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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Track and Field opens season at Northeastern

New runners look to fill gaps left by graduates

Published: December 7, 2007
Section: Sports

Both the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed Saturday in their first meet of the season. The Northeastern Husky Invitational was held at the Reggie Lewis center at Northeastern University, and was a long meet for both squads. The teams performed well, as they got some running under their feet before they go into their winter hiatus. The meet was non-scoring, but many individuals stood out for their performances.

The Men’s team lost a few runners last year, as some members graduated with the class of 2007. Machel Charles ’07, Ralph Cherry ’07 and Mark Bercy ’07 all left the sprint team to pursue careers outside of Brandeis. On the distance side, the squad lost Joel Sunshine ’07 and Peter Vigieron ’07. Brian McDonald ’10 also transferred this semester which has been a loss to the team. McDonald may return to the Judges, however, and this would be a great addition for the upcoming season.

Still, the Men’s team gained a number of first-years to fill in the gaps. On the distance side, the team gained Mekonen Gendebo ’11, who had a distinguished Cross Country season, earning Rookie of the Year honors in the UAA; Paul Norton ’11 also entered the squad, adding to a strong group of long distance competitors.

The team also welcomed nearly ten other distance runners, who will add depth to the squad. On the sprint side, the Men welcome soccer player Matt Lynch ’11, who has joined the team in his offseason. With these new additions, the team is looking prepared for competitions in the future.

The Women also had to say goodbye to several teammates last May. On the sprint side, the Women lost Linda Kropp ’07, who had added to the jump and hurdle events. On the distance side, the squad lost Camille Stevens-Rumann ’07, which left a hole in the mid-distance squad, Mary Schillinger ’07 and Alyssa Ross ’07.

New additions to the teams will fill in the gaps left by the graduated seniors, though. On the sprint side of the team, the squad welcomes Michelle Gellman ’11 and Sheryl Seller ’11.

Numerous additions were recruited to the distance squad as well, including Hannah Lindholm ’11 and Marie Lemay ’11, who are both coming off of great Cross Country seasons. They are joined by over a half dozen other teammates that will add depth to the Women’s squad.

These new additions and their returning teammates posted standout performances at Northeastern. Sam Donovan ’11 ran a near 4:30 mile, while his teammate Dan Suher ’08 was able to finish with a 4:26 in the event. Mekonen Genebo ’11 and Mike stone ’09 placed 8th and 9th respectively in the 3 kilometer race, with time of just under nine minutes. Frank Longo was able to come in 8th place in high jump, with a mark of six feet while Matt Hohmann ‘11 and Shyam Vimal ’09 came in 5th and 6th place in the triple jump.

The Women had notable performances, as well. Three members of the team were able to run under 5:30 in the mile, as Marie Lemay ’11, Beth Pisarik ’10 and Hannah Lindholm ’11 placed high in the event. First year sprinter Michelle Gellman was also able to break 27 seconds in the 200, placing her among the top 15 runners; Olivia Alford ‘08 was right at her back. These are strong performances for the Judges, as they prepare for bigger meets in the future.

The Men’s team had mixed feelings about its recent performance. “I was very nervous and I didn’t feel good” commented first-year Ryan Chang, who ran in the mile. “But I am sure that I will improve a lot.” Chang’s sentiments reflect most of the team’s attitude as they begin their season.

The Judges will compete next weekend at Harvard before taking the winter break off. They then return early to compete at Bowdoin in early January and continue their season from there.