SOMERVILLE, Mass. – In the final meet before the NCAA championships for Brandeis track and field a small squad headed to Tufts to see if they could sneak in performances that would place them among the nation's elite. This meant top 15 in the country for the men, top 17 for women and top 12 relays.
By far the highlight of the meet came from the women's distance medley relay. Coming into the meet the women were ranked 8th in the country with a few teams around the country not having run their best squads yet. While that ranking would have been enough to qualify, the coaching staff did not want to leave it to chance, possibly ending up on the outside looking in at the top 12. The relay certainly made sure that they would be at the championships come March 9th and 10th in Birmingham, Alabama.
The team of junior Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) on the 1200m leg, freshman Lisbeth Valdez (Providence, R.I./Hope) on the 400m leg, junior Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) taking the 800m leg and junior Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) anchoring on the 1600 won the event with a time of 11:47.36. After converting their time run on a flat track to what would be run on a banked track, like the one at the NCAA championships, the women now sit 2nd nationally only marginally behind conference rival Washington University.
Senior Jordin Carter (Fort Wayne, Ind./ R. Nelson Snyder) ended her incredible indoor season in the weight throw with the second-best throw of her career going 15.69m (51-05.75) to place fourth. This performance concluded a string of six consecutive competitions over 15 meters after having never gone over the mark before the season began.
Other performers included junior Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass./ Greenfield) in the weight throw, sophomore Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla./ Westminster Academy) in the triple jump and senior Ryan Stender (Amherst, Mass./ Amherst Regional) in the 3000m run. Grote threw 14.31m (46-11.5) for 10th while Perry placed 6th jumping 12.60m (41-04.25). Stender ran 8:41.91 for 7th and currently sits 21st nationally based off of an early season performance. The senior could still qualify for the meet if others ahead of him choose to focus on other events and end up scratching.
Those that are competing at the national championships will begin doing so this upcoming Friday, March 9th in Birmingham, Alabama. Those accepted into the meet will be notified around 9:00 A.M. on Monday morning when the official entries are released.