The snowy weather may have disappointed in Tufts’ first outdoor meet, the aptly named Snowflake Classic, but the team’s results certainly did not. On Saturday, the track team opened its spring season account with the best possible result: a first-place finish out of 22 competitors. While the weather was far from spring-like, the team battled through the unfavorable conditions to earn its first win of the season.
Tufts was joined only by Div. I Northeastern in finishing with 100 or more points. With 111.5 points, Tufts surpassed second-place Northeastern (100 points) and third-place Bridgewater State (91). The impressive result included standout performances from a large batch of Tufts athletes.
One standout performance came from a first-year who, just a couple of months ago, was plying his trade as a guard for the Jumbos basketball team. Having impressed on the indoor track at the Tufts Last Chance Meet, Stefan Duvivier sought a similar result over the weekend. Duvivier performed well, earning scoring finishes in both the triple jump and the high jump. The first-year notched a season-best 42’7” leap to earn fourth in the triple jump and a 6’2” clearance in the high jump, earning fifth in that event. Having notched a Tufts’ season-best high jump of 6’6” in the Last Chance Meet, Duvivier has great incentive to surpass this outstanding result in future meets.
“I trust in the regime that my coaches have me doing, and I expect it to help me see some real improvements,” he said.
Duvivier also revealed that his highest priority in training at the moment is increasing his endurance in order to match the demands that come with being a collegiate athlete.
The Jumbos showed some dominant performances on the track as well. Most impressively, Tufts was able to collect 33 important team points from the 10,000-meter run. Senior co-captain Marshall Pagano, who earned fourth in the 800, believes the 10,000 was the highlight of day among a large batch of top performances from the team. Of the top eight spots in the race, six of them were claimed by Tufts runners. In fact, the top four spots were all taken up by Jumbos, with senior Colin McCrory, sophomore Tim Nichols, junior Michael Curley and senior Nick Guarnaccia finishing in first through fourth, respectively. Senior Greg Hardy followed up in sixth, and junior Michael Caughron came in eighth to round out an impressive team performance.
Tufts runners did not stop there, turning out more top finishes in the 1,500-meter, 800-meter and 400-meter races. Junior Francis Goins fared well in the 400-meter dash. The junior managed a third place finish in the race with a time of 50.69.
In the 1,500, two Jumbos landed in the top eight scoring places. Sophomore Ty Enos grabbed fifth in 4:06.39, while sophomore Luke O’Connor beat out teammate junior James Traester to land in eighth with a 4:07.67 time.
Half of the top eight scoring spots in the 800 meters were also composed of Tufts athletes, with all four finishing in the top six. Those four runners were senior Evan Cover, junior Alex Apostolides, Pagano and O’Connor. The quadrant landed in second, third, fourth and sixth, respectively, earning 22 team points in the process.
Meanwhile, the highest collection of team points by any one Tufts athlete came from senior Brian Williamson with 19 points collected over three events. Williamson was highly impressive in every throwing event in which he participated, earning second, third and fourth in the discus throw, shot put and hammer throw, respectively.
Pagano was very happy with the team result. He was sure to keep in mind, however, that the focus was on getting in shape for the NESCAC championship later this month, which the team has won the past two years.
“The first place finish was definitely what we’re looking for,” he explained. “[Right now,] we’re getting used to competing, and duking it out with your competition will be what makes the difference come NESCACs.”