Territorial Bears fend off invaders

Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Bears protected their home turf Saturday as both the men’s and women’s track and field teams clawed their ways to first-place finishes at the annual Brown Invitational. The men earned 165 points, placing them atop the six-team field. The women, finishing with 173 points, narrowly beat the University of Rhode Island to finish first out of the eight teams competing.

“I thought the meet went really well. The running races were really competitive,” said Michelle Eisenreich, director of men’s and women’s track and field. “It was well-attended, and we had a nice alumni and parent get-together after.”

Five team members won titles at the invitational. John Spooney ’14 claimed the only victory on the track by winning the 400-meter dash in 47.71 seconds. Spooney had not run the 400 since high school and said he was very nervous at the start of the race.

“I had a game plan, and I think I executed it well,” Spooney said. “The 400 is a bear of a race.”

Spooney added that running the 400 was an “experimental” attempt to log some endurance work as training for the 200-meter dash, his main event.

Off the track, the Bears were leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Peter Rhodes ’15 leaped 22-3 to win the long jump and Kenneth Thompson ’13 claimed first in the triple jump, covering 47-1 1/2. The final two titles for Bruno came in the javelin throw and shot put, as Nick Keeling ’14 hurled the javelin 197-1 and Daniel Smith ’13 fired the shot 51 1/4. 

“We saw a lot of technical things we had been working on,” Eisenreich said. “They competed very well.”

Throwers on the women’s side also had strong performances as Lacey Craker ’13 won the discus with a toss of 44.26 meters and Holleigh Bergstrom ’14 earned first in the javelin, launching the spear 131-1. Another notable performance came from Brienna Crimmins ’14 in the long jump, as she leaped 17-8 1/4 to win the event.

On the track, the women were led by Lauren Waterbury ’15, who finished first in the 400 in 54.58 and Alex Stanton ’15, who won the 400-meter hurdles in 1 minute, 2 seconds. Waterbury and Stanton were also part of the winning 4×400-meter relay team, along with Colby Lubman ’14 and Mimi Narbonne ’15.

Bree Shugarts ’13 had a strong performance in the one-mile run, finishing second with a time of 4 minutes, 49 seconds. Besting her previous fastest time by seven seconds, Shugarts said she knew she was going to have a good race in the middle of the third lap when she still felt strong.

“I knew it was going to be a fast mile going into the race,” Shugarts said. “I really wanted to get a good time because a lot of other people in the Ivy League have been putting down some good times.”

The Bears will compete next weekend at the Larry Ellis Invitational hosted by Princeton as they continue to prepare for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships May 5 and 6 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.


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