Ben Scheetz'12 Indoor 800m National Champion
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NCAA Championships - May 26-28, 2011
There they were: four Lord Jeff men and one Lord Jeff woman in alternately stormy and sunny central Ohio at the NCAA championship meet, hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University. The competition stretched three days, with members of Amherst’s team competing on each day. First, on Thursday, junior captain Melissa Sullivan set the tone for the team by running a personal best in the women’s 1500m run to qualify for Saturday’s finals. Not to be outshined, later that evening, the men’s 4x400m relay squad comprising junior Andrew Reed, senior captain Tommy Moore, first year speedster Matt Melton, and junior ace Ben Scheetz ran to a PR and school record of their own, in 3:14.83, becoming the first Amherst team to ever run below 3:15. However, valiant as their effort was, it was not enough to make finals, and they finished 11th of 16, besting their entering position as the 15th ranked team. On Friday, Ben Scheetz returned to the track in the preliminaries of the 800m run, where he cruised to a 1:51 finish, second in his heat to qualify automatically for the finals without expending a great deal of energy. On Saturday afternoon, Melissa Sullivan competed in the first of the Jeffs’ finals – the women’s 1500. Sullivan powered through a physical first 200 meters of the race that saw elbows flying and one girl shoved to the inside of the track, and put herself in superb running position near the leaders with roughly 450 meters remaining. However, the work it took to attain that position ultimately proved too exhausting, and Sullivan ultimately finished 9th, one place shy of All-American honors, though up from her 12th place finish in the same event a year ago. The final Jeff to compete in the 2011 outdoor track and field season was none other than junior Ben Scheetz in the finals of the 800m run. At the gun, Scheetz sprinted the initial turn, and it seemed as if he would attempt to run a blistering pace and lead wire-to-wire, though as the field came around the curve, Freedonia State’s Nick Guarino assumed control and slowed the pace to a pedestrian 56-mid through the quarter mile. As Guarino and Scheetz rounded the third turn of the race, they established themselves far and away the leaders, running neck and neck down the back stretch and into the final turn. Coming off the final turn though, Guarino demonstrated his strength with a kick that ultimately carried him to first place and Scheetz to second. Though in some ways it proved a bittersweet weekend for the Jeffs, it seems that there was more sweet than bitter, so be sure to tune back in next December when the 2011-2012 season gets underway!
All American 4x400 Relay - Andrew Reed'12 and Matt Metlon'14