WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University indoor track and field teams split their weekend between a pair of meets, the Terrier Classic at BU and the Branwen Smith-King Invitational at Tufts.
On Friday night at BU, the Brandeis women shined. Rookie Sonali Anderson (Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater) opened the meet with a 9.54 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, good for fifth in her heat, 15th overall and second among Division III runners.
In the 800-meter run, senior Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) was part of a group of runners that stormed to the top of into Division III's rankings. She was third in her heat, 17th overall and fourth among Division III runners at the meet with time of 2:12.99. It was the first time in her career that Ogundiran broke 2:13, and that mark is also good for fifth overall in the national rankings. Sophomore Lisbeth Valdez (Providence, R.I/Hope) also made it into the DIII top 50 with a PR time of 2:19.50, ranking 46th at the meet and 45th in DIII.
The event of the day was the mile run, where the Judges got three runners in the top 20 in Division III. Leading the way was senior Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy), who ran the fastest time in DIII this season with a 4:49.68. That time is currently the best in the division by more than two seconds with conversions, and by five seconds without them. Bryson was the third-fastest runner on the day in the mile, behind only runners from New Hampshire and Syracuse. Also joining Emily among the top 20 nationally were her twin sister Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy), who placed fourth in her heat and 20th overall with the 11th-fastest time in DIII this season, 5:00.38. That time was nearly two full seconds lower than Julia's previous personal best. Rookie Jac Guerra (Guilford, Conn./Guilford) would also qualify for nationals if the meet were held next weekend, as he ran the 17th-fastest time in nation at 5:03.85. Guerra won his heat and placed 25th overall with a four-second PR.
The Judges also got a relay into the national rankings, with the team of junior Maya Bliss (Williamstown, Mass./Amherst Regional), Valdez, Ogundiran and rookie Devin Hiltunen (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) winning their heat with a time of 4:02.95, 31st in Division III this season.
The Judges had a couple of other PR performances. In the 400-meter dash, Hiltunen lowered her PR to 1:00.50. In the 3,000-meter run, sophomore Niamh Kenney (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) edged her best by 0.06 seconds with a time of 10:21.13.
The men also sent two competitors to BU on Saturday. Junior Lorenzo Maddox (Atlanta, Ga. / Maynard Jackson) was second in his heat in the 200 with a time of 23.30, just 0.03 off his personal best. Senior Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass./Greenfield) represented the Judges in the throwing events, with heaves of 12.31 meters (40 feet, 3 ¾ inches) in the shot put and 15.09m (49-6 ¼) in the weight throw.
At Tufts, a scoring meet, the men finished in 13th place with 14.5 points, while the women were 16th with four points. On the men's side, Brandeis had a pair of fourth-place finishes. Sophomore Breylen Ammen (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) tied for the second-best height in the pole vault at 4.55 meters (14-11), but was judged fourth on number of attempts. The height was his career-best by for the second week in a row, improving by just under six inches. Rookie Dion Morris-Evans (Canal Fulton, Ohio/Northwest) qualified for the finals in the 60-meter hurdles in the sixth position with a prelim time of 8.87 seconds, but finished fourth with a PR time of 8.70 in the finals.
Other scorers for the men at Tufts were junior Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass./King Phillip Regional), who tied for sixth in the high jump at 1.80 meters (5-10 ¾) and sophomore Josh Lombardo (Westbrook, Maine/Westbrook), who was seventh in the mile with a time of 4:30.30, lowering his PR by 0.98 seconds.
Scoring for the women at Tufts came in the sprints, where senior Kanya Brown (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) was seventh in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.38 seconds, while rookie Anna Touitou (Pleasantville, N.Y./Pleasantville) PRed in the 200 with a time of 27.63, also good for seventh place.
The Judges are back in action next weekend at Tufts for the Cupid Challenge.