Indoor Track Team Heads To NCAAs

By Alex Edel

Members of the women’s and men’s indoor track and field teams split up to compete in two meets this Saturday, March 2. While much of the team traveled to the ECAC championship in New York, N.Y., those who were looking for NCAA qualifying marks competed in the Tufts Last Chance meet. Several athletes had outstanding performances resulting in qualifying times for NCAAs and new school records.

While no members of the men’s team were able to qualify for NCAAs, several members of the team were extremely close. The men’s distance medley relay (DMR) team of Wilder Schaaf ’14.5, Fritz Parker ’15, Patrick Hebble ’13 and Jack Davies ’13 finished 11th nationally, just one spot away from making the meet.

Kevin Chu ’14 came back from an injury to run a best time of 8.28 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles at the ECAC championships, good for second place. This time nearly qualified him for the NCAA meet, though he fell just short. After being out for almost all of the championship meets, Chu thanks both athletic trainer Sue Murphy and the team for helping him to come back so strong.

“It pains me to have to miss any meet, whether it is a simple dual meet or a championship meet,” said Chu. “Every competitive fiber in my body wants to be racing every weekend and scoring points for our team. The long-term focus is something that I did a much better job maintaining over the last month.”

Sam Craft ’14 finished second in the 1,000 meters at ECACs, breaking the school record in 2:30.41. He will look to parlay that performance into success in the 800 meters this spring.
Meanwhile, at Tufts, Juliet Ryan-Davis ’13 won the 600-meter in 1:34.98, a new school record time. Allison Maxwell ’15 also placed first for Middlebury in the mile with a time of 4:49.53 to qualify her for the NCAA meet as the eighth seed.

The NCAA accepts 10 men’s and 12 women’s relays into the championship meet, with 13 men’s and 16 women’s entries accepted.

“The season’s going great,” said Aleck Silva-Pinto ’16. “There have been a lot of records broken. I hope the women’s DMR wins at nationals, but it was too bad to see the men’s DMR get snubbed.”
Going into the NCAA meet, Middlebury’s women’s DMR relay is seeded first, having run a Division III national record time last weekend at the Open New England championships. Sarah O’Brien ’13, Alexandra Morris ’16, Ryan-Davis and Addie Tousley ’13 will look to better their time of 11:39.95 and hold onto their first place seed as they look for their third straight national championship in that event.

While these women continue to train for the NCAA meet which will take place March 8 and 9 in Naperville, Ill., the rest of the team will continue to train in preparation for the indoor track and field season.

“The team goal for outdoor is to build off of our indoor success and make a run for the NESCAC team title,” said Chu. “My freshman year [2011] our men’s team had the highest cumulative GPA of any track team in the country across all divisions, and I would love to see us return to the top of the standings there as well.”

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