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Teams: Men's Track & Field: Press Releases

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Date: Monday, February 26, 2001
Written By Michael Douglas


MEDFORD -- The Tufts University Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field teams competed in their respective All-New England Championship meets this past weekend (Feb. 23-24). The meets, which included New England schools from all NCAA divisions, were held at Boston University for the men and at Tufts' newly opened Gantcher Center for the women.

At those meets, two Tufts individuals and one relay foursome broke school records in their respective events. Senior Leslie Crofton (Somerset, MA) came in second place overall in the Mile Run with a record-setting time of 4:59.83. It also automatically qualified her to compete at the NCAA Div. III National Championship meet March 8-10 at Oshkosh, WI. There is no Mile Run at Nationals, so Crofton will compete in the similar 1,500 Meters run.

Senior Dave Patterson (Northfield, MA) placed fourth in the 3,000 Meters run with a time of 8:24.24 at the All-New Englands. That time shattered by more than seven seconds the 18-year old school record set by Mark Hardie (8:31.44). Patterson has automatically qualified to compete at Nationals in the 15,000m and 5,000m races.

Patterson ran the anchor leg in the Distance Medley Relay that included senior Ben Smith (Noank, CT), junior Adam Barrer (Lansdale, PA) and sophomore Bryant Coen (Oakton, VA). The group set a new record with a 10:10.85 time that also smashed the previous mark, a 10:24.21 recorded in 1988.

The Tufts women placed 12th out of a field of 40 schools at the All-New Englands. In addition to Crofton's performance, senior Sarah Deeb (West St. Paul, MN) placed second overall in the 800 Meter run with a time of 2:17.33. Senior Folake Aaron (Edison, NJ) was fifth in the 55 Meter Hurdles with a time of 8.37, only 0.02 seconds behind Kathryn Goodchild of the University of Vermont, who placed fourth. Tufts was the second-highest scoring Division III school at the meet, behind Wheaton College, last year's NCAA Div. III Indoor National Champions.

Deeb's time of 57.27 in the 400 Meters Run at last week's New England Div. III Championships at Brandeis University qualified her to go to the national meet, and is in the top five in the nation. Aaron, currently among the top 10 in the nation, is provisionally qualified to compete at Nationals, as well.

The Tufts men also made a noteworthy showing. The team finished 20th overall and a number of individual athletes joined Patterson in having successful races. Sophomore Bryan Pitko (Arlington, MA) finished in sixth place in the 55m high hurdles with a time of 7.79 seconds. Junior J.R. Cruz (Centereach, NY) also placed sixth in the 5,000 Meters with a time of 14:57.74. The Distance Medley Relay team's record-setting time gave them a sixth-place finish, which has provisionally qualified them to go to the national meet, as well.

Both the men's and women's teams will next compete at the ECAC Championships next weekend at Boston University (Mar. 3).