February 24, 2013

Brown Takes Fourth at Ivy League Heptagonal Championship to Earn Highest Team Finish Since 2006

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS – The Brown men's track and field program earned fourth place this weekend at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships at Harvard University with 58 points, the team's highest finish since 2006.  Over the course of the two-day meet, the team's performances were highlighted by two individual titles and two runner-up finishes, in addition to a new school record by junior Evan Weinstock (Las Vegas, NV).

"Finishing in the top half of the league was a big goal for us coming in, and it was very gratifying to realize that goal," said interim director of track and field Tim Springfield. "I knew we were going to have a good day when Rhodes and Weinstein started us off with great performances in the Heptathlon 60m hurdles.  They were ready to compete and set a tone for us early.  Finishing one-two in the event was tremendous.  I was extremely proud of their efforts throughout the seven events."

Weinstock took first place in the heptathlon with 5296 points, and sophomore Peter Rhodes (Atlanta, GA) tallied 5199 points to secure the second spot.  Rhodes' score ranks second all-time for Brown, while Weinstock earned a new school record with his performance.

Another impressive showing came from freshman Ned Willig (Phoenixville, PA) in the 1,000m run.  Willig claimed an individual title in the 1k, finishing in 2:25.

"Willig led the 1000m wire-to-wire," said Springfield. "That is not an easy thing for a freshman to pull off.  I knew he was a little nervous for his first Heps, but you couldn't tell by the way he performed.  He was able to run away from a very accomplished field."

Senior co-captain Kenneth Thompson (Riverdale, NY) jumped 15.05m in the triple jump competition to place second overall.  In the long jump, freshman Okuoma Idah (Palos Verdes, CA) took sixth place with a mark of 6.83m.

In the 800m run, Henry Tufnell (Cirencester, England) raced to fourth place in a time of 1:52, while Tyler Benster (Mercer Island, WA) also competed in the final for the event. Out of a tactical competition in the mile, senior Erik Berg (Seattle, WA) raced to fifth place with a time of 4:22.

Brown qualified two sprinters on to the finals of the 400m dash, John Spooney (Northfield, OH) and junior Ajani Brown (Frisco, TX), with Spooney running under 49 seconds to earn four place in the event. The senior also took the anchor leg of the 4x400m relay, combining with freshman Ryan Kelly (Greenwich, CT), Brown and senior George Keefer (Morristown, NJ) to finish third amongst the other league teams.

"John Spooney was a great leader for us," said Springfield, "He ran five races with very little rest. He wanted to do everything he could to help the team effort, and was willing to sacrifice his individual glory to help the team.  I can't say enough about how hard John competed even though he was carrying a very heavy load."

The other relays contested in finals also earned points for the Bears.  The 4x800m relay team of composed of Benster, Tufnell, sophomore Reuben Feinman (Menands, NY) and sophomore William Conway (Potomac, MD) earned fourth, and the distance medley squad of Berg, senior Nathan Elder (Quincy, IL), junior Colin Savage (Liverpool, NY) and senior Kevin Cooper (Waterford, Ireland) finished sixth.

The Ivy League Heptagonal Championships marked the end of the regular indoor season for the Brown squad, but part of the team will compete next weekend at Notre Dame in the Alex Wilson Invitational and at the IC4A Championships at Boston University.