2011-12 Indoor T & F Meet Notes

Amherst College Sports Information Web Page Write-ups
Most recent meets appear first, scroll down for our past meets and their respective write-ups.



NCAA Championships - March9-10, 2012

Three men - Ben Scheetz in the Mile & 800, Pat Grimes in the Mile and Matt Melton in the 800 - headed to the vast expanse of Iowa, and specifically to Grinnell College for the National Championships and the final meet of the indoor season. Perhaps there was a full moon out, maybe the solar flares at week's end, or maybe even just some plain old bad luck but to say that the weekend was not as hoped for would be an understatement. High hopes for outstanding performances of record breaking fashion were replaced by some head scratching, and using the weekend as motivation for the outdoor season as the meet did not go any where close to according to plan but sometimes that happens. Failing to advance out of the heats in the 800 and Mile was Ben Scheetz, while Matt spent his entire race of the 800 in second lane and ran out of gas with the extra running when he needed it most, and would finish 6th in his section and missing the finals by 1 spot. Pat would advance to the final in the mile, running 4:14.85 and being one of the 4 time qualifiers but would ultimately step off the track in the final with under 2 laps to go. While not the weekend that they boys had hoped for, and certainly a disappointing way to end things, it should serve a a great source of desire for the outdoor season and a little payback later in May. Despite the ending, it was a phenomenal season nonetheless and one in which some incredible things were accomplished, and all three took their running to a much higher level than they had been at and after a short training break, it will be back to the drawing board!

ECAC Championships - March 2-3, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Lucas Lebovitz '15

On March 2 and 3, thirteen members of the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field team traveled to New York City to compete at the ECAC Championship meet and the near-legendary 168th Street Armory.  Ultimately the Jeffs would lock down ECAC titles in three events and score in three others to merit 34 points for third place, the highest finish in program history.  Though the Jeffs earned no championships on Friday night, junior Andrew Erskine did take eighth in the 5,000, while the DMR team comprising Pat Grimes, Alex Durkee, Matt Melton, and Ben Scheetz notch eighth as well with Durkee running an outstanding PR 400m split of 51.7.

Saturday’s competition for the Jeff’s began with junior Pat Grimes’s return to the mile race after placing 11th last March.  This year, he asserted his prowess in the event among the best DIII milers on the East coast with a speedy kick over the last quarter mile that earned him a number-one finish.  The win merited 10 points for the team and solidified Grimes’s position at 15th on the national performance list, giving him a solid chance of qualifying for the NCAA meet in Grinnell, IA next weekend.  Sophomore Matt Melton, a native of the tri-state area, was the next Jeff to compete.  Earlier in the season, he earned himself a berth in the seeded section of the 500m dash.  Melton led the heat wire to wire, successfully holding off a late race charge by Nathan Bruno of Emmanuel College to get the win in a 1:04.19 PR.  That marks the second year in a row that Jeff has won the ECAC 500m title.  First year Nick Codola also competed in the event, clocking a PR of his own in an impressive 1:07.87.  Senior captain Ben Scheetz grabbed the final victory for the Jeffs on the day in a school record 1,000m run of 2:25.50.  Scheetz won the race in the fashion that we have been used to seeing from him for most of the indoor season: he led from the gun and finished completely uncontested with second place over two seconds behind.  The Fairest College’s final points came in the afternoon’s final event: the 4x800m relay.  The team comprised Junior Eli Howe and first years Alex Durkee, Romey “J-Rome” Sklar, and Lucas Lebovitz, who – clad in checkered sock and neon Nike spikes so loud that they drowned out nearly all of the cheering – ran a personal best 1:55.6 split to secure seventh place over Rochester in the same heat.

