ROXBURY, MA- Wheaton College men's and women's track & field athletes combined for a pair of NCAA Championship provisional qualifications on Friday at the Division I-heavy Boston Indoor Games in the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
The Lyon men took eighth out of 18 scoring teams thanks to 31 points, finishing as the second-place Division III squad and outdistancing divisional counterpart Williams College by 3.5 points. Division I member University of New Hampshire won the men's meet with 95.5 points, while host Northeastern University captured the women's competition with 135.25. Wheaton's women totaled eight points, finishing 13th among 17 scoring schools.
In his first race since December 5, senior Howard Powell (Brooklyn, NY/Boys and Girls) completed the 55-meter hurdles in 7.74 to reach an NCAA meet standard. Powell took fourth, while sophomore Sheldon Allen (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown) was eighth.
Wheaton turned in its strongest showing in the 200-meter dash, placing three among the top seven in a 57-runner field. Senior Merzudin Ibric (Revere, MA/Phillips Academy) was third in 22.40, while junior Raiyan Banaji (Mumbai, India/American School of Bombay) matched Ibric's time during a fourth-place finish. Classmate Mark Williamson (Vienna, VA/James Madison) came in seventh.
Sophomore Cailean Robinson (Newton, MA/Phillips Exeter Academy) was fourth in the long jump at 21' 11", less than a foot away from an NCAA Championship provisional standard, junior Colin Fahey (Waltham, MA/Weston) took seventh out of 31 in the 1,000-meter run at 2:32.45, and freshman Sam Fear (Bath, ME/North Yarmouth Academy) finished in a three-way tie for seventh in the high jump by clearing 6' 2".
Allen, Fahey, Williamson and sophomore Jason Browne (Brooklyn, NY/Boys and Girls) combined for a fifth-place showing in the 4x400-meter relay at 3:26.72. Wheaton's second 4x400M relay squad took sixth at 3:27.01, as Robinson joined sophomores Miles Ketchum (South Lee, MA/Monument Mountain Regional) and Kyle Ricci (Warwick, RI/Bishop Hendricken) and freshman Ben Miklovich (New Gloucester, ME/Gray-New Gloucester).
On the women's side, sophomore Mickey Jusme's (Providence, RI/Classical) third-place triple-jump launch of 37' 1 3/4" provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Championship, while her long jump performance of 17' 1 1/2" was 8 3/4" shy of reaching a standard for the national meet. Twin sister and sophomore Didine Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical) took eighth in the 55-meter hurdles, while freshman Sylvia Okoye (Stanhope, NJ/Pope John XXIII Regional) put the shot 37' 8 1/2" to nab eighth place in the event.
Select Wheaton athletes will compete next weekend at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, which occurs on Friday and Saturday in the New York City Armory.