SOMERVILLE, Mass. - Though historically rather aptly named, this year's Tufts Snowflake Classic, hosted by Tufts University, saw uncharacteristic sunny, high 50-degree weather. Having competed in a chilly season-opener last week at the BSU Bears Invitational hosted by Bridgewater State University, the warm weather came as a relief to the Judges, illustrated by many of their performances. Here, the Judges competed against Division I Boston University and Division III threats like Amherst College, Tufts University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Twelve Judges individually scored at this meet, as did both the men's and the women's 4x400-meter relays.
In her first appearance of the season, sophomore Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East), provided the Judges' performance of the day, winning the 800-meter in an outdoor PR 2:18.77. With this performance, not only did Ogundiran earn ten points for her team (as well as her fifth individual collegiate win), she also qualified for the Division III New England Outdoor Track & Field Championship as well as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Outdoor Track & Field Championship. Ogundiran also competed on the women's 4x400-meter relay team, which ran 4:14.95 for third place, earning 6 points.
Rookie Lydia Harris (Damariscotta, Maine / Lincoln Academy) also competed on the women's third place 4x400m. Harris also made a statement in the 400-meter hurdles with an all-time PR of 1:09.48 to finish fifth, earning 4 points. Harris was followed by fellow rookie Kayla Fahey (Kingston, Mass. / Silver Lake Regional) who ran an all-time PR of 1:10.50 for sixth, earning 3 points. Earning fifth and sixth, Harris and Fahey were the top-performing freshman in this event. Fahey also competed in long jump, leaping 4.98m (16 feet, 4.25 inches)—only 2 centimeters off of the qualifying standard for the D-III New England Championship—to earn seventh place and another 2 points.
Three other women also scored for the Judges. In the 100m, sophomore Kanya Brown (Amherst, Mass. / Amherst Regional) earned third with a time of 13.29, scoring 6 points for the Judges. Fellow sophomore Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass. / North Quincy), in her season opener, went 4:48.91 to place third, earning 6 points. This outdoor PR qualifies Bryson for the D-III New England Championship and is less than a second off of the ECAC Championship qualifying standard. Rookie Willa Moen (Ashland, Ore. / Ashland) scored in pole vault, clearing 2.80m (9' 2.25") to earn sixth place and 3 points. Combined, these 5 women (Ogundiran, Harris, Fahey, Brown, and Moen), as well as sophomore Maya Sands-Bliss (Williamsburg, Mass. / Amherst Regional) and rookie Madeline Hayman (Worcester, Mass. / Burncoat) of the 4x400-meter, scored 40 points, tying the women with UMass Boston for seventh overall.
On the men's side, the charge was again led by rookie Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass. / King Philip Regional). Allan was the highest individual point-scorer for the men, earning 12 points overall. His efforts in long jump earned him third place, along with 6 points, with a jump of 6.39m (20' 11.75"). Like fellow rookie jumper Fahey on the women's team, Allan's long jump mark was infuriatingly close to the D-III New England qualifying standard: a mere centimeter off. However, Allan returned in the 110-meter hurdles to place third again, earning another 6 points, with a time of 15.64 seconds. This performance betters his qualifying time for the D-III New England Championship as well as the ECAC Championship: he had qualified for both in his season opener last week with a time of 15.83 seconds. Allan also competed in the javelin where he earned 20th with a throw of 34.12m (111' 11"). Sophomore Henry McDonald (Weymouth, Mass. / Weymouth) competed alongside Allan in both the long jump and the 110m hurdles. In the long jump, McDonald jumped 6.07m (19' 11") to earn sixth and 3 points. McDonald also placed eighth in the hurdles with a time of 16.47 seconds to earn 1 point and qualify for the D-III New England Championship.
Senior stand-out Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore. / York School, Canada) also had an exciting meet. In the 200m, Gourde ran 22.39 seconds for second behind Colby-Sawyer's Rasheed Forester, the reigning outdoor ECAC champion in the 200m. Earning eight points, Gourde bettered his D-III New England Championship qualifying time and was only 0.04 seconds off of qualifying for ECACs. Gourde returned to lead off the 4x400-meter relay, where he was joined by teammates Jeremy Wilson (Elizabeth, N.J. / Elizabeth), Nick Wactor (Oakland, Calif. / Head-Royce), and Jacob Judd (West Hartford, Conn. / Conard). The men ran 3:34.46 for sixth place.
The Judges had four additional individual scorers. In the 1500m, junior Mitchell Hutton (Villa Park, Calif. / Villa Park) earned fourth out of the second heat with a time of 4:04.96 to pick up 6 points. Sophomore Regan Charie (Topsfield, Mass. / Masconomet Regional) earned fifth in the 100m to earn 5 points with a time of 11.38 seconds after having ran 11.33 in the prelims. Rookie Aaron Corin (Sudbury, Mass. / Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) went sixth in pole vault (3 points) by clearing 3.80m (12' 5.5"). Fellow rookie Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Westminster Academy) earned seventh in the 400m with a PR of 50.99, earning 2 points and a qualification for the D-III New England Championship. These seven men and the relay combined to earn 44 points, placing ninth overall.
With seven performances that qualify Judges for the D-III New England Championship (two of which qualify for ECACs) at only the second meet, the Judges are off to a strong start of a short season. The Judges return to action this Saturday, April 8 at the Amherst Spring Fling hosted by Amherst College.
By Henry McDonald '19