Open New England Championship - Feb. 24-25, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Pat Grimes '13 and Ben Scheetz '12

On February 24th and 25th, the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field team competed at the Open New England Championships, hosted by Boston University, and a number of Lord Jeffs achieved outstanding results.  Friday night saw trials in events 1,000m and down and the finals of the Distance Medley Relay.  Both senior captain Ben Scheetz and sophomore speedster Matt Melton competed in the trials of the 800m run, in the same heat.  The heat was hotly contested among four runners, Amherst’s two among them, until Scheetz pulled into the lead and cruised to a win in an easy 1:51 to qualify for finals.  Melton, who took advantage of the opportunity to have a rabbit of sorts, sat on Scheetz’s shoulder and earned himself a very smooth 1:52.04 PR, propelling him up the NCAA charts in the event, though barely missing Saturday’s finals.  Sophomore Charlie Reighard also marked a personal best, his in the 1,000m run, at 2:34.19 for 17th overall.  Amherst’s DMR squad of Eli Howe, Steve Hetterich, Chris Erickson and Lucas Lebovitz ran a 10:30.51, bolstered in part by an outstanding 1200 leg from Howe in 3:09, and a great quarter mile from Hetterich in 52.6.

Saturday’s competition saw Amherst harriers racing in the unseeded mile, the finals of the 800 and the two relay events.  As usual, junior Pat Grimes did a majority of the work for his heat of the mile and earned a 4:10.10 PR, placing himself on the cusp of the NCAA meet.  He would return in the 4x400, splitting 50.9.  And again as usual, Scheetz provided fireworks in the 800m run.  The senior half-miler led from the gun and paced the finals heat for 750m, before SCSU’s Selai Lumax pulled alongside him.  The two battled down the final straightaway, with Scheetz ultimately placing second.  However, his second place time of 1:47.43 is a personal best, a school record, a Division III national record, and inches him closer to qualifying for Olympic trials in June.  Highlights of Saturday’s relays came from the 4x800m team, where first-year Nick Codola and sophomore Charlie Reighard notched personal-best splits of 1:58.6 and 1:57.9 to propel the team to a 7:56.07 finish.

DIII New England Championship - Feb. 18, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Ben Scheetz '12

On Saturday, February 18 the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field team returned to Springfield College to kick off championship season by competing in the Division III New England Championships, where they would ultimately take sixth place.  Senior captain Ben Scheetz scored the first points for the Lord Jeffs, beating his seed to win the 400m in 49.07 from the third of four heats.  His win was followed by a win from long sprinter sophomore Matt Melton, who ran nearly a full second PR in the 600m run leading wire to wire, closing out the three-lap race in 1:21.61.  In the 800m run, junior Pat Grimes grabbed a surprise third-place finish in 1:56.11, bettering his PR in a gutsy race that nearly saw him take the top spot at the line.  Senior Ben “All I Do Is Win” Scheetz returned to the track in the 1,000m run, which he won in 2:28.93, barely holding off Bowdoin’s Matt Hilliard, who charged hard in the final 100m and finished a mere two tenths behind.  Sophomore Charlie Reighard also competed in the event, running a personal best time of 2:34.59.  Also posting a best time in his race was first year KC “Knowingly Cavalier” Fussell showed off some newfound wheels, actually kicking down a few rivals in the final 1,000 meters to finish in 8:47.12 for 14th.  Fellow first year harrier Greg Turissini rounded out the Lord Jeffs’ open event scoring from the 5,000m run, hammering a 30-second final 200 to take seventh place in a personal best of his own: 15:10.01.  Amherst finished the day with two relay teams putting points on the board.  The distance medley relay team of Pat Grimes, Nick Codola, Geoff Ainslie, and Romey Sklar finished in fifth place, while the 4x800m relay team of Charlie Reighard, Alex Durkee, Matt Melton, and Ben Scheetz also took fifth, bolstered by competitive legs from Durkee and Melton, and a herculean 1:50.00 split from the senior captain to kick down Middlebury’s Mike Schmidt in the last fifty meters for the heat victory.

