Despite Saturday's cold and windy weather, the men's and women's track and field teams had strong showings at the Brown Invitational, the first home meet of the outdoor season. Though the Bears have hosted a meet in mid-April for the past 20 years, Bruno had anything but an average performance.
"Most (athletes) are exceeding where I hoped they'd be at the start of the season," said Michelle Eisenreich, director of men's and women's track and field. "I'm absolutely thrilled."
Craig Kinsley '11 led the throwing squad, hurling the javelin 250 feet, 5 inches in his first competition of the outdoor season to place first overall. His throw is currently the third best in the nation.
"Well, my legs weren't keeping up with my body, so I was pretty surprised I hit any good positions," Kinsley said. "We had a tailwind, so it was good conditions."
Kinsley is the defending NCAA javelin champion but said this year's field is stronger than last year's.
"We got a lot of international guys that are already established," Kinsley said.
In other field events, Victoria Buhr '13 came in first in the discus throw and Brynn Smith '11 finished first in the shot put with tosses of 162-11 and 47-11.75, respectively. Kenneth Thompson '13 leapt 46-0.75 in the triple jump to earn a first-place finish, as well.
On the track, Christian Escareno '11 took the lead in the 3000-meter race with only a lap left, running to the finish line in 8 minutes, 19.81 seconds.
"I think I ran pretty well, considering the conditions," Escareno said. "Coach told me to focus on feeling good at the end."
The men's and women's mile was the highlighted distance event of the meet and honored Norm Taber, a member of the class of 1913, who set the world record in the mile in 1915, running 4:12.6 at Harvard Stadium.
Though Taber's time was once a world record, it would have only earned him second place on Saturday as Dan Lowry '12 covered the full mile in 4:10.25 to finish first.
"I was hoping for a little bit faster, closer to 4:05," Lowry said. "But the wind and cold made it pretty tough."
Samantha Adelberg '11 won the women's mile in 4:48.41 and was followed in quick succession by four of her teammates, who all finished in under five minutes.
"Sam ran well, we stuck to a simple race plan and she looked really confident," said Jill Miller, women's distance coach. "To put five people under five minutes in the mile when they're training so hard is something I'm really happy with."
Bruno swept the 800-meter run as Matt Bevil '14 won the men's race in 1:53.50 and Bree Shugarts '13 came in first for the women in 2:14.44.
"I competed well. It was really cold and windy, but overall I'm happy," Bevil said. "Training's been good. You put yourself in the mode of competing."
Brown also had two relay teams finish first. The women's 4x400-meter squad — composed of Lucy Higgins '11, Olivia Thomas '13, Emily Mepham '12 and Shannon Stacey '11 — recorded a time of 3:56.68, and the men's 4x100-meter team — featuring Marc Howland '11, John Spooney '14, Mike Mazerik '11 and Evan Weinstock '14 — posted a mark of 41.74. In the shorter distances, Spooney won the 100-meter dash in 10.84, while Howland finished a close second in 10.87.
Bruno will next compete this weekend at the Larry Ellis Invitational hosted by Princeton.
As for the future of the Brown Invitational, Miller said she hoped the meet will grow in popularity — this year, only eight schools competed against Brown's varsity squads.
"Our goal with this meet is to make it into a very competitive meet for the area, for teams that don't want to travel far this weekend," Miller said.