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Date: February 23, 2001
Written by Leslie Crofton


MEDFORD -- The Jumbo men will compete with the best track athletes in New England today and tomorrow (Feb. 23-24) at the 2001 All-New England Men's Track and Field Championships at Boston University. The meet, which has very tough qualifying standards for each event, will feature Division I and Division II teams in addition to the Jumbos' usual Division III opponents.

Several standout athletes will be representing the Brown and Blue at this highly competitive meet, which in many events will boast better performances than the Division III National Championships. Tufts distance star Dave Patterson (Northfield, MA) will chase a school record in the 3,000 Meter run. The senior captain is hoping to improve upon his personal best of 8:32.79, run at the Northeastern Husky Invitational on December 2nd. That effort just missed breaking the current record of 8:31.44, set by Mark Hardie in 1983.

Sophomore Bryan Pitko (Arlington, MA) will run the 55 Meter Hurdles, coming off of a 7.74 third-place finish in last week's New England Division III Championships at Tufts. Pitko, whose goal is to place in the top ten, has a shot at accompanying Patterson to the Nationals in OshKosh, Wisconsin in two weeks.

The Distance Medley Relay team is also looking to qualify for Nationals while cracking into the top ten and busting up the Division I dominance typically displayed in that event. Junior Ben Smith (Noank, CT) will lead off with 1,200 Meters, junior Adam Barrar (Lansdale, PA) will run the 400 Meter leg, sophomore Bryant Cohen (Oakton, VA) will follow with 800 Meters, and Patterson will come back in the mile to anchor the relay. The squad will need to run under 10:10 to secure a spot in the national meet.