Valentine Classic - Feb. 11, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Matt Melton '14 and Greg Turissini '15

On February 11, the Amherst College men’s track and field team arrived at the Boston University Indoor Track and Field Center with one goal: achieve a 75% PR rate.  At the end of the day, of Amherst’s 29 entries, 26 resulted in PRs (89.6%), most of them substantial.  The Lord Jeff sprint crew got the ball rolling.  Junior Selasie Krampa nailed a 7.27 PR in the 60m dash to qualify for DIII New Engalnds, while first-year Nick Codola ran a 52.49 personal best in the open 400, leading an Amherst field that also included sophomore Kash Aleshinloye and junior Wrenford Thaffe, both of whom also lowered their personal best times in the event.  In the 500m dash, Amherst’s lone competitor, senior Pete Skurman, ran a 1:11.91 for his top time in the event.  The next Jeff competitors on the oval raced in the mile.  Senior captain Ben Q. Scheetz led the group of six harriers with an 11-second PR of 4:03.95, just off Robert Mitchell’s school record.  Junior Pat Grimes also ran an excellent PR at 4:12.57, and Amherst’s four other entrants – first years Lucas Lebovitz and Romey Sklar, and sophomores Alva Morales and Gus Greenstein (all of whom PR-ed) – demonstrated outstanding competitive drive, each placing second in his heat.  The men’s 200m dash saw four indoor PRs fall.  Selasie Krampa returned to the track and posted a 23.00 to qualify for DIII New Englands in a second event but was disqualified for a lane violation.  Sophomores Persie Gijima and Javier Paulino duked it out in heat 30 finishing back-to-back in 23.52 and 23.79.  Finally, first year Kobi Quaye ducked under 25 seconds for the first time this season, displaying improved foot speed to notch a 24.92.  Next, Amherst’s six entrants in the 800m run took to the track.  Sophomore Matt Melton led the group, posting a huge PR in a cool 1:53.33, nearly winning his heat.  Seniors Geoff Ainslie and Chris Erickson, junior Eli Howe, sophomore Charlie Reighard, and first year Alex Durkee all followed suit in best times of their own in good, aggressive races – particularly on the part of Durkee.  Finally, the late events saw four Amherst harriers all top their previous personal bests.  First year Greg Turissini competed in the 3,000m run, clocking in at 8:38.99, good enough for an ECAC mark, while junior Andrew Erskine nailed a 14:41.07 in his 5,000m run with first year KC Fussell and junior Dillon Buckley clocking 15:05.51 and 15:09.17 in their own 25-lap turns.

In the field, junior Denzel Duncan posted the Jeffs’ only PR, with a booming throw of 14.06m in the weight, up from a previous PR of 12.41m.

Springfield Invite - Feb. 4, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Alva Morales '14

To call the Lord Jeffs’ showcase at Springfield Invite #3 on February 4 “impressive” would be an understatement.  Our story’s heroes competed in 13 events, scored points in 11 of them (multiple entrants scoring in seven), won seven, set a school record and a facility record in one, and established a host of personal records.  The end result: an overall meet victory for Amherst College, secured with victories in the afternoon’s final two events.

Junior Selasie Krampa set the standard for the day in the 60m dash, the meet’s first track competition.  Although Krampa had missed the morning bus to Springfield, he arrived to the meet on his own and made no delays winning his heat and securing a position in the finals of the event, where he placed sixth in a personal best 7.31 seconds.  The three harriers in the 3,000m run followed in suit.  Junior Andrew Erskine quickly established dominance in the event that would ultimately result in a seven-second victory and a seven-second PR.  Classmate Dillon Buckley and first year KC Fussell jockeyed for position for much of the race, though in the end the junior’s kick propelled to third while the first year finished close behind in fifth.  Both set personal records in the event and all three qualified for DIII New England Championships.  The two juniors also hit marks good for ECAC Championships.  The mile run was the Jeffs’ next endeavor.  First-year distance runner Greg Turissini paced the three Jeffs who scored, placing third in 4:25.89.  Sophomore Charlie Reighard placed fourth, two seconds back, and junior Eli Howe notched sixth.  Reighard and Howe marked personal bests, as did senior Geoff Ainslie, who won the first heat, kicking down Oneonta’s Sam Kane.  The trio of events that followed the mile might have been Amherst’s most successful on the day.  In the 600m run, senior captain Ben Scheetz made his three-lap turn in a blistering 1:18.60 to win the event, setting a new personal record, a new school record, and a new facility record.  Sophomore Matt Melton stayed close on Scheetz through the 400 and powered his way to second place in a personal best 1:22.35, and first-year Alex Durkee grabbed sixth.  The 800m run saw junior Pat Grimes clock a 1:56.96 for the win and a new personal best, tailed by Lucas “It’s Gotta Be the Shoes” Lebovitz in second at just under 2:00 flat.  Finally, first-year Romey Sklar capped off the mid distance events with a 2:37.42 finish in the 1,000m run, clinching the overall win and, you guessed it, a personal record.  Although the finishes in the 200m dash did not contribute any points this week, the event saw notable performances by first-year Mark Cort and sophomore Javier Paulino, who finished one and two in their heat, Paulino making a return from injury that sidelined him for the better part of two weeks.  The meet’s final open event, the 5,000m run saw Fairfax County’s own Alva Morales take the crown in 15:28.12, a personal best by nearly 20 seconds.  Classmate Gus Greenstein finished fourth.  Both relay events featured two scoring Amherst teams.  In the 4x400m relay, the team of Nick Codola, Alex Durkee, Matt Melton, and Ben Scheetz finished first in 3:25.08, bolstered by an absolutely crushing 48.2 anchor from Scheetz, who took the baton in fourth and climbed to first.  The team of Wrenford Thaffe, Steve Hetterich, Selasie Krampa, and Kash Aleshinloye grabbed the final scoring spot in the event.  Competition on the track wrapped up with the DMR, in which the team comprising Charlie Reighard, Chris Erickson, Pat Grimes, and Lucas Lebovitz placed first and the team of Eli Howe, Pete Skurman, Geoff Ainslie, and Romey Sklar marked fourth.

