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Monday, March 14, 2005


MEDFORD – The Tufts University men's indoor track & field team came home with an impressive haul of awards from the 2005 NCAA Division III championship meet hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University on March 11-12.

Six Jumbo athletes earned All-American recognition with their performances at the meet: sophomore Fred Jones (Northfield, MA/Northfield Mt. Hermon), senior Nate Brigham (Penacook, NH/Merrimack Valley), senior Aaron Kaye (Los Altos, CA/Los Altos), junior Trevor Williams (Clifton Park, NY/ Shenendehowa), junior Pat Mahoney (Cranford, NJ/St. Joseph) and junior Matt Fortin (Raymond, ME/North Yarmouth Academy).

Additionally, two members of the program were recognized with regional awards. Jones was selected the NCAA New England Athlete of the Year and head coach Connie Putnam was named NCAA New England Coach of the Year.

Tufts finished the meet tied for 15th place with 10 points, the highest finish of any NESCAC school. The team from Wisconsin La Crosse took the meet handily, amassing 53 points for the win.

Jones had the Jumbos' top finish of the weekend, taking second in the long jump on Friday. His jump of 23 feet, 9 inches (7.26 meters) was just one inch behind first-place finisher Andre Brown of SUNY-Farmingdale's 23'10" leap. Jones scored eight points for Tufts with the runner-up effort. The 23-9 mark tied the school record Jones set earlier this year at the All New England Championships on February 19.

Brigham was Tufts' only other individual competitor at the meet, as a ninth seeded entrant in the 5,000 meter run. The senior improved on his seed to finish the race in eighth place, with an All-American time of 14 minutes, 46.76 seconds.

In addition to the individual performances, Tufts' Distance Medley Relay Team improved upon their ninth-place seed to finish eighth in the event in a very close finish. The team of Kaye, Williams, Mahoney and Fortin came across the line in 10:12.34 to garner All-American recognition.

Earlier this season, Tufts finished second at the New England Division III Championships and 10th at the All-New England Championships. Putnam, in his 21st year with the Jumbos, was the NCAA Division III Cross Country Coach of the Year in the fall. #