Men’s and Women’s Track and Field compete in DIII Nationals

The MIT men sit in fourth place while the women are 22nd after the first day of the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field championship at Grinnell College. Bolstered by three All-America performances, the men totaled 11 points while the women scored in one event Friday and currently have four points.

Senior Nathan E. Peterson had the top individual showing of the day, placing fifth in the pole vault. Peterson was one of four athletes to vault 16-3.25 feet and earned fourth on total attempts.

Senior Chinedum K. Umachi landed on the All-America podium thanks to his sixth-place showing in the weight throw with a 61-11.75-foot effort.

Both of MIT’s distance medley relay squads earned points for the Engineers, as the men’s and women’s groups each collected fifth-place finishes. The men’s group of sophomores Justin L. Bullock and Tyler S. Singer-Clark, and juniors Kyle J. Hannon and Patrick K. Marx, ran a time of 10:02.41. The women’s squad — consisting of seniors Jamie L. Simmons and Martha M. Gross, sophomore Louise E. van den Heuvel, and freshman Cindy Y. Huang — also took fifth in 11:53.85.

In preliminary heats, Portia M. Jones ’12 earned a spot in the final of the 60-meter hurdles, beating out the ninth-place finisher by 0.001 seconds. Four athletes were separated by less than one one-hundredth of a second for the final spot in the championship heat, including Jacqueline A. Brew ’14.

Also competing on Friday were Samuel G. Parker ’15, who placed 13th in the 800-meter, and Lauren B. Kuntz ’13, who took 13th in the pole vault.

Simmons and Jones failed to qualify for the finals during the 400-meter prelims.

Set to compete on Saturday for Tech will be Elaine D. McVay ’15 in the 5000 meter, as well as the men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relays and Jones’ final of the 60-meter hurdles.