2012 Outdoor 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 - May 24-25, 2012

On Memorial Day weekend 2012, two Lord Jeff men – senior captain Ben Scheetz and junior Patrick Grimes – headed out west to sunny Southern California to compete in the NCAA championship meet.  On Thursday, the first heat of the trial round of the 1500m run saw Grimes lead the pack by a formidable gap for nearly the entire race.  In the last 100m of the race, however, the work Grimes had done to lead caught up with him.  The pack approach and overtook Grimes, who ultimately finished fifth in his heat and narrowly missed advancing to finals.  The following evening, senior Scheetz ran his fastest time in the 800 of the 2012 outdoor season to finish second in his heat and secure a spot in the Saturday afternoon’s finals, where he would place seventh, capping his final year of collegiate competition with an all-American performance.


ECAC Championships - May 17-18, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Pat Grimes '13 and KC Fussell '15

On Thursday, May 17 a handful of Amherst Men’s Track and Field athletes set out for the ECAC championships in Troy, NY, hosted by RPI.  They wasted no time getting down to brass tacks.  In Thursday’s competition, junior Andrew Erskine laid down a smooth twelve-and-a-half lap effort of 14:36.40 in the 5,000m run – a PR of five seconds good for second place, and within a mere three seconds of the 13-year-old school record.  Later that evening, first-year harrier KC “Kit and Caboodle” Fussell followed suit with his own PR in the 10,000 at 31:25.58.  His finish in the 25-lap turn was good for fourth place and shattered the freshman record in the event by 15 seconds.  Friday’s competition proved similarly fruitful for the Jeffs, producing two NCAA qualifiers.  First, in the 1500m run, junior Pat Grimes took early, pulling the field through the 800m mark in an honest 2:02.  From there, he traded the lead with Widener’s Dennis Conn and MIT’s Benjamin Mattocks, ultimately finishing third in 3:50.88 – less than half a second out of first.  His time is a PR in the event by over a full second.  Finally, in the fast section of the 800m, Ben Scheetz did what he does best: win.  From the gun, the senior captain took a dominating lead and brought the race through the quarter-mile in a blistering 52.7 seconds.  He maintained his lead through 600 meters, and successfully fought off a late-race charge from Rochester’s Frank Ramirez in the homestretch to seal the victory in 1:50.54 and punch his ticket to Los Angeles, CA for the NCAA meet.  Overall, the men of Amherst College notched 29 points, tying for fifth place with SUNY Oneonta.

Open Championships - May 11-12, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Andrew Erskine '13

The 2012 NEICAAA Championships at MIT began in formidable fashion for the Lord Jeffs of Amherst College.  First, in the 200m trials on Friday afternoon, sophomore speedster Perseverance Gijima bolted to a personal best 22.70 to close out his second collegiate season.  Later as the sun began to descend over the Boston skyline, junior Andrew Erskine delivered a first place finish in the 10,000m run in a PR of his own.  He turned the 25-lap, 6.2-mile event in an impressive 30:15.71.  Classmate Patrick Grimes provided the sole highlight from the following afternoon’s races, placing sixth in the 1500m run at 3:55.53.


DIII NE Championships - May 4-5, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Chris Erickson '12 and Nick Codola '15

The weekend of May 5-6, the Lord Jeff Men’s Track and Field squad traveled to Boston, MA to compete at the Division III New England Championships, hosted by MIT.  Though the men of Amherst did not bring home any individual championships, there were several notable performances throughout the afternoon.  The first of such performances came from junior Patrick Grimes in the 1500.  From the gun, Grimes took the lead, battling Bowdoin’s Coby Horowitz through the majority of the race.  In the final 200m, Horowitz took the lead with Grimes hot on his heels, and though Horowitz ultimately won, Grimes crossed the tape in a personal best 3:51.98 for third place and putting in sight an NCAA bid in the event.  He would also return in the 4x800m relay, teaming with, among others, senior captain Chris Erickson, who capped his four-year career by marking a career-best split in the event.  The open 800m run also produced outstanding results.  In the second heat, junior Adron Pitmon and first year Romey Sklar set the pace, turning the first quarter mile in 54.7 seconds, which both harriers carried to a personal best mark, Pitmon in 1:54.17 and Sklar in 1:55.77. In the following heat, senior captain Ben Scheetz continued to mount a return to form, clocking his fastest time in the outdoor season at 1:52.02 for fourth overall.  Scheetz, Pitmon, and Melton would later team up with first year Nick Codola to run the 4x400m relay, which they completed in 3:20.41, Amherst’s fastest time on the year, and good for fourth from the second heat.  In the relay Codola notched his fastest split to date at a respectable 51.3.  In the afternoon’s distance events, junior Andrew Erskine took a fourth place finish of his own, completing the 5,000m run in 14:43.03, an outdoor career best.


