Men’s and women’s athletics dominate in two competitions last weekend

On Sunday, men’s athletics sent teams to compete in both the John Thomas Terrier Classic hosted by Boston University and the Branwen Smith-King Invitational hosted by Tufts. Two days prior, on Friday, the women competed in another day of the John Thomas Terrier Classic at BU.

On the men’s side, the BU competition featured dominating performances from junior Alex Lemieux and second Luke Botsford. Lemieux clocked 21.66 in the 200 meters, which was good for fifth place out of 108 runners. This race not only gives him the school record in the event, but also a time ranked in the top 30 in Div. III all the time. Botsford performed equally well, finishing at 21.92 in the 200 meters and 49.16 in the 400. His performance in the 200 meters placed him 9th out of 108, while his mark in the 400 meters was 10th out of 76. Both brands are among the top 20 in Div. III this season.

Despite his good performance, Botsford felt he had room to improve. It was Botsford’s first indoor track 400m race, and he was still getting used to the 200m track which requires more frequent turns than an outdoor 400m track.

“My goal is in[to the race] was to get under 49 seconds,” Botsford said. “My PR for the outside track was 48.1 so I just wanted to get closer to that. And I knew it was possible just because of the competition and this track is a banked curve, which makes you go a lot faster.

Friday’s women’s team was also littered with time domestically. Freshman Aoife Hernon finished 30th in 87 in the 200m with a time of 25.74, good for 15th in Div. III after being converted due to the sloped track. The 4 x 400 meters team also established a top 15 in Div. III. Freshman Annika Kral, Senior Luana Machado, Senior Hannah Neilon and Freshman Emma Smith made up this 4×4 unit which clocked a time of 3:58.97. Smith ran the 400 in 59.34, which was good for 27th out of 82, and was the 33rd best 400 time in Div. III this season. Two Jumbos made it into the top 15 in the 500 meter race, Machado placing 11th with a time of 1:17.04 and Neilon in 1:18.05 which was good for 12th place.

Since there were races at two different locations on Sunday, there was some communication in the form of a Slack group chat between the BU riders and those racing at home, which helped major thumb to the runners.

“Anytime someone does something awesome, there’s usually a conversation, and it’s nice to see your name and someone else’s,” Botsford said. ” It was really great. Simply because you can not only connect with your teammates in your grade, but you can also talk to students in the upper class.

There was a lot going on in the group chat as the performances not only in the BU encounter but also in the Branwen Smith-King Invitational at home were impressive.

As a team, the men finished first out of 10 teams while the women finished second. On the men’s side, Tufts had three runners who qualified for the 60-meter final. These included junior Amos Trinidad who finished second, freshman Naheim Washington who finished third and second Daniel Williams who came in fourth.

Junior Carter Rosewell won the 400 meters with a time of 52.98, which is a personal best for him. The 600-meter race featured six Jumbos in the top seven, with runner-up Chris Tilton leading the field in a time of 1:24.58. The mile and 3000 meters also featured three Jumbos in the top seven, with junior Connor Giersch taking second place in the 5000 meters with a time of 16:02.32.

The 4 x 400 meter team of junior Andrii Campbell, freshman Ethan Forde, freshman Noah Turner and junior Sawyer Wilson took first place with a total time of 3:29.56. In the field events, second Harry Rienecker-Found was first in the high jump, and the triple jump featured three Jumbos on all podium spots. Senior Alex Zsikla led the way with a jump of 45’3.75”, and rookies Washington and Anthony Bhangdia followed close behind with jumps of 41’1.5” and 40’9.5”, respectively.

“I am very happy with my performance. I think it’s still very early in the season, which means it’s a good predictor of the result,” Zsikla said.

Reflecting on the team’s overall performance, Zsikla was equally enthusiastic.

“I think it has to be said that the other two people who were competing with me weren’t going 100%, they were going 80% of their best performance. We have a much higher cap than what is shown on just a stat sheet,” Zskila said.

On the women’s side, freshman Alexa Burst finished third in the 400 meters with a time of 1:05.19. Three Jumbos placed in the top six in the 1,000-meter race, with freshman Carly Rinko leading with a time of 3:06.23, followed closely by sophomore Rose Kitz.

Three women qualified for the 60m hurdles final and runner-up Sarah Pillone won the race with a time of 9.33. Tufts ‘A’ team beat Tufts ‘B’ team for a little friendly competition in the 4 x 800 meter relay to secure first place in this event. The “A” team consisted of Rinko, Kitz and seniors Tara Lowensohn and Anna Slager.

In field events, women took first individual place in the high jump, pole vault and triple jump. Junior Jaidyn Appel won the high jump with a jump of 5’7.25″, freshman Sarah Firth won the pole vault with a jump of 11’7.75″ and junior Lia Rotti led four Jumbos in the top seven in the triple jump with a jump of 38’5.5”.

With these two successful meetings, the focus is now on these performances.

“We are heading into the league season,” said Zskila. “We only have three weeks before we have to prepare to leave. We no longer have time to sit down. We have to go out and put in our 100 percent day after day because there aren’t many days left.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will continue their journey to the NEICAAA Championships this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston.

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