MIT Men's Track & Field Win New England Division III Championship Title

Sophomore John Thomas
Sophomore John Thomas

LEWISTON, Maine - The MIT men's track and field team traveled to Bates College to compete in the New England Division III Championships on Friday and Saturday. The Engineers finished in first place out of 21 teams, scoring 118.50 points. This is the third time in four years that MIT has walked away with the title. Host Bates came in second with 94 points and Tufts University was a close third with 92.

Three different Engineers won events through the weekend. Freshman States Lee (Charlotte, N.C.) placed first in the 400 meters in 50.22, sophomore Chadd Kiggins (Xenia, Ohio) won the 1000 meters with a time of 2:31.92 and senior Cyrus Vafadari (Columbus, Ga.) finished first in the pole vault with 4.78 meters.

Junior Jordan Mizerak (Lexington,  Mass.) was the lone Engineer to compete in the heptathlon on Friday. He finished in ninth place with 2345 points, leaving a large gap between him and the tenth place finisher from Southern Maine, who completed the event with 2229 points.

Junior Michael DuPlessis (Wantagh, N.Y.) finished in third place in the 60 meters with a time of 7.03, finishing just one one-hundredth of a second behind Vincent Asante of Brandeis. Senior Brian Djaja (Phoenix, Ariz.) and freshman Michael Kaba (Jackson, N.J.) performed well in the 60 meter hurdles, finishing in tenth and 14th place respectively. Djaja crossed the line with a time of 8.64 and Kaba completed the event in 8.75 seconds. Freshman Richard Lu (Chapel Hill, N.C.) came in 19th win 9.01.

In the 200 meters, junior Tyler Singer-Clark (Falmouth, Mass.) finished in fifth with a time of 22.88 an Lee came in seventh with 22.98. In the next event, the 400 meters, Lee came first, Kaba was second with a 50.33, Singer-Clark came fourth in 50.47, freshman Derek Barnes (Coto De Caza, Calif.) came in seventh place in 50.76 and sophomore Nick Diamantoni (Belle Mead, N.J.) tied for eighth place with a 50.95.

Sophomore Samuel Parker (Menlo Park, Calif.) came in sixth place in the 600 meters with a time of 1:22.25. He was followed by junior Mac Gager (Rye, N.Y.) and senior Daniel Ronde (East Northport, N.Y.), who finished in eighth and ninth place with times of 1:23.37 and 1:23.94 respectively. Senior Patrick Marx (Grand Rapids, Mich.) walked away with a third place finish in the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.84.

The 5000 meters was a strong event for the Engineers, as five of the runners finished in the top 15. Sophomore Benji Xie (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) finished highest for MIT when he came in third place with a time of 14:59.78. Sophomore Allen Leung (Arcadia, Calif.) and junior Roy Wedge (Lawrence, Kan.) finished in seventh and eighth place with times of 15:08.46 and 15:11.07. Junior Matthew Jordan (Matthews, N.C.) and freshman Edgar Gridello (Douvainer, France) crossed the line in 12th and 13th place with times of 15:28.04 and 15:28.06.

MIT's 4x400 meter relay that consisted of Barnes, Kaba, Diamantoni and Lee finished strongly, coming in second place with a time of 3:23.97, just seven one-hundredths of a second behind Williams' A relay. The 4x800 relay, which was composed of Parker, senior Kyle Hannon (Park Ridge, Ill.), Gager and Marx, also finished in second in 7:54.21.

The Engineers competed well in the field events, finishing well in all of them. In the high jump, sophomore John Thomas (Somerville, Mass.) jumped 1.88 meters. In the long jump, freshmen Carrington Motley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Arinze Okeke (Hawthorne, Calif.) came in sixth and seventh place with jumps of 6.43 meters and 6.40 meters. Senior Jackson Wirekoh (Woodbridge, Va.) and freshman Angel Echevarria (Sacramento, Calif.) also walked away with sixth and seventh place finishes, this time in the triple jump, after jumps of 13.20 meters and 13.16 meters respectively.

MIT will return to action next weekend (Feb. 22-23) when they travel to Boston University for the NEICAAA Championship.