|Thomas Doyle anchored the Jumbo 4x4|
BOSTON - The Tufts University men's indoor track & field team placed ninth at the 2017 New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICCA) Championships held at the Reggie Lewis Center on Friday and Saturday.
The team finish replaces a 10th-place showing at the 2005 NEICAAA meet as the Jumbos' best since 2000 (prior records were not immediately available). The event features New England Division I, II and III teams. Tufts scored 27.2 points in the two days, adding 11 on Saturday to the 16.2 they totaled on Friday.
Saturday's top Tufts finisher was the 4x400-meter relay. The Jumbo team of junior Andrew DiMaiti, senior co-captain Nick Usoff, freshman Billy Witrock and sophomore Thomas Doyle combined on a season-best 3:18.31 time for fourth place, scoring five team points. The mark will be converted for national ranking purposes due to the banked track at the arena. Tufts' converted time of around 3:21.5 will be at the back end of the national top 20.
Tufts sophomore Josh Etkind broke his own school record and improved his national ranking in the 60-meter hurdles on Saturday. He was second in the preliminaries with an 8.16 time. That was 0.09 faster than the 8.25 school record that he ran last year. This year's time is ranked seventh nationally as of Saturday at 5:30 p.m. In the NEICAAA final today, Etkind was seventh to score two team points with an 8.29 finish.
Freshman Robert Jones had his turn leading the Jumbos' sprint contingent by placing eighth in 60-meter dash scoring one team point. He ran 7.05 in the final after notching a 7.04 that was seventh in preliminaries to qualify as one of eight finalists. Senior Blake Coolidge was just outside of the qualifying eight in the 60 dash with a 7.068 mark (10th).
DiMaiti scored two more team points with his seventh in the 400 meters final (50.94). The 4x800-meters relay also contributed a point with an eighth-place showing of 7:53.49. Junior Tom DePalma, freshman Roman Lovell, freshman Matthew D'Anieri and sophomore Christian Swenson were the foursome which ran Tufts' season-best time in the event.
Sophomore Colin Raposo's ninth in the mile run with a 4:17.20 was just 0.81 off of a scoring spot. Etkind was also 14th in triple jump 44'7 1/2" (13.60m) on Saturday.
On Friday, junior Stefan Duvivier had won the high jump (6'10 3/4" - 2.10m) to score 10 team points for the Jumbos. Senior Luke O'Connor added six points for his third in the 5K (14:52.11) also on Friday.
Host Northeastern University won the All-New England Championship with a 111 score. The Jumbos were third among Divison III teams.
Tufts will host the Last Chance Qualifier at the Gantcher Center next Saturday, leading up to the NCAA meet the following week.