In the field, first-year Mark Cort placed sixth in the long jump with a season best 6.27m leap, while junior hurler Denzel Duncan placed fifth in the shot put from the first flight with a toss of 13.04m, a career best.

Boston Indoor Games - Jan. 27, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Charlie Reighard '14

On January 27, the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field team traveled to the Reggie Lewis Center to compete in the Boston Indoor Games, hosted by Northeastern University.  The games offered the Jeffs the opportunity to test their mettle against some of the most competitive talent in the region, and they held their own.  In the day’s opening event, the 55m dash, junior Selasie Krampa demonstrated his continuing improvement, marking a 6.80 – his best time on the season and nearly a DIII New England qualifier.  His event was followed by the mile run, which saw classmate Pat Grimes take ninth overall with a 4:15.86 after leading the fast heat for six of the eight laps.  The event also witnessed sophomore Gus Greenstein’s return to the oval.  The 400m dash followed the mile run, and sophomore Matt Melton led a contingent of five Lord Jeffs with a two-lap turn of 51.28, good enough for 12th overall and to qualify him for DIII New Engalnds.  First year jumpers Mark Cort and Steve Hetterich also competed in the event.  Cort won his heat in a personal best 53.42, trailed closely by Hetterich.  First year Nick Codola also marked a heat victory on the day, running the 500m dash in a respectable 1:08.39 with classmate Alex Durkee not three tenths behind.  The following event, the 800m run, saw senior captain Ben Scheetz cruise to an easy overall victory in his first crack at the event on the season.  He marked a 1:51.42 with the next closest finisher nearly a full three seconds behind.  Also in the event, fellow senior and fellow captain Chris Erickson marked a nice three-second PR out of the fourth heat.  The 1,000m run brought personal bests for all three of Amherst’s entrants.  First year Lucas Lebovitz paced the group at 2:35.24, while Charlie Reighard won his heat by a solid two seconds in 2:36.63 - a crushing 14-second personal best - and senior Geoff Ainslie made his five-lap effort in 2:42.69.  In the 200m dash, junior Krampa once again posted a PR at 23.76, and classmate Wrenford Thaffe took advantage of the banked track to mark his second 24-second 200 on the season, doubling off the 400.  In the 5,000m run, the day’s final open event Andrew Erskine raced to a ninth place finish, despite having taken his mathematics comprehensive exam earlier that afternoon.  The evening relay events featured a thrilling first-place finish for the Lord Jeffs in the DMR, bolstered by senior Scheetz’s 4:12 mile leg, in which he barely held off his counterpart from the University of Connecticut at the line.

Highlights in the field were provided by junior Denzel Duncan, making his return to action following a three week hiatus.  He marked a 1.5m PR in the weight throw at 12.41m and threw the 16-lb shot 12.20m for a substantial indoor PR near his overall PR.