NESCAC Championships - April 28, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Adron Pitmon '13

On the evening of April 27, the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field team made the long trip to Lewiston, ME on the outer reaches of the NESCAC to compete the following day in the conference championship meet, hosted by Bates College, where the Jeffs would ultimately finish in seventh place. 

Competition began at 9:00 A.M. on the morning of the 28th with the men’s javelin throw.  First-year hurler Josiah Terrell-Perica, despite a tweaked back and intimidating winds, notched his second-farthest throw on the season at 50.04m to take third.  Simultaneously with the javelin competition, harriers Andrew Erskine and KC “Keenly Calm” Fussell raced the 10,000m run.  The pair blew open an early lead, though ultimately paid the price for braving the wind on the backstretch finishing fifth and eighth in 31:47.07 and 31:52.23, the fastest time on the season for Erskine and a personal best for Fussell.  After the longest open event on the afternoon, attention turned to the trial rounds of the shortest, the 100m dash, in which junior Selasie Krampa and sophomore Persie Gijima both recorded personal bests at 11.40 and 11.39, qualifying themselves for the DIII New England Championship meet.  First-year Lucas Lebovitz accomplished the same feat in the following event, the 3,000m steeplechase.  Following a break for the national anthem, the Jeffs snuck into a scoring place in the 4x100m relay when Little III rival Wesleyan dropped the baton, and junior Pat Grimes took fourth place in a valiant 1500m run.  A hotly contested 400m dash witnessed sophomore Matt Melton place third among a supremely talented field.  In the 800m run, junior Adron “You Can’t Stop Him, You Can Only Hope to Contain Him” Pitmon placed fourth by winning the second heat in 1:57.14 after boldly taking the race out in 55 seconds for the quarter, while senior captain Ben Scheetz took home Amherst’s only overall first-place finish on the day in the following heat.  In the final individual event of the afternoon, weight man Terrell-Perica returned to finish fifth in the discus, with the farthest heave of his fledgling collegiate career at 41.38m.    The Fairest College’s final points on the afternoon were scored by the distance medley relay team of Scheetz, Pitmon, Melton, and Grimes who notched third – 0.6 from first – bolstered in large part by Pitmon’s 400m leg. 


Little IIIs - April 21, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Dan Burnett '14 and Josiah Terrell-Perica '15

On Saturday, April 21 the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field Jeffs traveled to Middletown, CT to begin the championship portion of the season with the Little III meet against long-time rivals Williams College and Wesleyan University, the host of this year’s event.  Events on the track began shortly after noon with the 4x100m relay followed by the steeplechase.  The latter event – potentially the most taxing of the outdoor track events – featured two Jeffs making their debut in it, first-year Lucas Lebovitz, who placed second, and sophomore Charlie Reighard who marked third.  The 1500m run, the third event on the day, witnessed two traditional harriers for the Fairest College duke it out for the speed, with first-year KC “Kindly Courageous“ Fussell throwing down a 64-second final 400m to outkick – yes, “Fussell” and “outkick” in the same sentence – junior Andrew Erskine 4:05.31 to 4:08.20, finishes good for fifth and eighth.  Senior Geoff Ainslie competed in the event as well, finishing in 4:13.75, a personal best by a full second.  Dropping in distance, the 400m dash included notable races from a number of Amherst athletes, first among them Matt Melton, who demonstrated both strength and speed, holding off the field down the homestretch for a 49.00-second overall win.  Teammate and senior captain Ben Scheetz finished just behind in 49.20.  Other competitors in the event included first years Nick Codola, who placed sixth in a PR 51.75, and Alex Durkee, whose own PR of 52.73 was good for eighth.  In the 800m run, Amherst again achieved a one-two finish, this time with junior Pat Grimes and first-year Romey Sklar whose times of 1:56.06 and 1:56.62 were also good for personal bests.  Sklar’s finish owed largely to a herculean kick that might have gotten him the win if the race were but a few meters longer.  Senior captain Chris Erickson, classmate Pete Skurman, and sophomore Dan Burnett also ran and all recorded outdoor bests, Burnett’s by five seconds.  In the 400m hurdles, first-year Alex Durkee gave a respectable effort and made the turn in fourth place in his first attempt at the event, and the 200m dash saw fifth and seventh places finishes from sophomore Persie Gijima and junior Selasie Krampa, who also took fifth and seventh earlier in the day in the 100m dash.  The 200 also witnessed a huge PR by junior Wrenford Thaffe and a slightly smaller PR from sophomore Kash Aleshinloye.  The afternoon’s final open event, the 5,000m run, featured first-year Greg Turissini, who claimed second, and junior Dillon Buckley, who ran to a sixth place finish.  In the 4x400m relay, the Amherst team comprising Nick Codola, Ben Scheetz, Adron Pitmon, and Pat Grimes took first place by a margin of almost three seconds, bolstered in large part by a very nice third leg by Pitmon.

