CLEVELAND, OH – The men's and women's track and field team began the 2018 UAA Indoor Championships with a bang with a relay win, multiple athletes earning All-UAA honors, and several others set themselves up nicely in the prelims in anticipation for tomorrows finals.
The women's distance medley relay capped off the first day of completion bringing home a win with a time of 11:57.19. This was the first women's DMR title since 2013. The relay was comprised of two sets of twins. Junior Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) led off the 1200m leg with a time of 3:41.5, she then handed off to Lisbeth Valdez (Providence, R.I./ Hope) who ran the 400m leg in a time of 60.3, after that Leinni Valdez (Providence, R.I./ Hope) took over running the 800m leg in 2:20.8 before Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) brought it home running the 1600m anchor leg in 4:54.5. The win marks Emily's 5th UAA title, all in different events. This time is faster than the quartet's time run earlier in the season and moves them up the national rankings from 15th to 6th.
Two throwers, both of who have been having their best seasons to date, continued to elevate their performances to earn All-UAA honors. This honor is awarded to athletes who place top 3 in their event while the top 6 athletes score. The performances today were historic as no Brandeis woman has placed top 3 in the weight throw since 2002, and no Brandeis man has placed top 3 since 2004. In the 20-pound weight throw Jordin Carter (Fort Wayne, Ind./ R. Nelson Snyder) placed 2nd tossing the implement 15.42m (50-07). Carter has now thrown over 15 meters for five consecutive weeks after entering the season never having gone over 14 meters. Carter is set to return to the throwing circle on day two for the shot put.
Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass./ Greenfield), the second All-UAA performer of the day threw a huge personal best in the weight throw. Coming into the meet Grote's previous personal best was 14.72 meters, set earlier this season. Today, Grote demolished that mark, throwing the 35lb. weight 15.33m (50-03) to place third. This was the second time scoring at a UAA championship for Grote, as he was fourth in the discus outdoors last year.
Other athletes who scored points today include, sophomore Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass./ King Phillip Regional) who was 6th in the long jump with a mark of 6.54m (21-05). This was a personal best from Allan. Allan was pushed by teammate Henry McDonald (Weymouth, Mass./ Weymouth) who jumped 6.36m (20-10). Both also competed in the 60m hurdles where McDonald posted a personal best of 8.98.
In the men's 800m-prelim sophomore Erez Needleman (Bronx, N.Y./High School of American Studies) ran a 2 second personal best of 2:00.38 to finish fourth in his heat. On the women's side junior Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East), who is nationally ranked, was tripped in her heat and originally did not advance. After protesting that she was impeded she was added to the final and will have a chance to run tomorrow.
Tomorrow will also see a few Brandeis men in the sprint finals after qualifying through today. Graduate student Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore./ York Academy, Canada) and junior Regan Charie (Topsfield, Mass./ Masconomet Regional) both moved onto their two individual events. Gourde cruised in the 400m heats to record the fastest time of the day in 49.42 seconds. Charie sprinted to a huge personal best in the 60m-dash going 7.08 seconds. Charie's previous best was 7.15 run just last week at the Division III New England Championships. Both men met up in the 200m prelims and both advanced together for the second straight year. Gourde ran 22.09, a time that after converted for track size will put him in the top 10 nationally. This mark was again the fastest of the day, which sets him up nicely to possibly come home with two wins tomorrow. Charie ran a season's best 22.70 to advance as the fourth fastest into tomorrow's final. Brandeis almost had three in the 200m final with sophomore Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Westminster Academy) just missing out on qualifying by .01. However, it was personal best and, he will be back tomorrow in the triple jump, an event he has a very good chance at winning.
Through five events the men are 7th with 7 points while the women are 5th with 18. Washington University currently leads both competitions with 42 points. Both teams have the potential to score a significant amount of points on day two, which will kick of at 9:00 AM in the field with the men's triple jump and at 12:00 PM on the track with the women's mile.
- Eli Waxler '19