Track & Field Wraps Up Competition at NCAA East Regional
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Junior Henry Tufnell (Cirencester, England) qualified for nationals in the 800 meters to highlight three days of competition as the Brown men's and women's track & field teams took part in the final day at the NCAA East Preliminary Saturday at North Florida's Hodges Stadium.
On Saturday, junior Courtland Clavette (Asheville, N.C.) placed 20th overall in the discus with a toss of 179-08. Also on the final day, senior Heidi Caldwell (Hanover, N.H.) topped off her collegiate career with a 24-place finish in the 5,000 meters, as she crossed the line in a time of 16:32.79.
In addition to Tufnell, senior Evan Weinstock (Las Vegas, Nev.) advanced directly to the nationals in the decathlon, since the event is not part of the preliinary round.
"Heidi and Courtland both competed hard, but were a little off today," said Tim Springfield, Director of Track & Field. "Overall, we were a short of where we want to be in terms of our number of qualifiers, but getting two athletes on to the nationals is still a positive step forward.
After an impressive preliminary run in the 800 meters on Thursday, Tufnell put together another top-notch performance in Friday's quarterfinals, as he finished 10th overall to advance to the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Ore. Tufnell placed fourth in his heat with a personal-best time of 1:47.99, marking the second-best all-time in program history. The junior came into the weekend seeded 48th overall in the event.
"Henry ran a tremendous race," said Springfield. "Tactically perfect, and then when it got hard, he dug deep down the stretch. He's worked very hard to put himself in this position, and it was terrific to see him seize the opportunity he had tonight."
Senior Victoria Buhr (Cheboygan, Mich.) placed 15th overall and reached the finals in the discus on Friday with a personal-best toss of 171-01, but narrowly missed the cut for nationals by just three spots. Sophomore Kebbeh Darpolor (Pecos, Texas) finished 27th in the discus with a throw of 160-11.
"We're disappointed that Tori didn't advance to nationals, but I couldn't ask more of her this year," said Springfield. "She was incredibly consistent at a very high level in a technically demanding event--this isn't easy to do. I would have thought that a PR performance here would have been enough to get her to Eugene, but the field was very strong. Any prior year, 171 breezes into nationals."
Additionally, junior Jordan Mann (St. Louis, Mo.) placed 31st in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:01.88.
On Thursday, freshman Ellie Gravitte (Ridgefield, Conn.) capped off her impressive rookie campaign with a 21st-place finish in the javelin, missing the cut by just five spots with a toss of 46.94 meters.
Senior Holleigh Bergstrom (Eugene, Ore.), junior Heather Vermillion (Visalia, Calif.) and senior Tyler Benster (Mercer Island, Wash.) also competed in the javelin, hammer and 800 meters, respectively.
Tufnell and Weinstock will compete at the NCAA Championships June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.