SOMERVILLE, Mass. – With weather causing the Judges to pull out of the BSU Bear Invitational Last week the men and women's track teams opened up at the Tufts Snowflake Classic. However, the teams were not treated to snow but rather a sunny and windy day that saw some very promising early season performances.
The highlight of the meet came in the men's 200m where graduate student Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore/ York Academy, Canada) and sophomore Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Westminster Academy) placed 1st and 6th respectively. Gourde is coming off of his first All-American honors in the indoor 200m and showed the transition to the outdoor track would be an easy one. Gourde sped to a mark of 21.97s, besting his next closest competitor by .25 seconds, while also picking up Division III New England and ECAC standards in the process. Perry was equally impressive throwing down a huge personal best of 22.49s a major improvement from his 22.74 best from this past indoor season. His time also qualifies him for the Division III New England Championships. Perry also doubled back for second in the triple jump, bounding 13.91m (45-07.75 ft.) qualifying him for DII New England's in this event as well.
On the women's side, the performance of the meet came from junior Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./ North Quincy) who placed second in the 1500m running 4:42.14. This was over a six-second personal best for Bryson and currently has her sitting at 29th nationally. The time also qualifies her for the Division III New England Championships for the first time in this event.
Other scorers for the Judges included Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass./ King Phillip Regional) in the 110m hurdles. Allan placed 4th in the final with a time of 15.74s which was already almost .10 seconds faster than his opener last outdoor season. Even more impressively his race was run into a headwind creating conditions much less favorable then last year. Allan also competed in the long jump, scoring 2 points with his 6.27m (20-07 ft.) and 7th place finish. Another 4th place finish came from sophomore Danielle Bertaux (Prides Crossing, Mass./ Beverly). Running in just her second outdoor 5000 meters Bertaux ran 18:26.02 a massive improvement on the 19:49.21 that she had previously run. Similarly to their teammates, both Allan and Bertaux's performances qualified them for Division III New England's with plenty more time in the season for both to make improvements on their marks.
For the women, junior Kanya Brown (Amherst, Mass./ Amherst Regional) qualified the final of the 100m running 13.64s, before coming back and matching her outdoor personal best in the 200m going 27.53 seconds. Rookie Lisbeth Valdez (Providence, R.I./ Hope) had a great outdoor debut running 2:25.05 for 5th in the 800m. Sophomore Lydia Harris (Damariscotta, M.E./ Lincoln Academy) acquitted herself well in the 400m hurdles running 1:09.71 and placing 7th. Senior Beth Defossez (Boxford, Mass./ Masconomet Regional), at the start of her final season as a Judge also placed 7th in the pole vault, vaulting 2.80m (9-02.25 ft).
The men's 4x400 opened the season well, placing 4th. The quartet of Churchill Perry, Irie Gourde, Patrick Quinlan (Northampton, Mass./ Northampton), and Jacob Judd (West Hartford, C.T./ Conard) ran to a time of 3:25.22, right around where they left off this indoor season. Junior Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass./ Greenfield) scored for the Judges in both the shot put and discus. Grote's third place in the disc with a throw of 41.59m (136-05 ft.) qualifies him for the Division III New England Championships. Grote also placed 6th in the shot put, throwing 12.90m (42-04 ft.). After a breakout indoor season, it will be very exciting to see what Grote can put together with the circle moving outdoors. The final scoring performance of the day came from sophomore Aaron Corin (Sudbury, Mass./ Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) who vaulted 3.85m (12-11.5) for 6th place.
All in all the Judges had seven Division III New England qualifiers in just their first outing, foreshadowing an impressive season yet to come. Both teams return to action next week at the Amherst Invitational on April 7th.