PITTSBURGH, Pa. – It was quite the first day for the Judges track and field teams at the 2018 UAA Outdoor Championships hosted by Carnegie Mellon University. Both the men and women's teams finished day one currently sitting in 6th place. The men have 19 points trailing 5th place Case Western by 5 while the women have racked up 17 points, 4 points behind home team CMU. Day one is marked mostly with prelims, and a significant amount of Judges qualified to their event finals tomorrow so both of those scores should look quite different come tomorrow afternoon.
A huge highlight came in the men's pole vault came when freshman Breylen Ammen (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) vaulted a massive personal best to set a new school record and finish 5th with a height of 4.48m (14'08.25"). This was a giant breakthrough for the young athlete as it marked his first time over 14 feet.
Seven events have already been scored and Brandeis athletes in those events certainly set the stage for their teammates competing on day two. On the men's side, the Judges were especially strong in the field and got the ball rolling in just the first event of the day, the long jump. In the long jump, both sophomore Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass./King Phillip Reg.) and senior Henry McDonald (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) picked up points. Allan was 5th with a 6.45m (21'02") jump and McDonald not far behind in 8th with a 6.18m (20'03.5") leap. Both returned to later for the prelims of the 110m hurdles with Allan running 15.68 seconds to be the 4th fastest athlete in tomorrows final.
Junior Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass./Greenfield) was another athlete who had an impressive double. Grote started the day with a shot put personal best of 13.84m (45'05") for 5th, over a foot improvement on his best from this past indoor season. He then came back in the afternoon to nab 6th in the hammer throw with a toss of 45.47m (149'02").
The final male scorers on day one came in the 4x800m relay where the squad of Joshua Lombardo (Westbrook, M.E./Westbrook), Jacob Judd (West Hartford, C.T./Conard), Patrick Quinlan (Northampton, Mass./Northampton), and Erez Needleman (Queens, N.Y./American Studies) placed 7th with a time of 8:09.75.
The women also showed up on day one with scorers in three events. Like Grote, Jordan Carter (Fort Wayne, Ind./R. Nelson Snyder) doubled up on throws and ended up outscoring her male counterpart by recording a 4th and 5th place finish. The 4th came in the shot put where Carter set a foot long personal best throwing 11.65m (38'02.75"). Her fifth place finish was in the hammer throw where she threw an even bigger lifetime best improving three feet to 41.22m (135'03").
The women's 4x800m relay also picked up crucial points with an impressive 2nd place finish. The quartet of Lisbeth Valdez (Providence, R.I./Hope), Leinni Valdez (Providence, R.I./Hope), Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East), and Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass/North Quincy) edged out 3rd place U. of Chicago by 1 second in a time of 9:22.21, an average 800m time of 2:20.5, a very good individual time in its own right.
With today's event finals being incredibly exciting those who had to qualify for tomorrow fed off of that energy and had some pretty incredible performances themselves. Nowhere was this more evident than in the men's 200m prelim. Running into a strong headwind three Brandeis athletes moved onto tomorrow's final as the 1st, 3rd, and 6th fastest qualifiers. Graduate student Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore./York Acad., Canda) won his heat with a time of 22.31s, while in the heat right after him junior Regan Charie (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet) recorded a win with a time of 22.50s. Not to be outdone by either of his teammates, sophomore Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Westminster Acad.) crossed 2nd behind Gourde in their prelim to also advance.
All three athletes will also be back in other events tomorrow. In addition to being the fastest qualifier in the 200m, Gourde set a personal best to be the fastest qualifier into 400m final. His 47.77s also happened to be a personal best and, currently sits him at 6th nationally. Charie also qualified through to the 100m final placing 2nd in his heat but, as the fourth fastest overall with a time of 11.21 seconds. Perry will return in the triple jump as well where he should be considered the favorite as the defending indoor champion and current conference leader.
In both women's 400m events, the open 400m and the 400m hurdles Judges qualified through to tomorrow's finals. In the flat event, first year Lisbeth Valdez set a personal best of 59.90 seconds to place second in her heat and advance as the 5th fastest. In the hurdles sophomore, Lydia Harris (Damariscotta, M.E./Lincoln Acad.) also recorded a personal best, after just setting it last weekend, running 68.18s to narrowly advance as the last time qualifier.
The final athlete to advance to a final tomorrow was junior Doyin Ogundiran who ran 2:19.11 to advance as the final qualifier. This, however, is not indicative of Ogundiran's potential as she is currently ranked fourth in the conference on time and was the runner-up at the indoor championships.
Along with all of tomorrow's events that have been previously mentioned Judges will also compete in the 1500m, the 5000m, both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays as well as any field events that did not take place on day one. The Judges will be back in action bright and early when the Javelin kicks the second day off at 9:00 AM EST.