Athletics

Amherst Men Earn Program's Best Finish; Scheetz Wins 800

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Photos by Elaine Yochum.
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COLUMBUS, OH – The Amherst College men's indoor track and field team earned a program-record 18 points to finish sixth at the NCAA Championships, while Ben Scheetz '12 (Lancaster, PA) was named Most Outstanding Track Performer of the Meet. The Amherst women ran a pair of great races and earned one point during the weekend at Capital University.

The 1998 Amherst men’s team held the program record for highest finish at the indoor national championships (T-6th) and the 2010 squad set a new school standard with 17 points at last year's Nationals, but this year’s group surpassed both marks by taking sole possession of sixth place thanks to its 18 points.

Scheetz’s Most Outstanding Performer honor was well deserved, as he survived a gauntlet of events and became only the second male in program history to win a national title. Highlighting his Saturday was a win in the 800-meter run, as his time of 1:51.26 marked a new Capital Center Track record and was .06 seconds ahead of the runner-up. The only other Lord Jeff to earn an indoor national title is Robert Mitchell ’99, who won the 800 in 1998 and the 1,500-meter run in 1999.

Scheetz also placed fourth in the 400-meter dash on Saturday, coming in at 48.66 seconds. He helped Amherst place sixth in the 4x400-meter relay, joining Andrew Reed ’12 (Riverside, CT), Tommy Moore ’11 (Marlborough, MA) and Matt Melton ’14 (Wall, NJ) for a time of 3:20.87. Scheetz was the only competitor to attempt both the 400 and 800 on the weekend, giving him little time to rest between races.

Rounding out the Amherst men on Saturday was Will Yochum ’11 (Goleta, CA), who wrapped up his indoor career by placing ninth in the mile run with a time of 4:19.02. Amherst and Bates (17 points) finished well ahead of the rest of the NESCAC, as Williams was next with six points in 29th place. North Central College took home the men’s title with 45 points, just barely edging Central (44), Wisconsin La Crosse (43) and Wisconsin Oshkosh (42).

Earning the Amherst women’s lone point on the weekend was Melissa Sullivan ’12 (Dallas, TX), who completed Saturday’s mile run in five minutes and two seconds, giving her the eighth and final scoring spot in the event. Also representing the Lord Jeffs was sophomore Ali Simeone (Stoneham, MA), who placed 10th in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:26.96.

With an incredibly successful indoor season in the books, Amherst will begin its outdoor schedule on Mar. 26, when the Lord Jeffs are scheduled to travel to Westfield State for the Jerry Gravel Classic. With the likes of Scheetz and Yochum leading the way, Amherst could be in store for one of the most successful outdoor seasons in program history.

RESULTS * INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION INTERVIEWS * FRIDAY RECAP

2011 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships (Amherst Scoring)
Men's 4x400-Meter Relay – 6th (3 points)
Men's 400-Meter Dash – 4th (5 points)
Men's 800-Meter Run – 1st (10 points)
Women's 1 Mile Run – 8th (1 point)