SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Wheaton College men's and women's track & field teams combined for eight event victories at the Springfield College Invitational on Saturday, as the Lyons each finished fourth at their New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) counterpart. The women tallied 96 points out of nine teams and the men 77 among eight squads. League school Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won both team titles.
Junior Tope Waheed (East Providence, R.I./East Providence) smashed her school record in the weight throw with an NCAA Championship provisional qualifying mark of 54' 9 1/2", good for first place, while classmate Didine Jusme (Providence, R.I./Classical) won the 55-meter hurdles with an automatic qualifying time of 8.25. Freshman Ashante Little (Seabrook, N.H./Winnacunnet) placed fourth in the 55M event.
Junior Lauren Cardarelli (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) and Little went 1-2 in the 400-meter dash, with Cardarelli's time of 1:01.46 just 0.14 ticks ahead of Little's. Freshman Charmine Bien-Aime (Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge & Latin School) was the runner up in the 55M dash, as was junior Ashley Dell'Aira (Shoreham, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) and freshman Mollie Lane (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) in the triple and high jumps, respectively. Lane initially tied for first with a clearance of 5' 2 3/4" before eventually settling for second after falling just short in a jump off.
Wheaton's 4x400M relay team, consisting of Cardarelli, Jusme, Little and freshman Meredith Scannell (San Marino, Calif./San Marino), placed third, while sophomore Amanda Claflin (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) came in fourth during the long jump. Sophomore Sylvia Okoye (Stanhope, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) turned in a fifth-place mark during the weight throw and finished sixth in the shot put. Junior Savannah Geasey (Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth) took sixth in the 3,000-meter run.
Dell'Aira and freshman Hillary Wilson (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) placed seventh in the long jump and 1,000-meter run, respectively. Wheaton's 4x800M relay squad, which comprised of Geasey, Wilson, sophomore Elizabeth Urena (Maywood, Calif./Bell) and freshman Shoshana Kruskal (Newton, Mass./Newton North), also finished seventh. Rounding out the top 10 were ninth-place marks in the 200M dash and high jump from Claflin and freshman Lindsey Ross (Dracut, Mass./Dracut), respectively.
The men turned in an impressive five event triumphs, with senior Mark Williamson (Vienna, Va./James Madison) crossing the 400-meter dash finish line first in 50.87. Junior Miles Ketchum (South Lee, Mass./Monument Mountain Regional) and sophomore Howard Manly (Ayer, Mass./Lawrence Academy) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Sophomore Brandon Holmes (Highland Mills, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) earned top honors in the 55M hurdles in 7.95, while freshmen Olufunsho Olagundoye (New York, N.Y./Cushing Academy) and Michael Read (Barrington, R.I./Barrington) notched the fastest times in the 200M and 55M dashes, respectively. Olagundoye won in 23.03, and Read finished in 6.58. Read was the runner up in the 200M dash, while Olagundoye took eighth in the 55M race.
Wheaton's 4x400M relay team was also victorious, with Ketchum, Manley, Williamson and sophomore Ben Miklovich (New Gloucester, Maine/Gray-New Gloucester) finishing in 3:28.11. Senior Colin Fahey (Waltham, Mass./Weston) recorded a second-place mark during the 600M run while joining classmate Nick Kacher (Waltham, Mass./Waltham), sophomore Michael Richard (Chicopee, Mass./Holyoke Catholic) and freshman Nick Emard (Griswold, Conn./Griswold) on the sixth-place 4x800M relay team.
The Lyons are back in action this Friday for the Boston Indoor Games at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at 4:00 p.m.