Teams: Men's Track & Field: Press Releases
Friday, May 2, 2008
TUFTS RUNS IN THE FAMILY FOR TRACK & FIELD'S TRIO
MEDFORD -- Tufts senior Derek Engelking was walking across
campus earlier this year when he came across his sister Kelly. He
knew that she was in her first year at Tufts, but seeing her on
campus for the first time took him by surprise. She had always just
been his little sister at home in Westborough, Massachusetts.
"I kind of did a double-take, and thought to myself,
'When did she get this old'?" Derek said.
In fact, Tufts is just like home to the Engelking's.
Brother Jared is a sophomore at the University as well. All three
siblings are members of the Tufts track & field teams. Each scored
points to help both Jumbo teams place second at the New England
Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championships last
Saturday (Apr. 26) at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. They
are the only trio of siblings on the Tufts campus.
A family of Tufts athletes: Kelly, Derek and
(photo by Alonso Nichols)
Tufts has been in the Engelking family for almost 30
years. Larry Engelking, father of the children, is a Tufts professor
who has taught physiology in the medical and veterinary schools for
28 years. The family lived close to the veterinary school in Grafton
while the kids were growing up. As a teenager, Derek was involved in
a number of school projects at the vet school. He attended some of
his father's medical and veterinary lectures and occasionally
watched the Tufts cross country teams compete on their course at the
"Most kids growing up have a wish-list of where they
would like to go to school," Derek said. "My wish-list consisted of
Tufts. It's a great institution with a lot to offer, and ever since
I was a kid I knew it was where I wanted to go."
Like many student-athletes at Tufts, the Engelking's
were attracted by the combination of world-class academics and a
competitive small-college athletics program. With the exposure they
had to Tufts while growing up, the University was a natural choice
for them. Jared matriculated in 2006 and Kelly enrolled in 2007.
Despite the attention they receive for it, none of the Engelking's
think it is all that fascinating that the three of them are here together. Each is a Tufts student in their own right, busy
with their academics, athletics and social lives.
"Since my brothers both went here before me and
loved it, I knew that I would enjoy Tufts as well," Kelly said. "I
guess they paved the way for me. I don't mind having two older
brothers here with me. Some people's reactions tend to be, 'I would
never go to school with my brothers!' I don't really see any
negative aspects to it. We call each other if we need something, but
we all do our own thing."
Track & field facilities replace their home as the
gathering spot during the school year. The men's and women's teams
practice and compete together. This past weekend, the whole family
convened at Hamilton College for the NESCAC meet. Jared finished
fourth and Derek fifth in the javelin throw. Jared also added a
third place in the 110-meter hurdles. Kelly, competing in her first
outdoor championship meet, placed eighth in the javelin and just
missed scoring in the pole vault with a
Their contributions to the teams over the weekend
are underscored by the fact that each has battled injury woes this
year. Derek, who has also played for the soccer and football teams
at Tufts, has been nagged by hip and hamstring injuries during most
of his senior year. Jared missed the majority of the indoor season
with an ankle injury and is still making up for lost training. The
boys helped the Tufts men win their first New England Division 3
indoor title since 1991 in March. Jared returned from his ankle
injury to anchor the 4x400 meter relay that had Derek in the
lead-off role. Derek also placed third in the pentathlon.
"Together, Derek and Jared occupy eight spots on our
top 10 all-time lists for each event," men's track coach Ethan
Barron said. "They've been slowed by injuries this year, but it
hasn't stopped them. Derek will be competing in another decathlon
this season with the hopes of qualifying for the national
championships. Jared has the same goal. On Saturday, he threw the
javelin farther than all but three people with less than half the
run-up (he took three steps, most competitors use 12)."
Kelly, who vaulted 10 feet in high school, is also a
member of the volleyball team. She sustained a stress fracture
during that season which prevented her from competing in the pole
vault during the indoor season. She did do some throwing for the
team and got quite good at the weight throw. For the outdoor season,
she's back to her natural events and is making great progress.
"She's done very well in the javelin and pole vault
considering she just started training a month ago," women's track
coach Kristen Morwick said. "She's a great athlete like her
brothers. She will be very good for our team."
All multi-talented athletes, the kids have natural
athletic ability and participated in many different sports when they
were growing up.
"Most of the athletic ability in the family comes from my father�s
side," Jared said. "He was a football, golf, basketball, and
baseball player in high school and throughout his life. We were all
competitive growing up. We�ve all been participating in athletics
for as long as I can remember and we would always be participating
in sports year round. We also all did gymnastics for many years,
which definitely improved our athleticism."
Rhonda Engelking, mother of the children, is the
only family member who does not currently go to Tufts on a daily
basis. However, she and Larry are active supporters of the Jumbos,
making it to most all of the volleyball matches and track meets.
With three children in college simultaneously, Rhonda is pleased to
report that the family is getting great value from Tufts.
"When I look at the overall experience they are
receiving, I am extremely pleased that they chose to attend Tufts,"
she said. "They are thriving academically, athletically and
In contrast to their similarities in athletics,
their academic pursuits are varied. Derek graduates in May with a
degree in economics and will attend Brown University's Graduate
School of Public Affairs and Public Policy next year. Jared is a
political science major, and Kelly is in the mechanical engineering
program. The 2007-08 academic year will be the only time that the
three siblings are on campus together. There are no more children in
the family. If there were, chances are great that he or she would
also be a Jumbo.
"Word on the street is that my parents wanted to
have a fourth," Derek said. "I suppose it's a good thing they didn't
because he or she probably would have outdone us all."
Profile written by Paul Sweeney, Sports