Jumbos set school record, win three events at MIT, BU

Junior Christian Swenson runs alongside the pacer during the mile race on Feb 3, 2018. (Madeleine Oliver / Tufts Track and Field)

The No. 16 Tufts men’s track and field team split up this weekend to attend two separate meets: the David Hemery Valentine Invitational held at Boston University on Friday and Saturday, and the Gordon Kelly Invitational at MIT on Saturday. The team performed well at both meets, with strong field showings at MIT and multiple personal bests set on the track at BU. Neither meet was scored, as these were the last two competitions before the championship season begins.

The team recorded three first-place finishes and many more personal bests at the Gordon Kelly Invitational. Sophomore Kevin Quisumbing was one of the Jumbos to come away with a victory, winning the shot put with a throw of 14.41 meters. He also took third place in the weight throw, with a distance of 15.04 meters — over half a meter longer than his previous best of 14.34 meters, which he achieved at last year’s Bowdoin Invitational.

Sophomore Christian Trebisacci and first-year Dylan Daisey also competed in both events. Trebisacci took eighth in shot put with a distance of 12.82 meters (a new personal record) and ninth in weight throw with a 13.30 meter heave. Daisey finished 13th in shot put (11.88 meters) and 19th in weight throw (10.38 meters).

Senior Stefan Duvivier also came away with a victory for the Jumbos. Duvivier won the high jump by clearing a height of 2.03 meters, his personal best this season, which launched him into a tie for 20th in the national Div. III rankings. Duvivier has been improving as the season goes on and is excited to enter championships this week.

“I expect big things from the team this weekend at the [New England] Div. IIIs this weekend,” he said. “Everyone, including myself, is competing, not necessarily for personal bests, but to beat the guy in front of them and do whatever it takes to put up more points on the board and secure the championship.”

The third Tufts victory at the Gordon Kelly Invitational came in the 3,000 meters, as first-year Dalton Tanner ran a time of 9:01.68. First-year Matthew Manteiga likewise demonstrated the Jumbos’ strong class of newcomers by taking second in the long jump with a distance of 6.40 meters. Another second place finish came courtesy of senior Chris Gregory, who ran the 600 meters in 1:26.94.

Elsewhere over the weekend, other members of the team attended the David Hemery Valentine InvitationalCompeting against athletes from across multiple collegiate divisions, the Jumbos did not come away with any victories at the meet, but they did set a few personal and season bests while improving their national rankings.

Junior Hiroto Watanabe set a personal best in the 1,000 meters, finishing 28th with a time of 2:29.60. Besides Watanabe, eight other Jumbos finished with personal bests in individual events: sophomore Roman Lovell in the 1,000 meters; senior Patrick Milne, junior Brandon Levenstein, sophomore Robert Jones and first-year OJ Armstrong in the 200 meters; senior co-captain Drew DiMaiti in the 400 meters; sophomore Jackson Mihm in the 500 meters; and sophomore Matt D’Anieri in the 800 meters and the mile.

D’Anieri’s 1:54.32 finish in the 800 was good enough for 41st place in a field of 230 runners and currently ranks 32nd on the Div. III leaderboard. His 4:23.03 mile time shaved off nearly 15 seconds from his previous personal best.

DiMaiti’s 400 meter time of 48.80 seconds slotted him 33rd out of 182 competitors in the event and tied for 14th in Div. III. DiMaiti’s previous personal best in the 400 — as well as his best time last season — both came at meets hosted by BU (this year’s John Thomas Terrier Classic and last year’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational, respectively). He explained that the atmosphere and the track at BU provide a unique opportunity for the team to perform well.

“We are always pumped to run at BU,” DiMaiti said. “It is one of the fastest indoor tracks in the country, and we are fortunate to have it so close by. The energy at the BU meets is always very high, and the competition is very good, which helps push a lot of our athletes to new personal bests there.”

The Jumbos also ran their first distance medley relay race of the year, and in doing so, broke the previous school record of 9:56.97 (set in 2010, also at BU). DiMaiti, Watanabe and juniors Christian Swenson and Colin Raposo laid down a time of 9:54.92, placing third in the event and second in Div. III (first-place American International College competes in Div. II).

The Jumbos look to be in top form as they enter the indoor championship season. This weekend, the team will travel to Middlebury for the New England Div. III Championships, a meet that it won by a large margin last year.