Ithaca, NY- Sophomore John Spooney set a new Brown University school record in the 60m dash, Peter Rhodes earned a school record and a personal record of 4,943 points in the heptathlon and Brown's 4x400m relay captured the title to highlight the men's track & field team at the 2012 Heptagonal Championships. The Bears finished in fifth place overall with 43 points, as Princeton captured the title with 184, followed by Cornell (176), Columbia (70) and Harvard (59).
"I was really proud of the competitiveness of the entire team," said Director of Track & Field Michelle Eisenreich. "We had a lot of very strong individual efforts. The entire team came to fight and the improvement over last year is evidence of that"
Spooney finished in second place in the 60m dash crossing the finish line in 6.79 seconds beating the previous school record time of 6.80 to earn Second Team All-Ivy honors. Brown's 4x400m relay team comprised of Samuel Howard, Elder, Ajani Brown and Spooney all earned First Team All-Ivy accolades after capturing the title with a 3:17.42. Brown's Nathan Elder earned fifth place in the 500m dash with a 1:04.86
"The sprinter men gave a very solid performance all-around," said sprints/hurdles coach Marc Mangiacotti. "John setting the school record in the 60m was a real highlight and seeing the 4x400 win from the first section, meant to be the slower of two, was a great performance. That definitely surprised everyone. When the times from the second section flashed up and the alums and teammates in the stands realized our time had held up, the cheers were very loud. This weekend was a good step."
Junior Kevin Cooper picked up fourth place in the one-mile run with a 4:22.90, and senior teammate Anthony Schurz finished close behind with a 4:23.79 for seventh. Brown's distance medley relay squad of Cooper, Zach Keefer, Schurz and Dan Lowry recorded a 9:54.50 to post a third place finish. In the heptathlon, Evan Weinstock finished right behind Rhodes with a personal record of 4,903 points.
"Kevin Cooper and Anthony Schurz competed very well at the front of one of the best mile fields ever seen in the Ivy League," said men's distance coach Tim Springfield. "I know Dan Lowry was hoping to place higher in the 3000, but he battled hard and left everything on the track. Conor Grogan made a big step forward by getting eighth."
"I was really excited to see our distance relays perform as well as they did at the end of the meet," added Springfield. "I was especially proud of Dan Lowry bouncing back to run a great anchor leg on the DMR. It was also very satisfying to see the 4x800 relay battle to put themselves in scoring position."
Brown will now prepare for the ECAC/IC4A Championships hosted in Boston on March 3-4.
Photo of John Spooney by Dan Grossman/MapleLeafPhotos.com