The Middlebury track & field teams will be in search of conference team titles, when Bowdoin will host the 2017 NESCAC Track & Field Championships on Saturday, April 29 at Magee-Samuelson Track in Brunswick, Maine. Competition gets underway at 9:00 a.m. with the women's shot put, men's hammer, women's long jump, women's javelin and men's 10,000-meter run.
At the 2016 Championships, Williams won both the men's and women's titles. In the men's championship, the Ephs totaled 207 points to outdistance Tufts (182 points) by 25 points. Middlebury (122 points) placed third and was followed by Bates (92 points) and Bowdoin (59 points) to round out the top five finishers. In the women's championship, Williams registered 165 points to claim its third straight title. Middlebury (140 points) placed second, while Tufts (123 points) finished third and was followed by Bates (106 points) and Colby (89) in fourth and fifth, respectively.
This year's championship will feature several new faces as 16 of the 36 total events contain previous event winners. Among the returning champions, three individuals have won the same event more than once. Tufts senior Luke O'Connor (Chicago, Ill.) is the two-time defending champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and enters the weekend with the top time in the NESCAC at 9:03.24. Williams junior Anna Harleen (Ross, Calif.) has won back-to-back titles in the 1,500 meters and owns the top time in the league heading into the championship at 4:31.64. Middlebury senior Alex Nichols (Brunswick, Maine) has won the 400-meter dash twice, capturing the title in 2014 and 2016, and has one of the top three times in the conference this season at 48.61 seconds.
In the distance events, Tufts' senior Tim Nichols (North Lima, Ohio) and Williams senior Peter Hale (Swampscott, Mass.) are the top two runners in the 10,000-meter run. Nichols has recorded a time of 29:37.09, while Hale's best result was 30:00.66. Nichols also holds the fastest time in the 5,000 meters (14:28.96). Williams senior Emma Zehner (New Haven, Conn.) is the leader in the women's 10,000 meters (35:49.90). In the women's 5,000 meters, Middlebury sophomore Abigail Nadler (Chicago, Ill.) returns to defend her title, but Bates senior Jessica Wilson (Cumberland, Maine) leads the NESCAC with a time of 16:57.09.
Junior Stefan Duvivier (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) of Tufts will look to defend his title in the high jump. He enters the championship tied with senior Ian Outhwaite (Brooklyn, N.Y.) of Williams for the top mark in the NESCAC at 1.98 meters. Amherst senior Kiana Herold (Sebastopol, Calif.) looks to reclaim the high jump title she won in 2014. Bowdoin junior Brian Greenberg (Slingerlands, N.Y.) will aim to repeat as the men's triple jump champion and leads the NESCAC with a mark of 14.30 meters. Bates junior Sally Ceesay (Bronx, N.Y.) will compete for her second straight NESCAC title in the women's triple jump. She has recorded the top mark in the league at 12.22 meters.
In the throws, Bates junior Adedire Fakorede (Newark, N.J.) could win his second consecutive title in the discus. His mark of 50.68 meters leads the NESCAC this season. Fakorede will also look to make it three straight Bobcat wins in the shot put and four straight in the hammer throw. Bowdoin senior Pamala Zabala (Peabody, Mass.) is the reigning champion in the women's discus, but will be challenged by Tufts junior Jennifer Sherwill (Wallingford, Conn.), who has the top distance this season at 40.72 meters. Senior Michaela Garrett (Spruce Head, Maine) of Colby looks to repeat in the hammer throw. She holds the top mark in the event this season at 50.13 meters. In the men's pole vault, Williams junior Pierceson Brown (Beverly, Mass.), who won the event in 2015, and Middlebury sophomore John Natalone (Dix Hills, N.Y.) enter the championship tied with the top height this season (4.60 meters). On the women's side, sophomore Kreager Taber (Raleigh, N.C.) of Middlebury is the defending champion and owns one of the top three marks this season at 3.27 meters.
A new NESCAC champion will be crowned in the men's and women's 100 and 200-meter dashes and the men's 800-meter and women's 400-meter races. The top three sprinters in the men's 100 and 200-meter dashes are separated by a slim margin. While a trio of Williams runners own the fastest times in the women's 200-meters. Middlebury runners have a chance of repeating as NESCAC champions in the men's 400-meter dash and women's 800-meter dashes with Nichols in the 400 and sophomore Lucy Lang (Lexington, Mass.) in the 800.
Middlebury junior Michael Pallozzi (Sewell, N.J.) looks to repeat in the men's 110-meter hurdles. Bates senior Allison Hill (Brunswick, Maine) is the defending champion in the women's 400-meter hurdles and will be a top contender in the 100-meter hurdles (14.28 seconds) where a new champion will emerge.
In the relays, the Tufts women will look to make it four-straight wins in the 4x100 race, as the Jumbos set a meet record last year. The Middlebury men's and women's 4x400 relay teams set meet records last season and both stand among the top three times heading into the event. The Williams 4x800 squads enter the championships with the top times in the event and look to reclaim the title they won in 2015.
A live webcast of track events will be available at nsnsports.net/conferences/NESCAC. Live results will also be available at nescac.com/scoreboard. Final results from the 2017 NESCAC Track & Field Championships will be posted at the conclusion of the meet at nescac.com.
-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --