Tuesday, April 16, 2024

W&M’s Brian Walsh Wins CAA Heptathlon Championship in Record-Setting Fashion

(Tribe Athletics)

NEW YORK — William & Mary freshman Brian Walsh won the CAA Heptathlon title on Friday afternoon at The Armory to highlight the Tribe’s performance at the 2024 CAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Sitting in second place and trailing by 40 points entering the final event, Walsh claimed gold by winning the 1,000m in a time of 2:50.06. He shattered CAA, meet and school records in the event by totaling 5,173 points over the seven events. Walsh topped the CAA record by nearly 200 points, W&M’s school mark by over 200 points and the meet record by over 300 points.

A trio of Tribe performers earned podium finishes on Friday. Fifth year Keeley Suzenski and senior Megan Heidebrecht both earned sliver medals in the shot put and triple jump, respectively, while sophomore Jonathan Kumer won bronze in the 800m.

As a team, the Tribe finished fifth on the men’s side with 63.5 points and the women’s team took seventh  at 50 points. Northeastern won both the men’s (153 points) and women’s (119.5 points) titles.

Along with Walsh winning the event, the Tribe placed two more competitors among the top eight. Juniors Gabriel Albers and Cole Harris finished sixth (4,456 points) and eighth (4,217 points), respectively.

Walsh opened the day with a fourth-place finish in the 60m hurdles and a third-place effort in the pole vault (4.05m). Walsh’s 60m hurdles time of 8.64 is the ninth-fastest in school history.

Albers finished fifth in the 60m hurdles with the 10th-fastest time in school history at 8.65. He also took seventh in both the pole vault (3.25m) and the 1,000m (2:59.65). Harris was fourth in the pole vault (3.55m), before closing out the heptathlon in third in the 1,000m (2:54.83).

Shot Put
Suzenski turned in her two best tosses in the final pair of attempts. After posting a 14.70m on her fifth throw, she capped the championships with her best put of 14.84m to finish second. Her final attempt ranks as one of the top-10 marks in school history.

On the men’s side, sophomores Jason Nwosu and Ross Bazzichi finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Nwosu posted a distance of 15.46m followed by Bazzichi at 15.08m.

Triple Jump
Heidebrecht recorded a career-best leap of 12.44m in finishing second in the triple jump. Her mark ranks second in school history. The distance also topped the previous CAA Meet Record and ranks among the top-100 nationally this season.

Kumer garnered a bronze medal in the 800m. The sophomore turned in a time of 1:51.50, improving by four tenths of second from his qualifying time on Thursday.

After racing to a school-record mark in qualifying, freshman Jacob Robinson just missed topping his time in the final, but earned points for the Tribe in the 400m. The Tribe rookie ran a 48.48 to finish sixth. His time was 22 hundredths off his school-record mark from Thursday and ranks as the third-best 400m time in school history.

In the mile, three Tribe runners earned points on the men’s side. Fifth year Jacob Jones led the way in fifth place in time of 4:10.53 followed closely by junior Luke Ellwood just 13 hundredths back in sixth. Ellwood’s time of 4:10.66 was a personal best. Sophomore Brendan DiStefano rounded out the scoring group in eighth place at 4:12.14. He earned the final scoring position by outracing Northeastern’s James Pothier by just 13 hundredths of a second.

In the 3000m, junior Arianna DeBoer earned points for the Tribe, placing fourth in a time of 9:33.23. The mark was not only a personal best but ranked 11th in school history. It also topped the previous CAA Meet record.

Along with DeBoer, sophomore Catherine Garrison (9:45.03) and senior Kyra Holland (9:51.02) each posted career bests in the 3000m.

The quartet of Robinson, freshman David Seekford, Kumer, and sophomore Austin Rice took fourth in the 4x400m relay. The group turned in the fourth-best time in school history at 3:15.44.

On the women’s side, senior Lizzy Gregory, freshman Jamison Gilmore, senior Makenzie Joiner, and junior Emily Ervin placed sixth in a time of 3:50.52.

Both the men’s and women’s team turned in top-15 times in school history in the 4x800m relay.

Junior Lucy Young, freshman Becca Harkness, sophomore Jennifer Tsai, and senior Molly Coyle ran the 10th-fastet time in school history. The group placed fourth in a time of 9:09.18.

On the men’s side, Jones, fifth year Stephen Larson, sophomore Lucas Thompson, and senior Sam Pritchard placed fourth in 7:40.92. The time ranks 15th in school history.

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