New England Championships.

Issue 15, Submitted 2010-02-24 15:22:48