LEWISTON, Maine - On the strength of five event wins, the MIT men's track and field team captured the NCAA New England Division III Indoor Championship for the 11th time in program history and the first since 2003. Stephen Morton had an outstanding overall day, taking home three individual event titles while setting a pair of Institute records, to help the Engineers dethrone defending New England Champion, Williams College. Tech earned 132.5 points to outlast the Ephs, who finished with 109. Greg Tao and the Distance Medley relay team were also crowned New England Champs.
Morton had a pair of record-breaking efforts in the long jump and triple jump. His 49-4.25 foot effort in the triple jump established a new MIT record while also besting the meet record in that event, set in 2009. That jump earns Morton an automatic qualification to the upcoming NCAA National Championship and is currently the best mark in the country. In the long jump, Morton also established a new program standard with his jump of 23-9.00 feet. The distance was also good enough to automatically qualify for the National meet. Morton now holds all four MIT records in the long jump and triple jump, both Indoor and Outdoor. The four-time All-American also placed first in the 200m, with a time of 22.38 seconds and finished fifth in the 55-meter dash (6.59 seconds).
Greg Tao led a dominant showing for Tech in the pole vault, as three Engineers finished in the top seven earning a total of 17 points. Tao cleared 15-9.25 feet to claim his second straight New England Championship. Nathan Peterson finished in a tie for third with his 15-3.00 foot effort and Cyrus Vafadari (14-11.00) took home seventh place. Both Tao and Peterson achieved the NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
The Distance Medley relay squad of Richard Prevost, Patrick Marx, Dawit Zewdie and Kyle Hannon edged the quartet from Amherst College by just over eight-tenths of a second, finishing first in 10:21.06. Marx was also able to set a freshman record in the 600m, placing fourth with a time of 1:22.86.
Prevost and Bill Phipps picked up important points at 1000 meters, as Prevost finished just four-tenths of a second off the pace in second place (2:31.10). Phipps' time of 2:34.06 was good for sixth. Hemagiri Arumugam (8:44.03) in the 3000m and Paul Welle (15:22.85) at 5000m each captured fourth-place showings.
In other field events, James Oleinik continued to impress, finishing second with a toss of 49-8.25 feet. Three Engineers finished in the points in the weight throw, led by Kenneth Cooper in third with a distance of 53-3.00 feet. Chinedum Umachi was right behind him with a 53-1.75 foot throw while Anthony McDonald took eighth place.
MIT will be back in action next weekend at the NEICAAA Championship, hosted by Boston University. The meet begins on Friday, February 26 at 11:00 a.m.