The track and field teams put forth a strong performance when they competed in the Division III New England Championships on Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23. The men got fifth place in a total field of twenty-three teams, while the women got fourth place in a total field of twenty-six teams.
“DIII New England’s was a great start to the postseason for both the women’s and men’s teams,” Rory Kelly ’19 said, when asked about the outcome of the meet. “Some of the team is shifting their focus to the outdoor season with our first meet less than a month away. Others are looking to get in another fast race to either improve their times against some strong competition or to qualify for nationals. While individuals on the team have different goals during this period at the end of indoor and before outdoor, we still remain a very cohesive team and support each other.”
The men’s squad ended their meet with 64 points, with MIT finishing first, Tufts in second, WPI in third, and Southern Maine in fourth. Jimmy Martinez ’19 came in fifth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.50. Jon Perlman ’19 captured first place in the one mile run with a time of 4:10.82. In the 3000 meter run, Will Meyer ’20 got third place with a time of 8:34.36. Harrison Knowlton ’19 secured fourth in the 5000 meter run with a time of 15:13.40.
The Panthers also did well in their relays, since the “A” team got first in the 4X400 meter relay with a time of 3:21.94. This team was composed of Martinez, Arden Coleman ’20, William Robertson ’21, and Matthew Durst ’21. In the 4000 meter DMR, the “A” team also captured first with a time of 10:10.99. This team was comprised of Meyer, Coleman, Perlman and Nathan Hill ’20. Other crucial contributors were John Natalone ’19 in the pole vault event, Nathaniel Klein ’21 in the shot put event and Minhaj Rahman ’19 in the weight throw event.
“This being a championship meet, there was very strong competition, so it was incredible to be able to win the mile and DMR,” said Perlman. “Our team put a lot of emphasis on doing well at this meet and I think across the board we performed really well.”
The women’s squad finished with 57 points, and placed fourth overall. Ahead of them were Williams, who came in first, MIT and Tufts. Ava O’Mara ’21 and Lucy Lang ’19 both did well in the 600 meter run, getting fourth and fifth place respectively. O’Mara had a time of 1:37.64, while Lang had a time of 1:38.56. In the 800 meter run, Cassie Kearney ’22 came in second place with a time of 2:13.36. Behind her were Meg Wilson ’20 in fifth place with a time of 2:15.97 and Anna Willig ’20 in seventh place with a time of 2:17.61.
“I felt really great and surprised about my performance in the open 800 race,” said Kearney. “I didn’t do indoor track in high school, so this sport is new to me and I’m not used to running throughout the winter. I thought that how I did this past weekend really showed how my hard training has paid off over the past few months and I definitely realized the potential I have going further into the postseason.”
Katelyn Pease ’22 had a time of 2:59.20 which got her sixth place in the 1000 meter run, while Tasha Greene ’21 had a time of 5:02.24 which got her fifth place in the one mile run. Kelly came in second in the 3000 meter run as she had a time of 9:47.28. It is also important to mention that the “A” team came in third in the DMR with a time of 11:54.82. This team was composed of Kearney, Kelly, Abigail Nadler ’19 and Gretchen McGrath ’21.
On her performance in the 3000 meter run, Kelly said, “I was very excited by my 3k on Saturday. It was a challenging race and it was truly my teammates cheering me on every lap that got me through. They were critical to my successful performance.”
Perlman concluded by saying, “At this point in the season, we just need to make sure we’re feeling rested and ready to compete. We’re still hoping to get a few more qualifiers for NCAAs.”
Next week, on Saturday, March 2, the Panthers will be competing in the Tufts Last Chance Meet in order to get more qualifiers. After that comes the biggest meet of the indoor season, the NCAA Championships.