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MIT Invitational
Saturday, April 21, 2007
At Cambridge, MA


CAMBRIDGE -- Long-awaited warm and sunny spring weather finally made its first real appearance this April on Saturday, and the Tufts University men's outdoor track & field team took advantage. Saturday�s competition proved to be a small, yet high-quality meet that included teams such as UMass Lowell, Stonehill and MIT among others.

Jump-starting the day would be the solid pole vault performances of junior Kenny Kang and freshman James Rogers (Bangor, ME). Kang had a 13 feet, 3 inches PR that was followed closely by Rogers� 12'3" collegiate PR. Right alongside the pole vault runway, captain Fred Jones (Northfield, MA) battled a head-wind to take first place in the long jump with his best of 22'4". Later in the day, Jones led a trio of Jumbo triple jumpers to the finals. His leap of 48' 1/2" qualified provisionally for the national championships this spring in Wisconsin. Junior Dan Marcy (Middletown, NY) was impressive in his first meet back from injury, distancing a jump of 44'2" from a shortened approach for third place. Freshman Ikenna Acholonu (Shoreline, WA) posted his best series of the outdoor season and seems to be rounding into form as the team prepares for its championship season. He was fifth at 43'7 1/4". Finishing off the jumping events were the high-jumping pair of James Bradley (Atkinson, NH) and Jeremy Arak (Ipswich, MA), who grabbed the top two spots, respectively, with matching 6'5" jumps.

On the track, Jumbo freshmen Jesse Faller (Burlington, MA) and Billy Hale (Menlo Park, CA) qualified for the New England Championships in the 1,500 meters with their times of 4 minutes, 3.77 seconds and 4 minutes, 4.42 seconds, respectively. A solid group of 800-meter Jumbos was led by captain Nate Cleveland (Auburn, ME), whose 1:56.82 closely by Dan Sullivan (Sterling, MA) in 1:58.38 and Jason Hanrahan (Westport, CT) in 1:58.61.

In the hurdles, junior Nate Scott (East Hartford, CT), freshman Andrew Longley (Short Hills, NJ) and captain Dave McCleary (Ellington, CT) would all reset their personal bests in the 400 hurldes. Scott�s 56.27 led the way followed by Longley�s 56.36 and McCleary�s 57.24. McCleary would follow up his 400IH PR with another in the javelin. His toss of 174' 10" was good for second place. Juniors Joe Brown and David Igbalajobi added strong performances in the throws, posting qualifying marks in the hammer throw and discus. Brown was the runner-up in the Discus at 124' 6".

Tufts saved the most exciting event for last. The two Tufts 4x400m relay teams raced neck and neck for 1,600 meters only to have the outcome decided by less than 0.10 seconds. The two squads clocked in at 3:20.56 and 3:20.65. With three consecutive hand-offs made simultaneously, the eight athletes ran stride for stride with the only difference being senior Dustin Virgilio�s (Pittsfield, MA) literal dive across the finish line to out-lean freshman Scott Brinkman (Alamo, CA).

The MIT Spring Invitational marked the end of the regular season for the 2007 Jumbos. Tufts� championship meets begin next weekend at Middlebury College with the NESCAC Championships. Tufts has finished second at the past two NESCAC Championships and looks to improve on last year�s 118.5 point showing.