Sandwiched between last weekend’s America East Championship and a pair of conference championship events taking place next week, the number of Terriers competing in this weekend’s New England Championships at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center felt strangely low.
But with three second-place medals for the women and four point-scoring top-eight finishes by the men, those who competed made their presence known. The Terrier women took sixth place with 36 points, and the men finished in 13th with 17.
‘We had a limited number of people competing this weekend because we came off the conference meet last weekend,’ BU coach Robyne Johnson said. ‘We didn’t have a full team effort, but I thought the ones who competed did a good job.’
With many athletes from both teams held out, the weekend was more about giving a few of those athletes who had qualified for this meet an opportunity to improve and prepare for next weekend’s larger conference championship events: the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships for the women, and the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America’ championships for the men.
‘I guess it’s more important. It’s a more prestigious event,’ sophomore Dan Withrow said of the IC4A. ‘We’ve had bigger meets, but they’re just open meets where you have around 2,500 to 3,000 athletes. You qualified to get here.’
Withrow, a shot-putter, qualified for the IC4A at last weekend’s America East event with a new personal-record throw of just shy of 52 feet. He came into this weekend’s event looking to prepare for next week, and wound up crushing that mark by more than a foot. His 53-foot toss on Saturday was good for fourth place.
‘I was really more focused on just getting a good throw in, getting ready for next week,’ Withrow said. ‘I did not expect to [set a personal record] by this much, and it was a great feeling.’
Senior Katie Weider, who will also appear in next weekend’s championships, finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 11.75 seconds, which came close to a previous personal record. Still, Weider expressed some disappointment with the finish, which was just 0.2 seconds out of first place.
‘It went okay. I wasn’t in a good position most of the time. I was, like, boxed in a lot, but it was strong,’ Weider said. ‘I mean, this is the third year in a row I got second here, so I’m not happy with it. The time was good, but I wish, I wish I’d won.’
Senior Edwina Clark leapt 5.62 meters to finish second in the women’s long jump Friday ‘-‘- just three centimeters out of first place. Junior Whitney Ford’s 5.47-meter jump landed her at sixth in the event, and she would also take second place in the triple jump, covering 12.17 meters.
Senior Rebecca Marshburn reached the finals in the 55-meter hurdles and finished in seventh place with a time of 8.48 seconds. Less than an hour later, she and sophomore Laura Martin lined up for the final 400-meter dash, finishing in fifth and eighth place, respectively.
‘Rebecca always shows up . . . She did an excellent job,’ Johnson said. ‘It is difficult coming back that quickly to run another event, but because of the training that she’s done over the past years, and especially this year, she was able to come back to do that.’
A third-place finish in the 55-meter hurdle by senior Jason Nardella and Withrow’s new personal best in the shot put accounted for 11 of the men’s team’s 17 points. Nardella did ‘a good job,’ Johnson said, and may have taken first place had he not clipped the fifth hurdle.
Freshman Balint Horvath and junior Jeff Moreau accounted for the rest of the scoring, placing fourth and eighth, respectively, in the 800-meter run.
The ECAC and IC4A championships will include only those athletes whose personal bests on the season qualified them for participation. The ECACs include women from 54 schools, and the IC4As are made up of men from 102 schools from East Coast conferences.
‘They’re really prestigious meets, especially the IC4A. It’s the oldest conference in the country,’ Johnson said. ‘Qualifying for them, first of all, is quite an accomplishment, and then you try to do well in them.’