Recap | Results
Ajayi’s Top-Ten Finish Leads Tufts Men’s Track & Field at NCAA Outdoor Championships
CLAREMONT, CA - Four members of the Tufts men's track & field team competed at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships hosted by Claremont McKenna College on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
McMurray University (TX) won the national title with 66 points. Wisconsin La-Crosse and Wisconsin-Stout rounded out the top-three with 47 and 38 points respectively. Middlebury was the top New England team in ninth overall with 21 points. With no top-eight All-American finishes, the Jumbos did not score any points.
Tufts athletes put forth a solid effort nonetheless. Action got started on Thursday evening with the 10,000 meter run. All runners were forced to battle through 20-25 mph wind gusts which made sustaining a quick pace very difficult. Junior Tyler Andrews (Concord, MA) came into the race seeded 17th but was able to move up six spots to finish in 11th overall with a time of 31:18.41.
Junior Mike Blair (Wellesley, MA) was also in action on Thursday as he competed in the decathlon, which wrapped up on Friday. He came into the meet seeded 20th and finished in that position with a score of 5,880 points. He performed very well in the high jump, taking sixth with his clearance of 6'2 3/4" (1.90m). In the 110 hurdles, he clocked a time of 16.16 to score 715 points, his highest total in any event.
After Blair finished the decathlon on Friday evening, classmate Jeff Marvel (Naples, FL) took to the track in the preliminaries of the 800 meter run, the event in which he was an All-American during the indoor season. After battling a foot injury over the last two weeks, Marvel clocked a time of 1:54.90 which was not among the nine fastest to advance to Saturday's final.
On Saturday, junior Gbola Ajayi (Lagos, Nigeria) competed in the triple jump. He was unable to replicate his sixth-place All-American finish from the indoor season, but had a solid showing nonetheless. His best jump of 48'0 1/2" (14.64m) was good enough for tenth overall.
Despite not scoring at the national meet, the Jumbos have made great strides from last year. Nine members of the team competed at the national level over the indoor and outdoor season, compared to only three during the 2011 campaign. Additionally, all nine of those athletes will return next year, meaning the future looks very bright for coach Ethan Barron's squad.