Jeffs Continue Success at Open New England Championships

February 24, 2007

BOSTON, MA - The Amherst College track and field teams traveled to Boston University to compete in the Open New England Championships on Friday and Saturday. The women were looking to ride their momentum from the Division III New England Championships the weekend before, while the men were looking to rebound from last weekend’s sub-par showing.

The women got the meet started with the early session on Friday, facing trials for the 1000 and below and finals for the 5000. In the final event for the Jeffs, sophomore Elise Tropiano (Plainview, NY) and junior Heather Wilson (Danvers, MA) finished in second and third in the 5000, respectively, improving their NCAA rankings and affecting their placement in the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Carly Levenson (Richmond, VA) etched her name into the school record books as she broke the previous record in the 500 that has stood since 1995, running a 1:18.66. Senior tri-captain Maria Millard (Orono, ME) ran a strong, tactical race in her qualifying heat of the 800 to advance to the finals, while fellow senior tri-captain Hannah Campbell (Haverstraw, NY) ran to her best time of the year in the 400. Following suit was junior Laura Mortimer (Jackson, MS), who ran her second best time ever in the unseeded section of the 5000.

The men raced in Friday's evening session, setting the tone for the weekend early on. Sophomore Harrison Lakehomer (Eugene, OR) did a lot of the grunt work early by leading the race in the unseeded 5000, capturing his second fastest 5000 mark of his collegiate career. Senior Nate Freese (Tunbridge, VT) dropped over 10 seconds from his previous best time while racing in the seeded section. Junior Romulo Cabeza (Enfield, CT) had a break through race in the 800 as he started out aggressively and never looked back, qualifying for the ECAC Championships while achieving a personal record. Sophomore Steve Stewart (Hartford, CT) followed a similar course as he raced to a big personal record as well.

First-years Jimmy Swanson (New Orleans, LA) and Tommy Anderson (Birmingham, AL) ran in separate 1000-meter heats, and both achieved their fastest times of the year. Junior Basile Beaty (Belmont, MA) posted his best time of the season in the 500 heats, coming back to run the 400-meter leg of the distance medley relay along with sophomore Jack Kiley (Garden City, NY) and first-years Kit Callahan (Evaston, IL) and Carlyle Eubank (Santa Ynez, CA).

During Saturday’s portion of the meet, the teams fed off of their momentum from the previous day. A solid pairing of senior tri-captain Shauneen Garrahan (Fairfax Station, VA) and Millard led the women from the outset. Garrahan, who started her day with a runner-up finish in the mile while achieving an NCAA automatic time, came back two hours later and raced to a new personal record in the 3000, finishing sixth overall. Millard almost break the school record for the 800 while grabbing fourth place in the event. However, Mallard did pull off a record-breaking run in the 4x400, teaming up with Levenson, Campbell and sophomore Caitlin McDermott-Murphy (Newton, MA) to break the four-minute mark and set a new school record while qualifying for NCAA Championships.

McDermott-Murphy lowered her best mile time by approximately six seconds, as she grabbed 11th overall and qualified provisionally for NCAAs. First-year Sophie Galleher (Denver, CO) put forth quite an effort the mile run but narrowly missed making the cut for NCAAs. In the unseeded section of the 3000, sophomore Nicole Anderson (Kallua, HI) and junior Katie Moravec (Chico, CA) finished second and fourth, respectively, with both of them running their best times of the year.

The men looked very strong in the mile, where Eubank raced to the win in the first unseeded section and just missed breaking the 4:20 mark. First-year William Bell (Silver Spring, MD) came in just behind Eubank but achieved a personal record in the event while qualifying for the ECACs. In the next section, senior tri-captain John Babbott (Ojai, CA) raced to his second best time ever. First-year Daniel Murner (Crestwood, KY) exploded during the final lap to break the nine-minute mark in the 3000, which was his second best time ever in the event.

The 4x800 relay presented the Jeffs with their only misfortune of the day as Cabeza got clipped from behind, falling to the track. Amherst persevered and was able to post an inspiring finish, as the other three legs of Swanson, Kiley and senior tri-captain Sam Hayman (Evanston, IL) fought hard to run four seconds faster than their best performance of the season. The 4x400 relay got a strong leadoff leg from first-year Keith Pendergrass (Greenwich, NY) who was followed by Beaty, Callahan and Stewart to finish the race with their best time of the year.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Friday, March 2 for the ECAC Championships at Wesleyan University.