March 6, 2014

Whitaker and Lundkvist Race Towards NCAA Championships

Sophomore Kelsey Whitaker (Kingston, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) and senior Amelia Lundkvist (So. Portland, Maine/Cheverus) ran the sixth- and 11th-fastest mile times in Division III yesterday, and are almost assuredly heading to the NCAA Indoor Championships next weekend.

The Judges competed yesterday at the Tufts Last Chance meet. Several other Brandeis competitors are within striking distance of qualifying, and will compete at the ECAC Championships tonight and tomorrow.

Whitaker and Lundkvist both set ran sub-five minute miles for the first time in their careers. Whitaker finished first in the field with a time of 4:57.15, while Lundkvist timed in at 4:59.38. For NCAA purposes, those are converted into even faster times of 4:54.24 and 4:56.45 (Tufts has a flat track, which is slightly more difficult to complete. Nationals will be run on a banked track). The top 17 women's runners will head to nationals, and with competition ending this weekend, it is a near certainty that Whitaker and Lundkvist will be there.

4:54.24 leaves Whitaker just four seconds behind the fastest runner in Division III this year.

Senior Victoria Sanford (Andover, N.Y./Andover) finished in fourth with an (unconverted) time of 5:06.77. Sanford's time of 5:00.44 from a meet at Tufts on January 31 has her 25th in the country in the mile. She has an outside chance of qualifying for nationals, as some of the runners above her may choose to compete in other events. Last season, the 32nd-fastest runner in the mile was invited to compete.

Sanford will run the mile in ECACs tomorrow, as will Lundkvist. Lundkvist, an All-American in cross country, has competed in just three meets this season due to injury.

Junior Kristi Pisarik (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) placed sixth, running in 5:37.01.

On the men's side, senior Vincent Asante (Bronx, N.Y./High School for Arts Imagination and Inquiry) finished second in the 60-meter dash prelims with a time of 7.03 seconds. He was third in the final, timing in at 7.06. Asante's time of 6.98, set at the Dartmouth Relays in January, is currently tied for 45th in the country (the top 15 men will qualify). The senior will compete in the ECACs, with the prelims happening this evening, and the final coming tomorrow.

Junior Mohamed Sidique (Harlem, N.Y./St. Raymond H.S. for Boys) finished sixth in the long jump, leaping a new career-best 6.48 meters. Sidique is currently 23rd in the country in the triple jump, with his personal-best distance of 14.18 meters coming at the UAA Championships in Gosman last weekend. He will compete in the triple jump at ECACs later today.

Several other Brandeis runners will compete at ECACs. Rookie Maddie Dollins (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) finds herself just outside of the top 50 nationally in the 5k, and will race later today. On the men's side, rookie Matt Doran (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) will run the mile, while classmate Quinton Hoey (Watertown, Conn./Watertown) will compete in the 5k.

The Judges are also ranked 18th in the women's distance medley relay from their time at UAAs. Only the top 10 relay teams qualify for nationals, and Brandeis will not compete in the event again.

The NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln, Neb., next Friday and Saturday.

Click here for a full list of top Division III times and distances.