Nichols Runs Nation's Fastest 3,000 in Men's Track Season Debut

Billy Witrock ran with the 4x4 which lowered its nationally-ranked time

MEDFORD - Senior Tim Nichols of the Tufts University men's indoor track & field team continued his outstanding 2016-17 season on Saturday by running the nation's fastest time and setting a new school record in the 3,000 meters at the Tufts Stampede held at the Gantcher Center.

Five of the nation's top six times in the 3,000 were run at Tufts on Saturday led by Nichols' 8:21.51 finish. He won the race over MIT's Matthew Deyo, who timed 8:23.36. Tufts senior tri-captain Luke O'Connor, who like Nichols was making his track-season debut today, finished in 8:24.21 to record the nation's third-fastest time as of 8:00 Saturday night.

Both Nichols and O'Connor were under the school record in the 3K, a 16-year old 8:24.24 mark established in 2001 by former outdoor steeplechase national champion David Patterson. The Jumbo duo of Nichols and O'Connor picked up where they left off during the cross country season, when Nichols was third and O'Connor was 20th at the NCAA Championship. Nichols was also the NESCAC and NCAA Regional winner in cross country.

Sophomore Henry Hintermeister made a strong surge on Saturday to win the hepthathlon event. He was sixth after Friday's four events with a 2,370 score, but piled on 1,849 points in three Saturday events to win with a 4,219 total. He scored 793 points with an 8.79 mark in the 60-meter hurdles and added 699 with his 2:56.47 in the 1,000 meter dash. He won by a slim seven-point margin over Assumption's Kevin Hack (4,212). Hintermeister's score ranks 16th nationally.

Senior Blake Coolidge broke his own school record in the 60-meter dash on Saturday. In a huge field of 53 entrants, he made the final with a school-record 7.03 preliminary and then won the event with even faster 7-flat to lower the school mark even more.

The Jumbos posted national top 25 marks in two other events. Sophomore Josh Etkind won the 60-meter hurdles in 8.40 seconds (24th) and the Tufts 4x4 lowered its national mark with a 3:25.50 victory today. The foursome of junior Andrew DiMaiti, Coolidge, freshman Billy Witrock and senior Nick Usoff are ranked 21st nationally.

Tufts wins also came from freshman Jordan Abate in the 400 (51.42), sophomore Hiroto Watanabe in the 600 (1:22.35) and sophomore Colin Raposo in the 1,000 (2:32.10). 

Sophomore Charles Pennington cleared a personal-best 6'4" (1.93m) in the high jump finals for third place.

The Jumbos are home again next Saturday when they host the Cupid Challenge at Gantcher.