Cambridge, Mass. – Competing in the annual Harvard Challenge at Gordon Indoor Track, Brown's track & field program showed strong early performances and established three school records this weekend.
The Bears combined points with Harvard to challenge Army/Northeastern and MIT/Williams for the team competition. The Ivy League representatives took home the meet title with 283 points, 158.5 from the Ivy women and 124.5 from the Ivy men. Army/NU trailed with 248.5 points, and MIT/Williams pooled together for 104.5.
Competing over the course of two days, sophomore Peter Rhodes (Atlanta, GA) claimed the heptathlon meet title with 5055 points and re-set the school record that he had previously set during the 2012 indoor season.
"Rhodes competed hard over all seven events," said Interim Director of Track & Field Tim Springfield. "He did a great job of maintaining his intensity throughout the two days. The exciting thing is that there is more there."
Leading the sprinters was junior John Spooney (Northfield, OH) who ran to a blazing time of 6.79s in the 60-meter dash and set a new school record. "It's very exciting to see Spooney competing in mid-January at a level where he was at the end of last season," said Springfield. "John always elevates his game when the competition picks up and he did that today."
Freshman Anthony Mazola (Hernando, MS) ran to solid finishes in both the 60m dash (4th) and in the 200m dash (2nd place) with a time of 22.15s. On the women's side, Emmaline Suchland (Seattle, WA) crossed the line in the 60 m dash in 7.79s, grabbing another silver for the squad that is headed by Coach JJ Riese.
The men's distance squad featured several top finishes. Leading the way was freshman Ned Willig (Phoenixville, PA) who opened up his collegiate track career by winning the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2:22.96. Willig's time broke the record set by Trinity Gray '00 in 1999.
"Willig ran a terrific race, putting himself in good positions and finishing extremely well and beating an accomplished field," added Springfield. "It's not often a freshman breaks a school record in his first college race."
Also racing in the 1,000m run were senior Erik Berg (Seattle, WA) and Colin Savage (Liverpool, NY) who secured 3rd and 4th places, respectively. Senior Kevin Cooper dropped a time of 4:12.9 in the one-mile run to claim a title in the event.
For the jumps squad, senior Hannah Wallace (Whitefish Bay, WI) captured the pole vault title by clearing 3.70m, over 12 feet. Claiming second places were senior co-captain Kenneth Thompson (Riverdale, NY) in the triple jump (14.15m) and freshman Okuoma Idah (Palos Verdes, CA) in the long jump (7.02m).
Under throws Coach Darcy Wilson, several athletes captured top finishes and continued developing in new events. Freshman Josephine Darpolar (Pecos, TX) built off of a strong debut earlier this month and won the shot put with a toss of 14.07m. Senior co-captain Lacey Craker (Baraboo, WI) took second in the weight throw (17.72m). Wilson explained, "The team training is progressing as everyone gets more comfortable with performing at high levels."
The Bears will compete this weekend in the Joe Donahue Games at the Reggie Lewis Center on Friday the 25th and at the Terrier Invitational at Boston University on the 25th and 26th.