MIDDLETOWN, CT – The Amherst College men's and women's indoor track and field teams each competed Saturday at the Wesleyan University Invitational. Although it was a non-scoring meet, the Lord Jeffs picked up five victories on the women's side and three on the men's.
Both Amherst teams continued to stand out in the distance events, as the women came out on top in the 600-, 1,000- and 5,000-meter runs, as well as in the mile. Sophomore Melissa Sullivan (Dallas, TX) won the 600 with a time of 1:41.22, while first-year Ali Simeone (Stoneham, MA) led the charge in the mile run. Amherst first-years took the top four spots in the mile, as Simeone and her 5:30.72 were followed closely by Lauren Almeida (Reading, MA), Sarah Daly (Wheaton, IL) and Elodie Reed (Bow, NH) in a field of 30 runners.
Senior Hoiwan Cheung (Hanover, NH) paced the field in the 1,000 with a time of 3:08.12, followed by first-year Keri Lambert (Amherst, MA) in third and junior Zoe Pagonis (Westminster, MD) in fourth. The 5k was equally impressive for Amherst, with junior Melissa Pritchard (Washington, DC) winning the race in 19:20.37 and three other Lord Jeffs placing in the top eight. Amherst's fifth victory came in the distance medley.
Also excelling in the distance events was junior Susan Wasserman (Brooklyn, NY), who placed second in the 800, as well as sophomores Eliza Schalch (Bethesda, MD) and Shannon McKenna (Cedar Falls, IA), who placed eighth and 10th in the same event, respectively. In addition to winning the mile, Simeone placed fourth in the 800. Leading the way in the 3k was sophomore Laura Zaccagnino (Verona, NJ), who placed third by just finishing under the 11-minute mark (10:59.81).
Amherst's top sprinters on the day were first-years Jade McKnight (Pasadena, CA) and Jess Mueller (East Freetown, MA), who placed sixth in the 400-meter dash (1:03.32) and 14th in the 200-meter dash (28.54), respectively. Mueller also tied for sixth in the high jump at 1.41 meters. Continuing to show promise in the field events was sophomore Jordan Roehl (Portales, NM), who placed seventh in the shot put (10.60m) and ninth in the weight throw (11.81m).
On the men's side, Amherst had the top two finishers in the 3k and the mile, also winning the 600-meter run. Junior Will Yochum (Goleta, CA) won the 3k with a time of 8:33.77, with classmate John McGrail (Arlington, VA) taking second place at 8:49.27. Junior Kevin Hanley (Manhattan Beach, CA) rounded out the top 10 in the 3k (9:21.64).
In a field of 38 runners, seven Lord Jeffs placed in the top 11 in the mile run. Senior Dan Murner (Crestwood, KY) led the pack with a 4:25.35, while junior Jack Seaver (New Canaan, CT) had a breakout race by placing second with a 4:30.46. Seaver's runner-up performance shaved 13 seconds off of his best indoor time in the mile run from last year. Sophomore Ben Scheetz (Lancaster, PA) continued his impressive winter season with a win in the 600, edging the field of 35 with a time of 1:23.30. Junior Tommy Moore (Marlborough, MA) placed fourth in the 600 (1:25.90).
In addition to finishing second in the distance medley, Amherst had an impressive showing in the 800- and 1,000-meter runs by placing three runners in the top 10 of each event. First-year Adron Pitmon (Underhill, VT) and senior Jimmy Swanson (New Orleans, LA) placed third (1:57.58) and fourth (1:58.77) in the 800, respectively, while senior William Bell (Silver Spring, MD) took third in the 1,000 (2:36.35).
Amherst had several top-10 performances in the sprints, with first-year Ofori Amponsah (Cleveland, OH) leading the way by placing fifth in the 55-meter dash (6.74). Sophomore Andrew Reed (Riverside, CT) and junior Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, South Africa) placed sixth (23.32) and 10th (23.44) in the 200-meter dash, respectively, in a field of 71 runners, while junior Andre Gary (Exeter, NH) landed eighth in the 400 with a time of 52.52 seconds. Rounding out the top performers was sophomore Spencer Russell (West Chesterfield, NH), who finished sixth in the 55-meter hurdles (8.21).
The Lord Jeffs will return to action Friday, Jan. 29, when they head to the Boston Indoor Games.