Ninth-ranked Haverford rallies on final day to claim Centennial Conference title
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. -- Ninth-ranked Haverford defended its Centennial Conference title by capturing the 2013 championship on Sunday afternoon at Patterson Field on the campus of Ursinus College. Junior Christopher Stadler was named the meet's outstanding track performer after winning the 10,000-meter dash Friday and the 5,000m Sunday afternoon.
A 31-point swing in the 5,000m moved the Fords from 15.5 behind Johns Hopkins to 15.5 points ahead in the three-day meet's final individual event. Haverford earned the team title with 182 points to outdistance runner-up Johns Hopkins by 9.5 points. Host Ursinus was third with 107 points.
The Fords entered the final day of the championship trailing Hopkins, but opened Sunday by slicing into the deficit with a win in the 4x100 relay. Haverford's Jeffrey Ainsley, Sam Callon, Jonathan Yellets and James Torain raced to the title 22 seconds ahead of the Hopkins quartet.
The team lead changed after the 1,500m, in which the Fords earned four of the eight scoring spots, including Jordan Schilit's win and Charlie Marquardt's second-place finish. Michael Riccio was fifth and Ivo Milic-Strkalj was seventh to help Haverford forge a 6.5 point advantage against the Blue Jays.
Ainsley improved the margin for the Fords in the next event, running to second place in the 110m hurdles with a career-best time of 15.51 seconds.
The Blue Jays cut into the advantage in the 400 with two runners in the top eight, but Yellets' fourth-place finish helped Haverford hold onto the lead for another event. Hopkins erased the deficit with three scorers in the 100m dash to move in front by 1.5 points.
The lead grew after the 800m as Hopkins earned a first, third and seventh place in the event, while a Haverford foursome slipped back in the placings. Marquardt was fourth for Haverford with Gebby Keny in fifth, Schilit in sixth and Milic-Strkalj in eighth.
After the Blue Jays moved ahead by 10.5 points following the 400 hurdles, a strong showing by a trio of Fords in the 200m cut two points away from the deficit. Callon finished fourth, Ainsley was seventh and Yellets was eighth. Gibby Graves' career-best leap of 13.86 meters (45 feet, 5.75 inches) was good for second place in the triple jump, but Hopkins finished with a third, fourth and fifth place to increase its lead to 15.5 points with the 5,000m and the relay remaining on the event list.
Early on in the 5,000 a trio of runners broke from the pack, led by Dickinson's Andrew Fine. Haverford's Peter Kissin and Stadler were the other two in the lead pack.
Two-thirds of the way through the race the Haverford duo made their move and broke past Fine on either side entering a curve, ending the Dickinson threat to the event title.
Behind the front trio, three more Fords settled in with a larger pack sprinkled with several of Fine's teammates and a pair of Hopkins runners.
As Kissin and Stadler improved their lead through the final third of the race, the second pack began to spread out and the trio of Fords made their move. Avi Bregman moved to the front of the pack with teammates David Roza and Brian Sokas in tow.
Stadler pulled away from Kissin in the final laps, while Bregman raced past Fine into third. Roza passed Fine on the final lap and Sokas overtook the lead Hopkins runner on the final backstretch. By the time the finish line came upon the runners Stadler had set a Centennial championship record with a winning time of 14:39.85. Kissin was 10 seconds back in second with Bregman close behind in third and Roza a step behind in fourth. Sokas held on for sixth to help Haverford score 32 points and clinch the team title with the 31 point turnaround.