The Brandeis men’s and women’s track teams have had a strong start to their outdoor season. Due to the shorter nature of the outdoor season’s schedule, the Judges are about to begin championship meets. The four non-playoff meets that the Judges have participated in thus far have all resulted in strong individual performances as well as triumphant group wins. Here’s how the season has looked so far for the Judges. 

Sean Collier Invitational

Most recently, the Judges made a short trip downtown to the Sean Collier Invitational meet hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The highlight of the meet was a school record being broken in the men’s 200 meter dash. Graduate student Irie Gourde ’17 has had a wildly successful year as a runner, topping it all off by breaking the school record for the men’s 200m by .47 seconds. Gourde also set a personal record in the 200 and 100 meter dashes, qualifying him for the New England Division III meet in two weeks time. 

On the women’s side, it was their distance runners that made the headlines for the Judges. In the 800m, Doyin Ogundiran ’19 ran 2:16.80 for third and was followed closely by both Valdez twins with Lisbeth Valdez ’21 running 2:20.47 for seventh and Leinni Valdez   ’21 running 2:21.48 for 11th. All three times met the standard for the DIII NE. The 1500m had an even tighter pack of Judges taking first, fourth and fifth. Julia Bryson ’19 took home the win in a time of 4:47.44. Kyra Shreeve ’18 was fourth, with a time of 4:53.87, while Meaghan Barry ’19 crossed the line with a time of 4:55.34 for fifth. Bryson’s time qualifies her for the Division III New England Championships. Both teams had other runners qualify as well. 

Silfen Invitational

Emily Bryson ’19 made her season debut on Friday night of the meet, pacing the 1500m pool and winning the event in 4:37.57, a full two seconds faster than her closest competitor. Danielle Bertaux ’20 also had a huge event on Friday, setting a PR by over 42 seconds to place third in the 5000 meter. Senior captain Ryan Stender ’18 also recorded an 8 second PR to place 10th in the 5000m. Saturday saw more success for the Judges. Gourde had success both personally, winning the 200m, and as a relay, combining with Regan Charie ’19, first-year Patrick Quinlan ’21 and Churchill Perry ’20 to place third in the 4x400. The women’s 4x400 relay team of Kayla Fahey ’20, Lisbeth Valdez ’21, Maya Sands-Bliss ’19 and Doyin Ogundiran ’19 had similar success, placing third by running the event in a time of 4:06.35. Jack Allan ’20, Scott Grote ’19, Beth Befossez ’18 and Aaron Corin ’20 all placed in the top 10 in their respective events. 

Amherst Invitational

The Judges continued their march toward championship season in the Amherst Invitational. The men’s team had a very successful day, scoring 68 points and placing second overall at the meet. This was mostly fueled by three individual wins from Gourde in the 400m, Scott Grote ’19 in the discus and Churchill Perry ’20 in the triple jump. Charie also had a very good personal day, taking home second in the 100m and 3rd in the 200m, while also anchoring a 4x100 team that finished 3rd. The freshman also showed out for the men’s team. Josh Lombardo ’21, Allan, Kevin Truong ‘21, Michael Leung ’21, Corin, Breylen Ammen ’21, and Tanner Richards ’21 were all points scorers for the men. 

For the women, Fahey placed 2nd in both the 400m hurdles and the long jump. In the 800m, the third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and ninth place finishers were all Brandeis athletes.  Kanya Brown placed 6th in the 100m. Niamh Kenny ’21 made her debut in the 5000m, finishing 5th. In the 100m hurdles, Lydia Harris ’20 placed 5th while Tessa Holleran ’21 followed her closely in 6th place.  

The Judges will return to action on Saturday as they travel to Carnegie Mellon University for the University Athletic Association outdoor championships. Following that, they will make a short trip to MIT to compete in the New England Division III outdoor championships. The following week will see the Judges compete in the NEICAAA championships hosted by Dartmouth College. After the last chance meet at MIT, the Judges will travel to Wisconsin to run in the NCAA championships.