Gourde Takes Home Double, Perry Defends Indoor Title as Judges Take 5th

Irie Gourde '17/MA '18 (Photo by D3photography.com)
Irie Gourde '17/MA '18 (Photo by D3photography.com)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Following an exciting first day of 2018 UAA Outdoor Championships the Judges track teams did not disappoint on day two. A testament to how impressive the performances were can be seen in either team's respective finish with both being significantly historic. The men recorded their best finish since 1999 by placing 5th with 82.5 points, 6 behind 4th place Case Western.  The women also had their best team finish in quite some time, placing 6th with a total of 52 points and their highest finish since 2011.  

UAA champions bolstered both teams with four wins coming back to Waltham.  A key to the men's success was double conference champion Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore./York Acad., Canada).  After narrowly missing out on the 200m/400m double crown indoors Gourde was able to complete the feat winning both convincingly.  Gourde crossed the line in the 400m with a time of 48.32 seconds, slightly slower than yesterday, but still quick enough to win by over half a second.  His 200m race was even more exciting, running 22.32 seconds to beat out the runner-up from Wash. U. by .03 seconds.  Gourde has now certainly shown that he has mastered the conference championships as these marked his 2nd and 3rd win at the level after five consecutive runner-ups.

The same can also be said for junior Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) who defended her title in the 1500m run but also racked up her 7th UAA title, a level of dominance unmatched by most.  Bryson claimed her crown with a time of 4:45.23, 2 seconds ahead of a runner from Emory.  The 1500m ended being quite an event for the Judges as along with Emily two others scored in the top 8. Junior Meaghan Barry (Marlborough, Mass./Worchester Acad.) had a huge race to win the first section with a time of 4:52.22.  The time was a personal best and ended up holding up quite well against the second section as she placed 4th overall.  The final woman to score was junior Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) who placed 7th in 4:53.85, making it a 17-point event for Brandeis.

The final win came sophomore triple jumper, Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Westminster Acad.).  Perry came in as the favorite and deliver quite well, jumping 13.81m (45'03.75").  The win makes Perry now the reigning indoor and outdoor UAA champion in the event.  Interestingly, Perry's second-best jump of 13.73m also would have been sufficient in winning the competition as the second place finisher had a best jump of 13.71 meters. 

Like the women's 1500m the strongest event for the men also featured three Judges.  The men's 200m featured the aforementioned Gourde and Perry as well as junior Regan Charie (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Reg.).  Behind Gourde's win, Charie was 5th with a time of 23.10 and Perry was 8th with a time of 23.89.  Both men also combined to aid the 4x100 relay, along with Lorenzo Maddox (Atlanta, Ga./Maynard Jackson) and Jacob Ward (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay), to a second place finish. Along with the 200m and the relay, Charie competed in the individual 100m placing 4th with a time of 11.25 seconds. 

The next highest finish came from junior Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass./Greenfield) who made the podium in the discus with a huge personal best. Grote threw 47.96m (157'04") for 3rd, a close to 7-foot improvement on his previous best which catapults him up to 26th nationally.

The rest of the points scored on both sides came from individuals who outperformed expectations and put it all on the line for their teammates.  All of the relays shined for this reason.  The men's 4x400m of Patrick Quinlan (Northampton, Mass./Northampton), Gourde, Erez Needleman (Queens, N.Y./American Studies), and Perry recorded a season's best 3:21.18 for 4th.  The women's squad of Kayla Fahey (Kingston, Mass./Silver Lake Reg.), Lisbeth Valdez (Providence, R.I./Hope), Leinni Valdez (Providence, R.I./Hope), and Maya Sands-Bliss (Williamsburg, Mass./Amherst Reg.) finished 6th with a time of 4:09.36 with Fahey returning from the 4x100m relay that placed 5th in 51.35 earlier in the day. 

Also earlier in the day Lisbeth acquitted her nicely in her first UAA final placing 7th in the 400m with a time of 62.81 seconds. Another first-time finalist, Lydia Harris (Damariscotta, Me./Lincoln Acad.), matched Valdez with her 68.53 7th place finish in the 400m hurdles.  Senior Jessie Moore (Rye, N.Y./Rye) improved on her 7th place finish in the javelin from last year by throwing 28.90m (94'10") for 6th.  The final two athletes to score were Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) and Julia Bryson.  Ogundiran placed 8th in the 800m final with a time of 2:26.00 while Bryson came back from the 1500m to place 7th in a fast 5000m final with a time of 17:54.77 for 7th, an exactly one second personal best. 

The men's scoring was rounded out sophomore Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass./ King Phillip Reg.) in the 110m hurdles and high jump as well as first-year Breylen Ammen (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) in the javelin.   Allan was 6th in the hurdles with a time of 15.82 seconds and 8th in the high jump going 1.75m (5'08.75").  Ammen, after his impressive pole vault yesterday, exceed expectations yet again by making the javelin final and then placing 8th with a 44.79m (146'11") throw.  

The Judges will return to action in less than one week at the Division III New England Championships.  The team will be much closer to home this time around as MIT is hosting.  The meet kicks off this Thursday, May 3rd with the decathlon and will run through Saturday, May 5th.