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UAA Championships a natural disaster for Track and Field

Published: March 14, 2008
Section: Sports

Braving blizzard conditions and key injuries, both the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams traveled to Cleveland this weekend to compete at the UAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The squads did not fare so well at the competition, as injuries and underperformances were seen on the track and in the field.

The Men’s team finished in last at the end of the meet, after losing a slight lead over New York University. The Women fared slightly better this weekend and did have a significant number of individual as well as team standout performances. At the end of two days of competition, the Women were able to place fifth out of the seven teams present at the conference championships.

The Men did not see many individuals place, but this underscores the relatively good performances by some athletes. Frank Longo ’08 was able to clear six feet in the high jump, but still missed placing by one rank. Shyam Vimal ’09 made it the finals in the triple jump, but was just edged off the winners’ podium by a half an inch.

Still, some members of the team were able to win points for the squad. Mike Stone ’09 ran a time of 4 minutes and 24 seconds in the mile run, placing fifth and scoring two points for the Judges.

The Men were also able to place with two relay squads as well. At the end of the first day, the Men’s Distance Medley Relay team was able to place second overall. In the last event of the competition, the Judges were also able to place in the 4×400 meter relay, further increasing the team’s score.

On the other side, the Women started off strong as Bessie Bianco ’08 was able to win the high jump while teammate Suzzie Bernier ’10 finished third. Ali Sax ‘09 was also able to place fourth in the long jump; all of this activity took place within the first three hours of competition.

Olivia Alford ’08 was unable to compete in the finals of the 400 and 200 meter dashes due to illness, but Sandra Canuto ’08 was able to place fifth in the 55 meter dash. Emily Owen ’11, meanwhile, placed fifth in the 800 meter event. The Women also did well in the Distance Medley Relay, placing second. Overall the team was able to score 37 points, only two points out of fourth place.

Certain members of the men’s team wanted to look beyond this recent meet and view the season as a whole. Matt Jennings ’09, who was injured and unable to compete at the competition, explained this sentiment best.

“Instead of focusing on the negatives of this weekend,” explained Jennings “I want to focus on the positives of this season full of many personal bests and achievements.” Jennings went on to explain that the “team is still young and improving and the best is still to come.”

Other teammates commented about the weekend as a whole, including the competition and the weather conditions that hit the Cleveland area. “It was a crazy adventure,” explained Hannah Lindholm ’11. “We are very proud of everyone for sticking it out.”

There was so much snow in Cleveland this past weekend, that the Judges’ flight back to Boston was cancelled. The teams had to stay an extra night in the area and then bused back to Brandeis early the next morning. This eleven hour trip is the last event of the winter, as the Judges have reached an end of the Indoor Track season. They have four weeks to recover before they have their first meet in the Outdoor season in early April.