Gojumbos: Home of Men's Cross Country and Track & Field at Tufts University

Team Improves from 6th to 3rd at DIII Indoor New England Championships

(2/24/2016 12:16 PM) Full Results

The Jumbos took a short trip across town to MIT this past weekend for the DIII New England Championships. With no Heptathletes in the event (the only empty event for the Jumbos this year), the meet got under way at 11:00 on Saturday with the Long Jump and weight throw. Senior Bryson Hoover Hankerson started the meet off with a bang, jumping an indoor PR of 6.75 Meters on his second attempt, launching himself into finals and eventually 4th place overall. His teammate Linus Gordon was not to be out-done in the second flight, jumping 6.85 on his very first attempt. Linus only took 3 attempts in the Long Jump, but each one was over half a foot farther than his previous PR. He would end up 2nd overall, besting his 5th place seed.

Bryson was very active early in the meet. Following the long jump prelims, he crossed the track for the 60 meter dash prelims, where he out-did his seeded position and PR’d to qualify for finals. However, Sophomore Peter Clark stole the show in the opening round, breaking Bryson’s school record and running 7.09. Freshman Josh Etkind broke his own school record minutes later, cruising to finals in 8.39 seconds. More to come from these two groups…

Track events continued with the running of the mile. The race began at a pedestrian pace, crawling through 400 in 75 seconds. Senior James Traester remained poised and well positioned near the front of the race as the pace started to pick up. With 400 meters to go, the race blew open. Traester closed in 59 seconds for the last 400 to snag 4th place in the last 50 meters. Having never scored at this meet before in an open event, it was certainly an impressive performance for James.

The turnaround was quick for Josh Etkind in the 60 Hurdles, with the final coming right after the mile. This clearly was not a problem for the young hurdler. He had what was undoubtedly the race of the day in the hurdle finals, running a massive PR of 8.25 seconds, once again shattering his own school record. Not only did he finish 3rd in the race, the time puts him at 16th in the country, right on the border of making the NCAA meet.

The Jumbos struggled in the next few events on the track, scoring only 2 points in the 400. Senior mid-distance runners Veer Bhalla and Mitchell Black got the team back on track with wins in the 600 and 800. Veer set the school record in the 600 with a time of 1:20.10 in a race he led from start to finish. Mitchell cruised to a 1:52.00 time, winning easily. What was particularly impressive is that this time was still faster than any other DIII runners have gone this year, and a meet record for the DIII Indoor New England Championship.

Bryson and Peter both aggressively attacked the finals in the 60m dash, but Bryson regained his crown as school record holder in the 60, just squeaking past Peter’s time from prelims to run 7.07. Peter took 8th in 7.14, a time that would’ve been a PR and tied for the school record before the two of them obliterated it in prelims. Overall, the 60 dashers were 4/4 in school record times for their prelims and finals.

The triple jump kept things going on the infield. Linus Gordon continued to re-write his personal record book, with a PR of 13.63. In total, he took 7 jumps in LJ/TJ combined, and PR’d in all but one of them (on his opening jump in triple, he missed his PR by 4 centimeters…).

In the long distance events, Juniors Tim Nichols and Luke O’Connor lead the charge as usual. Luke made a very strong move with 1400 to go in the 3k, but couldn’t quite carry it through the line. He still held on for 4th place. Freshman Christian Swenson also posted a college PR, running 8:46 to win the unseeded heat, good for 4th on the freshman indoor all-time list. Tim raced a very competitive 5k field, with 6 former All-Americans in the race. He didn’t quite have the kick at the end, but still grabbed 3rd place. It was the first time scoring points at this meet for both Tim and Luke.

By the time the relays rolled around, Tufts was pretty solidly locked into 3rd place in the meet. Williams and MIT were too far ahead to catch, and Bowdoin was a distant 4th. The Jumbos still fought for place, particularly well in the 4x400. Tufts went back and forth with MIT through the whole race, getting edged at the line by just over .1 seconds.

Overall, the Jumbos improved from last year’s 6th place finish for a solid 3rd. There is still plenty of room for growth, and the team will keep working hard for 2 more weeks to try to grow our nationals group, which others turn towards outdoors.

Full Results