Highlights in the field came from first-year hurler Josiah Terrell-Perica who traded throws with Williams’ Rusty Cowher in the javelin, ultimately prevailing with a toss that exceeded the length of the measuring tape at the event (later determined to be 51.36m).  He would also take second in the disc, while fellow weight man Denzel Duncan claimed third in the shot with an effort just under 13.00m.


UMass Invite - April 14, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Persie Gijima '14 and Greg Turissini '15

April 14, 2012 saw the season's best meet day weather for the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field team.  The sun was shining and the temperature hovered near 70 degrees as the Jeffs made their way down the hill to the University of Massachusetts for their annual spring meet.  Though injury had depleted the Amherst 4x100m relay squad, first years Nick Codola and Steve Hetterich boldly stepped in as substitutes and together with junior Selasie Krampa and sophomore Persie Gijima took eighth place in a season best 44.51 in Amherst’s first event on the afternoon.  The following event, the 3,000m steeplechase, saw a one-two finish from junior Dillon Buckley and first-year Greg “The Ohio Kid” Turissini.  Buckley’s time of 9:27.91 represents a PR of over 10 seconds, while Turissini’s 9:29.63 shattered the college’s freshman record and qualified him for Junior Nationals this summer.  In the 1500m run, junior Pat Grimes set the pace from the gun, ultimately finishing fourth in 3:57.48, an outstanding mid-distance debut for the 2012 outdoor season.  Grimes would return later in the 800, running a 1:57.55 to finish 10th, behind senior captain Ben Scheetz in 1:54.65 for eighth, and sophomore Matt Melton, who battled hard on the homestretch for a well deserved overall win in 1:53.06.  In a pleasant surprise on the afternoon, first-year Lucas Lebovitz cleared every single hurdle in the 400m hurdles and notched a time just under 60 seconds flat.  Following the 400m hurdles, action turned to the back curve for the 200m dash.  Sophomore Persie Gijima led Amherst’s three sprinters, all of whom ran impressive times.  Gijima set a PR by a full half second, clocking in at 22.81 – the first mark under the 23.00 barrier on the season – junior Selasie Krampa ran 23.32, his fastest outdoor time, and classmate Wrenford Thaffe sprinted to a 24.82 PR.  Our story’s heroes closed out the day’s open events with another one-two finish in the 5,000m run.  Junior Andrew Erskine led the field in 15:07.91 and first-year KC Fussell finished second in 15:16.60, while sophomore Gus Greenstein placed ninth in 16:05.89.  The meet’s 4x400m relay action saw the Jeffs place ninth in 3:28.85, slightly faster than they had run the previous week.

In the field, junior Denzel Duncan hit conference marks in both the discus and the shot put.