Wesleyan Invitational - Jan. 21, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Selasie Krampa '13

On the morning of January 21, 2012, the Lord Jeff Men’s Track and Field team proceeded slowly south on a snow-covered I-91 to Middletown, CT to compete in an invitational at Wesleyan University.  It would be their only slow effort of the day as they battled the cumulative fatigue of a three-week training block of daily double practice with no true recovery.  Running events began for the Jeffs on the straightaway with the 60m dash.  Junior newcomer Selasie Krampa led a trio of teammates with a personal best time of 7.35, not quite fast enough to make finals, but good for 10th place.  Krampa would return in the 200m dash, where he would again lead a trio of teammates to take 10th in an impressive 23.93, making him the first Jeff to sneak until 24.00 this season.  Sophomore Javier Paulino also ran an outstanding one-lap race, striding powerfully to a 24.21 finish – a heat victory and his fastest time on the season.  The mile run saw two Amherst harriers claim top-eight finishes.  Junior Andrew Erskine closed out his eight-lap race in 4:23.52 to finish fourth in the event for the second consecutive week while first year Lucas “California Sun” Lebovitz finished eighth in his first collegiate crack at the event.  The afternoon’s subsequent long sprint events again witnessed gritty performances by our story’s heroes.  Senior captain Ben Scheetz won the 400m dash all alone in the first heat, while a few seconds behind him one of the day’s more intense races was taking place as first-year Nick Codola dug deep to take second in the heat over Cobleskill’s Melique Garcia by a margin of .18 seconds.  The 600m run witnessed senior captain Chris Erickson slip under the 1:30 barrier for the first time this season, as he paced a group of Jeffs that included classmate Pete Skurman and sophomore Dan Burnett, who put on the ol’ spikes for the first time in over a year in what looks as if it will be a promising comeback from injury.  In the 800m run, first year Romey Sklar ran a smooth four-lapper, throwing down a 58-second final quarter mile to grab fifth in the event, leading classmate Alex Durkee and sophomore Charlie Reighard.  The first heat of the 1,000m run offered a tightly contested race among three Jeffs.  Junior Pat Grimes led the field for most of the race with Ben Scheetz navigating a tight pack to remain just on his shoulder and sophomore Matt Melton less than a second behind them at the 800.  In the final lap of the race, Scheetz opened up his commanding stride to take his second victory on the day in 2:30.83 on his double.  Grimes would capture third and Melton sixth.  Junior Eli Howe would capture 10th from the second heat, achieving a two-second PR.  The afternoon’s final open event, the 3,000m run, would end with three Jeffs in the top 10.  First-year Greg Turissini led them in 8:53.42 for fifth, with junior Dillon Buckley a few meters behind in 9th – in a substantial personal best time 8:57.89 – and first year KC “King Cool” Fussell in 10th.  The meet’s relay races saw the Amherst DMR team of Pat Grimes, Matt Melton, Romey Sklar, and Andrew Erskine run the 4,000m race in 10:35.44 for first place bolstered by solid splits across the board.

In the field, first year Mark Cork notched eighth in both the long and triple jumps, nailing a personal best jump in the triple of 12.94m, one centimeter under the DIII New England standard.

Tufts Invitational - Jan. 14, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Wrenford Thaffe

