NEW YORK, NY – The Amherst College indoor track and field teams combined to win four events this weekend at the ECAC Division III Championships, which were hosted by New York University and held at the Armory Track & Field Center. The Lord Jeff men placed fourth in a field of 53 teams, while the Amherst women finished seventh of 47.
Amherst's men picked up 43.5 points to finish close behind TCNJ (3rd, 45.5) and Bates (2nd, 49.0), but Buffalo State picked up 77 points to run away with the team title. The Lord Jeffs and Bobcats finished well ahead of the rest of the NESCAC, as Middlebury and Bowdoin tied for 23rd (10 points) and Williams placed 30th (9 points).
It was also a tight competition on the women's side, as Amherst's 40 points were right with the front of the pack. TCNJ took home the team title with 58 points, followed by Tufts in second (53.50). The Lord Jeffs finished just ahead of Middlebury (8th) and Williams (9th).
Amherst featured the top performer in both the men's and women's 500-meter dash races. Ben Scheetz '12 (Lancaster, PA) took down another school record with his time of 1:02.74 to best the previous Amherst mark of 1:03.41, which was set by Jeff Willis '00 back in 2000. Susan Wasserman '11 (Brooklyn, NY) also set a new school standard with her time of 1:17.30, which was nearly a second ahead of the previous Amherst best (1:18.28, Carly Levenson '09).
The 1,000-meter run was also successful for Amherst, as Will Yochum '11 (Goleta, CA) won the men's race in a time of 2:27.32 to claim his second ECAC title in the event in as many years. Steven Corsello '11 (Skaneateles, NY) was close behind in fourth (2:29.40), while Keri Lambert '13 (Amherst, MA) took fourth on the women's side (2:57.65).
While most events took place on Saturday, Friday featured a strong race by Amherst sophomore Ali Simeone (Stoneham, MA) in the 5,000-meter run. Her time of 17:01.31 was good enough for an NCAA automatic qualifying time and bested the previous ECAC Championship record, but she would settle for third place thanks to outstanding races by Wendy Pavlus of St. Lawrence (16:54.41) and Annie Dear of Williams (17:00.47).
John McGrail '11 (Arlington, VA) finished sixth in the men's 5k (14:53.94) on Friday, also placing sixth in the 3k (8:40.68) on Saturday. The women's 3k featured a pair of Lord Jeffs in the scoring mix, as Tori Sosnowski '14 (Amherst, NY) took third (10:20.09) and Christina Wong '11 (Honolulu, HI) was eighth (10:31.51). Rounding out the team's top performers in the distance events were Melissa Sullivan '12 (Dallas, TX) and Patrick Grimes '13 (Mansfield, MA), who finished sixth in the 800-meter run (2:16.79) and 11th in the mile (4:17.34), respectively.
Amherst's relays performed well, led by the men's 4x400 team of Andre Gary '11 (Exeter, NH), Andrew Reed '12 (Riverside, CT), Tommy Moore '11 (Marlborough, MA) and Scheetz putting in a winning time of 3:16.95 to just miss out on a meet record. The Lord Jeff women took third in the 4x800, as Lauren Almeida '13 (Reading, MA), Lisa Walker '14 (Superior, CO), Lambert and Amy Dao '14 (Boxborough, MA) ran a 9:36.37. The Amherst women also placed sixth in the distance medley relay, as Wasserman, Almeida, Sullivan and Eliza Schalch '12 (Bethesda, MD) ran an 11:56.47 to fall just short of an NCAA automatic qualifying time (11:55.30).
Senior Chris Eaton (Brooklyn, NY) once again highlighted Amherst's field competitors by besting his own school mark in the weight throw. Eaton's previous PR of 17.10 meters came nearly one month ago at the Valentine Invitational, but he edged that mark by the slimmest of margins on Saturday to place sixth in a field of 33 with a toss of 17.11 meters. Jordan Roehl '12 (Portales, NM) finished 18th in the women's weight throw (14.21m), while Naomi Bates '14 (Washington, DC) placed 12th in the long jump (5.08m) and 19th in the triple (10.76m).
Select members of the Amherst teams will return to action next weekend to compete in theNCAA Division III Championships at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. More information will be posted on the Amherst Athletics website early next week.