Yellow Jacket Invite - April 7, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Steve Hetterich '15

On April 7, 2012, the Amherst College Men’s Track and Field team traveled the short distance south on I-91 to American International College to compete in the second annual Yellow Jacket Invitational.  The meet opened successfully for the Jeffs with an eighth-place finish in the 4x100m relay by a team that comprised junior Selasie Krampa, first-year Mark Cort, and sophomores Persie Gijima and Javier Paulino.  The squad marked a respectable 44.96 in their first crack at the event on the season.  Soon after, a trio of Lord Jeff mid-distance runners took to the track for the 1500m run.  For much of the race sophomore Charlie Reighard and junior Adron Pitmon – making his return after having been sidelined for all of the indoor season by several injuries – stayed in close contact, though in the race’s final lap Reighard pulled ahead, crossing the tape in a personal best 4:08.72.  Pitmon would finish exactly two seconds behind, while first-year Alex Durkee rounded out the field of Amherst harriers.  Further notable finishes came from Amherst mid-distance runners competing in the 400m dash and the 800m run.  In the former, first year Nick Codola ran 52.29 PR to substantially surpass the conference mark, while sophomore speedster Matt Melton placed fourth with a 49.63, a time that extends his season through ECAC championships.  In the latter event, first years Lucas Lebovitz and Romey Sklar held excellent positions in their race at third and fifth until the final 150 meters, where Lebovitz began a successful hard charge to the top position.  Not to be outdone, however, Sklar began a kick of his own – one that propelled him past his classmate and earned him the heat victory by a margin of less than a half second.  The 200m dash saw outstanding races from the three of the four members of the 4x100m squad who competed in the race.  Junior Krampa and sophomore Gijima raced in the same heat and finished with the exact same mark: 23.35, to qualify for NESCAC championships, while sophomore Paulino ran his fastest time of 2012 at 23.61.  The afternoon’s 4x400m relay races saw the Amherst A squad, comprising Codola, Pitmon, Durkee, and Melton grab fifth place at 3:28.95.

In the field, Amherst had as accomplished a day as on the oval.  Junior Denzel Duncan made noise in his return to throwing competition with a big PR and a sixth-place finish in the hammer throw, heaving the implement 42.35m.  First-year thrower Josiah Terrell-Perica nailed a PR of his own in the discus, increasing his best mark by six meters with a thunderous toss of 40.39m, just out of finals.  In the jumps, first year Steve Hetterich nailed a PR in the long jump at 5.98m, just out of points, while Hetterich and classmate Cort both marked over 12.00m (Hetterich for another PR) in the triple jump to finish eighth and seventh.  All marks from the field were good for conference championships.


Snowflake Classic - March 31, 2012

Performer of the Meet: Dillon Buckley '13

The Amherst College Men’s Track and Field outdoor season began at the Tufts Snowflake Classic on a classic New England early spring day: mid forties, overcast, and light drizzle.  Nevertheless, the Lord Jeffs remained undaunted.  Six Jeff harriers began the day with a successful campaign in the 10,000m run. Juniors Andrew Erskine and Dillon Buckley and first-year KC Fussell finished third, sixth, and eighth in the event all under 33:00, while Buckley’s time of 32:42.52 and that of sophomore Gus Greenstein (33:26.20) constituted personal bests.  Following the 25-lap race, four Amherst sprinters proved themselves up to the intimidating task of racing the 100m dash in adverse conditions.  Junior Selasie Krampa led the charge in a time of 11.65, while sophomores Persie Gijima and Javier Paulino also marked sub-12 times on the day, the former in 11.66 and the latter 11.88, making a successful return from a nagging hamstring injury.  In the 400m dash, a first year led the field of Jeffs.  It was jumper Mark Cort, whose 53.42 matches his personal best in the event.  In the mid-distance events, senior Geoff Ainslie led the Jeffs in the 1500m run in 4:15.81, and senior captain Chris Erickson began his season with an outdoor PR in the 800m run, clocking 2:06.36 for the two-lap turn, while another Amherst first year, Alex Durkee, led the contingent of Jeffs – seven of them in total – in 2:00.93.  The weather over Medford, MA took a turn for the more pleasant during the 200m dash, Amherst’s last event on the day.  Junior Krampa once again took the sprint crown, closing out the half lap in 23.62, though hot on his heels was sophomore Paulino in 23.98.  Also in the event, first year jumper Steve Hetterich set a PR at 24.58 and junior Wrenford Thaffe began his outdoor season at nearly his best time; his 24.95 merely one one-hundredth of a second off his own personal record.

First year weight man Josiah Terrell-Perica made his collegiate debut and was Amherst’s only athlete in the field events.  He opened his career with an impressive 45.90m toss in the javelin, good for 10th place, and a 34.20m throw in the discus despite having taken no warm up throws because of a short-notice change in his competition schedule.