Amherst, Mass. - In a rather ironic turn of events, last weekend's Tufts Snowflake Classic prove to be much warmer than Amherst's Spring Fling, a meet where the Judges faced off against fierce Division III competitors like Worcester Polytechnic Institute and NESCAC schools including Amherst College, Connecticut College, Trinity College and Williams College. Eventually, the sun came out and the Judges walked away with thirteen individual scorers (including three event-winning athletes) and two scoring relays.
In his first collegiate win, sophomore Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass. / Greenfield) won the shot put with a massive PR of 13.11 meters (43 feet, 0.25 inches). Improving upon his previous best (12.32m) by nearly 80 centimeters, there was only one other thrower within a foot of Grote's winning mark. Grote not only won the event, earning 7 points for the team, but he is now ranked eighth in shot put in the University Athletic Association (UAA). Grote also competed in discus where he threw 36.06m (118' 4") for fourth place, earning an additional three points. Grote's 10 points nearly constitutes one-fourth of the team's total 42 points.
Usual suspects sophomore Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass. / North Quincy) and senior Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore. / York School, Canada) also won their events. In the 1500 meters, Bryson ran 4:42.85 for the win, earning 7 of the women's team's 26 total points. This performance (Bryson's first 1500 of the season) ranks Emily fourth in the UAA, seventh in the Division III New England region, and third in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
Gourde won two events, the 400 and 200 meters, contributing 14 points to his team's 42 point total. In the 400 meters, Gourde ran a season best 49.98 seconds facing a strong headwind on the backstretch, beating out a runner from WPI by 0.01 in a barn-burner on the home stretch. Gourde's performance ranks him fourth in the UAA, ninth in the D-III New England region, and 13th in the ECAC. A few hours later, Gourde won the 200 meters with another season best time of 22.09 seconds. Gourde is now ranked second in the UAA, sixth in the D-III New England region, and seventh in the ECAC.
The Judges boasted another ten individual point scorers as well as the men's and women's scoring 4x100 meter relays. The women shined in the field events. Rookie Kayla Fahey (Kingston, Mass. / Silver Lake Regional) lept a collegiate best 5.14m (16' 10.5") in the long jump to place 3rd, earning 4 points. This mark bumps her up from 7th to 4th in the UAA and qualifies her for the D-III New England Outdoor Championship, ranking her 16th in the region. Junior Beth Deffossez (Boxford, Mass. / Masconomet Regional) scored 3rd in the pole vault by clearing 2.75m (9' 0.25") to earn 4 points. Junior Jordin Carter (Fort Wayne, Ind. / R. Nelson Snyder) earned sixth in both the shot put and the hammer throw. In shot put, Carter threw 10.61m (34' 9.75"), an outdoor PR only 3 centimeters off of her all-time PR set this past indoor season. In the hammer throw, Carter threw another season best of 35.47m (116' 4").
On the track, rookie Lydia Harris (Damariscotta, Maine / Lincoln Academy) placed in the 400 meter hurdles, running 1:12.35 for fifth place for 2 points. Sophomore Maya Sands-Bliss (Williamsburg, Mass. / Amherst Regional) ran 1:02.58 in the 400 meters for fourth, earning 3 points.
For the men, Regan Charie (Topsfield, Mass. / Masconomet Regional) stood out on the track for the Judges, earning 3rd, and 4 points, with a PR of 11.17 seconds. This time improves Charie's UAA ranking from 8th to 4th and puts him at twelfth in the D-III New England region. Besides Charie and Gourde, the men had most of their success in the field events. In his first time triple jumping this season, rookie Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Westminster Academy) took second to earn 5 points with 12.97m (42' 6.75"). This mark ranks Perry sixth in the UAA and 16th in the D-III New England region. Sophomore Henry McDonald (Weymouth, Mass. / Weymouth) earned 4th in the long jump, earning 3 points, with a jump of 6.04m (19' 9.75").
Two Judges scored in the high jump: senior Mark Franklin (Auburn, N.H. / Pinkerton Academy) and rookie Jack Allan (Wretham, Mass. / King Phillip Regional). Franklin cleared 1.79m (5' 10.75") for fourth place, earning 3 points. By clearing this height, Franklin moved from ninth to a 4-way tie for sixth in the UAA. Allan cleared 1.74m (5' 8.5") for sixth place and 1 point.
Rounding out the scorers are the men's and women's 4x100 meter relays. The women's team went 52.56 seconds for 4th and the men's team went 44.67 seconds for fifth.
The Judges return to action at the Connecticut College-hosted Silfen Invitational at the end of this week, with some athletes competing Friday and the full squad competing Saturday. This is the Judges' last meet before they depart for UAAs, hosted by the University of Chicago, the following weekend.
By Henry McDonald '19