Jumbos take first place at Silfen Invitational

Sophomore Jackson Mihm runs the 400-meter dash in Tufts' meet at Ellis Oval on April 7. Alina Strileckis / The Tufts Daily

The Tufts men’s track and field team competed in the Silfen Invitational, held at Conn. College in New London, Conn., on Friday and Saturday. Over the course of the two-day event, the Jumbos earned an abundance of first-place finishes, and many of the athletes improved their national standings. Moreover, the Jumbos captured first place at the meet — the team’s second triumph in the outdoor season’s five meets thus far.

On Friday, the first day of competition, Tufts juniors Hiroto Watanabe and Colin Raposo placed highly in their respective events. Raposo competed in the 1,500-meter run, where he placed fourth out of 26 competitors with a time of 3:57.65. His time is currently 33rd in Div. III. Watanabe ran the 800 meters, in which he posted a time of 1:53.81 to place sixth out of the 33 competing athletes. The Yarmouth Port, Mass. native’s time is currently 24th in the national rankings.

Fellow juniors Dylan Jones and Andrew Doherty Munro also turned in solid times in the 5,000-meter run. Jones posted a time of 14:56.51, while Munro posted a time of 14:56.64. The duo finished fifth and sixth, respectively, out of 28 runners.

Junior Rory Buckman posted a mark of 10:00.45 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase — the team’s fourth and final event of the day. As a team, the Jumbos earned 27 points on Friday.

On Saturday, the Jumbos improved upon their strong opening-day performance. Junior Josh Etkind won the 110-meter hurdles in 15.21 seconds. Despite the victory, the New York, N.Y. native’s time fell short of his season-best mark of 14.86 seconds, which currently stands 19th in the country. Senior co-captain Drew DiMaiti kept up his recent run of stellar form with a first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles (53.79 seconds). The performance keeps DiMaiti undefeated in all four of his 400-meter hurdles events during the outdoor season.

“With Drew, we have had one major individual goal in mind — make the finals at NCAAs in the 400 hurdles,” Tufts coach Joel Williams said. “Every race has been in preparation for that race on Thursday, May 24th at 3:15 pm. We are feeling very good about doing that. With a month left in his season, each week the competition will get a little better until the NEICAAA meet [on May 11-12], where Drew will be challenged by top Div. I hurdlers. We know there is lots of work to be done, and our No. 1 priority right now is the NESCAC meet in two weeks.”

In the field events at Conn. College, sophomore Kevin Quisumbing won the shot put with a 15.43-meter throw. It was the third time in as many weeks that Quisumbing has won the event, and his mark at the Silfen Invitational currently ranks him 26th nationally.

“It feels great,” Quisumbing said. “I’ve been battling knee injuries my entire collegiate career, and it’s a huge accomplishment to be able to stay healthy. The past few track meets have been fun, but I’m focused on earning points for my team during NESCACs. I’ve been drilling a lot in order to get my technique down and watching a bunch of shot put videos so that I can copy some of the best throwers.”

Quisumbing has also set some goals for the remainder of the outdoor season.

“I want to hit the school record and win NESCACs,” Quisumbing said. “We came really close last year and it felt terrible to lose. There are a couple of other meets after that, but I think it’s important to not think too far ahead.”

Tufts also received victories from senior Stefan Duvivier, who won the high jump competition with a mark of 6’6″ (1.98 meters), and senior Linus Gordon, who took the long jump with an effort of 21’2 ¾” (6.47 meters).

There were also a host of second-place finishes to complement the Jumbos’ winning results. Junior Tommy Miller placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.02 seconds, and first-year Michael Mecha finished second in the triple jump with a 13.40-meter mark.

Tufts athletes will compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational, hosted by Princeton, on Friday before hosting the Sunshine Classic the following day.