On Saturday, the men’s track and field team placed second in the third annual Branwen Smith-King Invitational, hosted by Tufts at Gantcher Center. The team secured wins in two events, tallying 86 points, which was well short of the 135.5 point, first-place finish by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Senior Matt D’Anieri delivered one of the team’s two wins of the day-long meet in the mile. He finished with a staggering personal best time of 4:17.02, which currently ranks No. 10 nationally in Div. III. First-year Evan Ensslin and sophomore Nick Delaney were only a few seconds behind, finishing third and fourth respectively; their times rank currently No. 45 and No. 48 nationally in Div. III.
The other win of the day for the Jumbos came in the 4 x 800 meters relay. The squad of Delaney, senior Dylan McEniry, sophomore Collin O’Sullivan and D’Anieri came in first at a combined time of 8:01.73.
In the pole vault, first-year Hunter Farrell placed second at 14′ 7 ¼”. Currently, that mark ranks No. 41 nationally in Div. III.
Despite being a first-year, Farrell explained that he felt very comfortable competing at the college level because of his teammates.
“Tufts’ track and field team was a lot different from what my high school had,” Farrell said. “My high school never really had a team at all. It was more individual based. Having all the upperclassmen support me and cheer me on when I beat the first-year record, that has never happened before to me. My teammates’ support definitely made it easier for me to quell my fears.”
“My first meet two weeks ago ago was alright, but it wasn’t my best,” Farrell also said. “I think it was a lot of the nerves; that was the factor. Coming back home really helped out calming my fears. Last meet I was more calm, cool and collected. I think for the future, getting over my fears will get better for me.”
Sophomore Ben Stein (4,438 points), sophomore Riley Patten (4,344 points), and first-year Carter Rosewell (4,283 points) took the second, third and fourth spots, respectively, in the heptathlon for the Jumbos. Currently, those point totals rank No. 20, 27 and 30 nationally in Div. III.
In his first appearance of the season, junior Matt Manteiga finished in fourth place in the long jump with a distance of 21′ 7 ¼”.
“I had a good meet, but it is going to take a lot of work and staying on top of my health to continue to progress like I want to,” Manteiga said. “I think I just to need to keep working hard and the results will come.”
With such impressive results from underclassmen, Farrell explained how the team’s supportive nature contributed to the success.
“We are really excited for the future of the team because we know that our first-year class is really strong and we are going to[get] better as the season continues,” Farrell said. “On top of that, we have really good relationships with all the upperclassmen, so it is a great dynamic. We all support each other, and I think the whole experience is really fun. I’ve never been to a day-long track meet and [had] fun the whole time until last Saturday.”
Manteiga also highlighted the team aspect in large meets like the Branwen Smith-King Invitational that featured so many athletes competing in different events.
“We are working as a track team as much as we can, cheering each other on, on the corner of the track, and trying to stay on top of everybody’s performance since it is easy to lose track of all of the events,” Manteiga said.
With the New England Div. III Championships at the end of February quickly approaching, Tufts will host the Cupid Challenge, its third home meet of the season, this Saturday.