In a final tune-up before hosting the UAA Championships, the Brandeis men's and women's track & field teams had a number of impressive performances yesterday. The Judges competed at the 2014 USATF New England Indoor Championships at Harvard University, where the vast majority of competitors were from Division I programs or attached to local track clubs.
The women's team's top results came in the 800-meter and the mile, where all six runners finished best in Division III and in the top-20 overall. All six also set new personal bests.
Competing for the first time since earning All-American honors in cross country in the fall, senior Amelia Lundkvist (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus) finished in third place in the mile with a time of 5:03.70. Rookie Maddie Dollins (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) was right behind Lundkvist, running a 5:16.92 to grab seventh place. Lundkvist and Dollins trailed only runners from Division I Brown and Sacret Heart, as well as a runner sponsored by New Balance.
Sophomore Kelsey Whitaker (Kingston, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) paced the Judges in the 800, taking sixth with a time of 2:14.91. That cut more than five seconds off of Whitaker's career best, and was the fastest time by a Brandeis runner this year.
Senior Vicki Sanford (Andover, N.Y./Andover), rookie Ashley Piccirillo-Horan (North Granby, Conn./Granby Memorial) and junior Kristi Pisarik (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) finished the 800 in 12th, 18th and 20th, respectively.
Rookie Ashley Hebard (Pasadena, Calif.Westridge) set new career bests in both the 200 and 400, running them in 30.69 and 1:09.66, respectively.
Junior Mohamed Sidique (Harlem, N.Y./St. Raymond H.S. for Boys) paced the men with a trio of top-10 finishes. Sidique finished second in both the long jump and triple jump with distances of 6.34 and 12.67 meters. It was a new career best for the junior in the long jump, and the first time he had competed in the triple jump in his career.
Sidique also set a new career best in the 400, finishing in 52.09 seconds. That was best in Division III, and ninth overall.
Rookie Nick Wactor (Oakland, Calif./Head Royce) finished 19th in the 400 with a time of 53.36 seconds. Wactor was also 21st in the 200. He was the top Division III runner in the 200 and finished only behind Sidique in the 400.
Four other Judges competed in the 200, where Brandeis was the only Division III team competing. Sophomore Adam Berger (Concord, N.H./Concord) took 26th, while rookie Ben Pomerantz (Barrington, R.I./Barrington) placed 35th. Berger's time of 24.39 was a new career best. Sophomores Eddie Tai (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) and Makalani Mack (Forest Park, Ga./Carver School of the Arts) finished 38th and 43rd, respectively.
Pomerantz, Tai and Mack all competed in the 60-meter dash as well, finishing in 23rd, 24th and 29th, respectively. All three set new personal bests.
Sophomore Matt Becker (Mendon, Mass./Nipmuc Regional) broke the 2-minute mark in the 800 for the first time in his career, finishing in 1:59.50. That was good for 13th place, but best in Division III. Sophomore Grady Ward (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) and rookie Matt Doran (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) finished in 2:02.57 and 2:03.82, respectively. It was a new career best for Doran. Daniel Leon finished in 2:05.81.
In addition to Sidique's second-place finishes, Brandeis had three others finish in the top 10 in field events. Berger led the way, finishing fourth in the triple jump and tenth in the long jump. His distance of 5.77 meters in the long jump was a new career best. Rookie Mark Franklin (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton Acad.) tied for sixth in the high jump with a height of 1.78 meters.
Brandeis will host the UAA Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend, beginning on Friday morning. You can find more information about the meet here.