WALTHAM, Mass. – Competing at a pair of last-chance meet to try to reach next weekend's NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Brandeis track and field team won three events, set one school record, and is poised to send four student-athletes to Geneva, Ohio, for the final meet of the season. The Judges competed at MIT and North Central College, with the bulk of the action coming in Cambridge.
The school record fell in the 800-meter run, where senior Emily Bryson of Quincy, Massachusetts, added her name to the honor roll for the fourth time in an individual event and sixth time overall with a time of 2:10.96. She was about half a second faster than the runner-up with the eighth-fastest time in Division III this season. Bryson will have the option to run in two events at her final collegiate meet, as she already owns Division III's fastest time in the 1,500-meter run. Her record unseated a mark set by Hall of Famer June Parks '92 set more than 25 years ago. Bryson is now the school record holder in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters, mile run and 3,000 meters, while also sitting on school record relays in the 4-by-800 and distance medley.
If she chooses to run the 800 at nationals, Bryson will be joined by classmate Doyin Ogundiran of Dix Hills, New York, who placed seventh at MIT last night with a time of 2:16.58, and is currently ranked 18th headed into her third NCAA Outdoor Championship meet. Ogundiran will be in search her first individual All-America honor after earning two in indoor distance medley relays.
Reaching the NCAAs for the second time as an individual was rookie Jac Guerra of Guilford, Connecticut, who won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:00.28. Guerra won last night's event by more than 12 seconds and improved his career-best in the event by the same margin to move into the 22nd and final qualifying spot for nationals. Guerra qualified as part of the NCAA Cross Country team that finished sixth nationally in the fall, and in the mile run indoors.
The team's final win of the meet at MIT came from senior Scott Grote of Greenfield, Massachusetts, in the discus. Grote won the event on his last throw with a heave of 49.27 meters (161-8) to win the event by just 4 cm (2 inches). Though he did not improve upon his previous season best, Grote still owns the 19th-best throw in Division III this season and will head to nationals for the first time in his career. He will be Brandeis's first NCAA competitor since the mid-1980s, when Hall of Famer Greg Steelman '90 made it.
The Judges' lone competitor at North Central College in Illinois was junior Jack Allan of Wrentham, Massachusetts, who traveled to compete in the decathlon. A week after breaking the school record, he exceeded 6,000 points for the second time, reaching 6,078 and placing sixth overall. Allan set season-bests in the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.16 seconds and notched a lifetime best in the pole vault at 3.60 meters (5-11 ¼). He also rank his second-best 1,500-meter run in 4:56.30 to surpass the 6,000-point plateau. Allan's best finish relative to the other competitors came in the long jump with a distance of 6.48 meters (21-3 ¼), good for second place. He came in fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.92 seconds. His school-record score of 6,121 was 300 points out of NCAA qualification.