SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – Brown's distance medley relay team set a new school record on the first day of competition at the Alex Wilson Invitational, held at the Loftus Sports Center on the campus of Notre Dame. They competed amongst an elite field that featured many of the top teams in the nation still looking to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The team of freshman Ned Willig (Phoenixville, PA), junior John Spooney (Northfield, OH), sophomore Henry Tufnell (Cirencester, England) and senior Kevin Cooper (Waterford, Ireland) finished in 9:33.53, the third fastest time ever run by an Ivy League. Their performance broke the previous school record, set in 1998 by Jamey Vetelino '98, Jaimie Mantzel '99, Trinity Gray '00, and Neville Davey '98, by six seconds. Willig led off the relay for the Bears with a1200m run, Spooney covered 400m, Tufnell had the baton for 800m, and Cooper closed in the mile leg.
"The DMR ran extremely well," said interim director of track and field Tim Springfield. "We're a little disappointed not to come away with a qualifier, but it was really exciting to see Brown competing successfully against the top teams in the country. It's not every day you break a school record by 6 seconds. Willig was tremendous in the opening leg, bringing the baton around with the leaders. He certainly didn't run like a freshman. But really, all four legs were outstanding, and three of them are back next year."
Also competing at the Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday night was senior Olivia Mickle (Sacramento, CA). She placed sixth in the 5000m, running a personal best time of 16:32.5, the second fastest ever by a Brown runner on an indoor track
"Olivia ran a very tough race in an outstanding field," said Springfield. "It was a big breakthrough for her and sets her up very well for the 10k outdoors."
Brown is competing in three additional races on the second day of the Invitational. Spooney will race in the 200m dash, Tufnell will take on the 800m run and senior Erik Berg (Seattle, WA) will compete in the mile run.