Amherst College Men’s Track and Field began the 2012 calendar year of competition with a successful meet at Tufts University on January 14.  The excitement began in the day’s shortest event, the 60m dash.  Sophomore Javier Paulino burst out of the blocks in the third heat and ran a blazing 7.38 second PR to finish ninth in the event, missing winning his heat and qualifying for finals by .01 seconds.  The track events quickly jumped in distance to the 3,000m run, in which Amherst’s two entrants, juniors Patrick Grimes and Andrew Erskine ran neck and neck for 2,000m meters.  Then, Grimes pulled ahead and ran with the lead pack attempting to win the race with a trademark kick in the last lap.  Ultimately, he took third in 8:44.61 - a substantial PR – and a mere half second out of first.  Erskine would finish sixth.  The 1 Mile Run featured five Lord Jeff entrants, including both Erskine and Grimes doubling from the 3,000m.  Senior captain Ben Scheetz led the event wire to wire, making the eight-lap turn in a solid 4:15.77, near a two-second PR.  Erskine, despite having raced the 3k, would finish in just under 4:30 for fourth overall, while sophomore Charlie Reighard claimed 11th in a two-second PR of his own.  In the long sprint events, junior Wrenford Thaffe made his debut in the indoor quarter mile, where he paced his heat through the 200 and ran a gritty final 100 meters to hold off Max Levitin of Tufts for the victory by a margin of .10 seconds.  Amherst continued its streak of outstanding performances in the next event on the track: the 600m run.   Senior Scheetz again led the event from the gun to win running away in an impressive 1:21.01 – after having won the mile, mind you.  First year Alex Durkee claimed the final scoring spot in the event, sprinting to a 1:28.06 finish.  The Fairest College also recorded a victory in the 800m run, in which Matt Melton emerged from the middle of pack, weaving between this runner and that, to take the event at the line in two minutes flat.  Charlie Reighard and first year Nick Codola rounded out Amherst’s entrants and finished fifth and sixth overall.  First year Lucas Lebovitz led the five Jeffs in the 1,000m run, clocking in at 2:38.61 for tenth.  The next event, the 200m dash, saw the Jeff short sprint squad return to the oval.  First year Mark Cort, who claimed fourth in the long jump, would take the crown among his teammates in the event on the day, making his one-lap turn in 24.21 from a standing start to take sixth.  Teammate Selasie Krampa notched eighth just behind in 24.35, and junior Thaffe ran an outstanding indoor PR of over half a second, finishing in 24.94.  In the last open event on the track, the 5,000m run, Amherst again dominated.  First year KC Fussell opened up the throttle to claim the top spot in 15:33, classmate Greg Turissini finished in second, and junior Dillon Buckley ran to a fourth-place mark.  The highlight of the afternoon’s relay action was undoubtedly Amherst’s 4x800m A team.  Lucas Lebovitz, Romey Sklar, Alex Durkee, and Matt Melton combined to finish second among seven teams, holding off a team from UMass Lowell by a margin of three seconds.


Smith Winter Classic - Dec. 3, 2011

Performer of the Meet: "Big" Pete Skurman

The Amherst College Men’s Track and Field 2011-2012 season is finally underway!  On December 3, the men’s sprinters, throwers, and jumpers made the short jaunt to Smith College to compete in the 2011 Winter Classic, where they took full advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate the gains they had made during fall training.  The afternoon’s highlights began when sophomore Persie Gijima led Amherst’s short sprinters in the 60m dash, in which three of the five entrants qualified for finals.  Ultimately Gijima placed fourth, junior Selasie Krampa took fifth, and sophomore Javier Paulino marked eighth.  Speculation remains that if Krampa were to have remembered to remove his warm ups before the race, he might have taken Gijima at the line.  These three would return in the 200m dash, where Krampa would take first, Gijima third, and Paulino fourth with times of 24.11, 24.53, and 24.64.  Freshman jumper/sprinters Mark Cort and Steve Hetterich made their collegiate debuts this weekend in the triple jump, the 400m dash, and the 200m dash.  The triple saw the pair take first and third with leaps of 12.57m and 11.93m; the 400 saw the pair take second and fourth at 55.05 and 55.91; and the 200 saw the two first years finish in second and seventh.  The 600m run provided the day’s fireworks as sophomore speedster Matt Melton charged from third place to an apparent victory over Jabulani Blyden from rival Williams College, though was credited with only second.  He made the three-lap turn in 1:23.32.  Also in the event first year Nick Codola logged a respectable 1:25.39 for fourth place and senior Pete Skurman crossed the line at 1:29.89, breaking the 1:30 barrier for the first time in his career.  In the afternoon’s relay action, Amherst’s A team of Codola, Skurman, first year Alex Durkee, and Melton nabbed second in 3:24.99, while one of the day’s big highlights came from junior Wrenford Thaffe who anchored the fifth place B team in a significant personal best split of 54.8 seconds.  In the throwing circle, junior Denzel Duncan displayed his newfound strength with a seventh-place toss of 11.91m, an indoor PR of over half a meter.