Athletes of the Week

Nakeisha jones, Women’s Track and Field

Last year, then-freshman Nakeisha Jones burst onto the national scene of women’s track and field, quickly becoming known as one of the best triple-jumpers in New England as she worked her way toward All-American honors in the event for both the indoor and outdoor season.

This year, she’s only further proving her abilities.

At the Valentine Invitational at Boston University on Friday, Jones shattered her Div. III competitors with a jump of 39’1 1/4”, making her the only athlete to have surpassed the NCAA automatic qualifying distance of 38’8 3/4” this year. The distance is also well past that of the next-closest mark, which Jones bested by over seven inches.

Next week, the women’s track team will take part in the New England Div. III Championships at Southern Maine, where Jones will attempt to make up for her disqualification last season. Considering how she followed up that disappointment last year — with a school-record jump of 40’10” at All-New Englands — look for her to yet again place among the top finishers this weekend.

Billy Hale, Men’s track and field; Scott Barchard, ice hockey

Like many across the country, men’s track senior quad-captain Billy Hale had a Valentine’s to remember — but his came in the Valentine’s Invitational on Saturday, not Valentine’s Day on Sunday. Hale set Tufts’ indoor track record in the 1,000-meter run 2:28.70, edging out the five-year-old record of 2:28.93 that was held by Aaron Kaye (LA ’05).

Meanwhile, sophomore hockey goalie Scott Barchard added to his fast-growing legacy, as he racked up 101 saves over the weekend en route to a pair of Tufts victories. Barchard has now totaled 911 saves on the year and 1,773 for his career, putting him just 393 saves short of the Tufts career record.

Barchard’s impact on the success of the team has been undeniable, as the Jumbos, with at least three games left, need only one more win to pass their highest total in the NESCAC era and have locked up a bid in the NESCAC Tournament.