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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis on track

Published: January 30, 2009
Section: Sports

The men’s and women’s track and field teams could sleep in a little this weekend, as they competed at home this past Saturday in a meet that started at noon. Boosted by the cheers of both recent and veteran alumni alike, the Judges had great individual and team performances. The women had an amazing day that boasted 5 winning performances and a number of spots in the top finishes of various events. This was enough to give them second place at the competition, as Bowdoin College outscored them by a mere three points. The men did not fare as well team-wise, but had a relatively good meet. They were able to win a pair of races and a number of other great individual performances, which placed them in 6th for the day out of the 10 teams competing.

The women were lead in the field by Ali Sax ’09, Anut Ben Nun ’09 and Suzanne Bernier ’10 who all placed first or second in various events. Ben Nun was able to score another NCAA-qualifying distance in the triple jump with a mark of 38 feet 3 and ¼ inches. While short of her season best but still qualifying for the national championships, Anat was followed by teammate Ali Sax who not only placed second in that event, but was the runner-up in the long jump and the 55 meter hurdles. Suzanne Bernier rounded out the top scoring in the field with a soaring height of 5 feet 3 inches in the high jump, enough to win the event for the Judges.

The Judges excelled in the mid-distance events, as well. Brandeis’ highest scoring event for the women was the mile run in which Beth Pisarik ’10, Grayce Selig ’11 and Hannah Lindholm ‘11 claimed all three of the top finishes. In addition, Brandeis also won the 400-meter run, as Michelle Gellman ’11 took the event with a time of just over 1 minute. The squad also won the 4×800 meter relay event with a time 8 seconds faster than their nearest competitor.

The men also performed relatively well this weekend, despite not utilizing some of their fastest runners, such as Paul Norton ’11. The men fared well in the mile run as Sam Donovan ’11 and Matt Jennings ’09 claimed the top two spots in that event this Saturday. Rookie Marc Boutin ’12 also shined in the 1000-meter dash where he finished second with a time of 2 minutes and 36 seconds. The judges also saw some success in the sprints as Pat Gregoire ’09 and rookie Myles Tyrer-Vassell ’12 had second-place performances in the 55-meter dash and the 55 hurdles respectively. The team also excelled in the 4×800 meter relay where they won the event with a time of just over 8 minutes and 7 seconds.

Overall, members of the team were excited and positive about their performances this weekend. For Matt Jennings ’09 this was his fourth and last home invitational, but he was happy to have left on a high note. “This was my last Brandeis Invitational, and I’m very pleased with how it went.” Jennings went on to say “I feel that more and more, the younger generation of Brandeis track will take the program to greater and greater heights, as evidenced by our excellent performances in the 1000, one mile and 3000.” Jennings closed with a remark summarizing the meet and prospects for the upcoming season. “It was a meet of excellent performances and I think that this foreshadows some future high finishes in championship competitions.”

The Judges compete next weekend at the Wheaton College Invitational, a meet that has not been on the schedule for these athletes in recent seasons. After this competition, the teams only have a few more Boston-area and nationally-regarded meets before they begin the championship season in the middle of February. Still, this recent home meet was a way from them to get some good running under their feet, and acquire support from their past and recent alumni. Many of the alums even stuck around until the end of the meet where they competed in the “alumni relays.” Perhaps some of these current athletes will compete in these alumni events in the future, as their relay success at this recent meet may predict helpful additions to alumni relay races in years to come.