Squads divide and conquer East Coast

Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

While most students were stumbling through Spring Weekend debauchery, the men and women of track and field were busy running, jumping and throwing at three different meets. Though none of the meets were scored, both teams performed well at the competitions.

A group of mostly sprinters and throwers traveled the farthest to compete at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational hosted by the University of Florida. Despite the high caliber of competition at the meet, where the men’s Florida Gators 4×100 meter relay team ran the fastest collegiate time in the nation this season, the Bears managed to have a successful day.

“Some of the sprinters had Olympians in their heats,” said Nathan Elder ’13. “So they got to face some extremely strong performances.”

Lacey Craker ’13, who won the hammer throw with a heave of 178 feet, 2 inches, led the charge for the Bears. Bruno was dominant in the javelin as Niina Al-Hassan ’14 earned second in the women’s competition and Michael Bieszard ’13 claimed third place for the men, with respective distances of 137-03 and 183-07. Colby Lubman ’14 set a personal record in the 400-meter dash at 54.46 seconds and finished sixth overall in the event.

Farther up the East Coast, the Bears faced the Tigers at Princeton’s Larry Ellis Memorial Invitational. Elder finished the 800-meter run fourth overall with a personal best time of 1 minute, 52 seconds. Elder said he was excited about running so fast only two weeks away from the Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“It was a very good day for me,” Elder said. “It was a bit of a breakthrough performance for me. It was a good race to run fast and be competitive.”

Rosie Fleming ’12 also had a good day competing in the 800 as she ran a time of 2:13 and finished fifth overall.

The Bears competing closest to home at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Spring Invitational engineered a strong showing as numerous individuals claimed top spots. Elder explained that the teams were split ­- the coaches wanted everyone to compete over the weekend, but there was not enough space at Princeton.

Courtland Clavette ’15 and Brienna Crimmins ’14 were champions in field events with Clavette heaving the discus 165-00 and Crimmins flying 17-04 ¾ in the long jump. In the pole vault, Hannah Wallace ’13 earned second place, clearing a height of 11-11 ¾. On the track, Peter Rhodes ’15 won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.93.

Next week, Bruno will send a small contingent of athletes to the historic Penn Relays, while the rest of the team will remain behind in Providence to host and compete at the Brown Springtime Open. In two week’s time, the Bears will enter the final portion of their season, competing at the Ivy League championships hosted by Princeton.

“The next two weeks are just about staying consistent,” Elder said. “Right now we’re on track to perform very well, and there’s no reason for us to go off at the very end.”