Smithfield, RI --- The 4x100-meter relay struck gold and sophomore Ben Steeves (Hollis, ME) set a school record as the WPI men's track & field team kicked off the outdoor season with a sixth-place finish Saturday at the Bryant Black and Gold Invitational. Nearly all of the point-producing results also earn entry into the Division III New England Championships, as did some just outside of the top eight.
Division I Rhode Island won the team title with 190 points while Brown was second (101.5), UMass was third (96), Bryant was fourth (90.5) and Holy Cross was fifth (62.5). The Engineers (62) were a half point behind the Crusaders and followed by Siena (52), Merrimack (48), Assumption (35), Division III Rhode Island College (22), Nichols (18.5), Bentley (12) and Hartford (10).
The foursome of junior Nick Fleury (Hopkinton, NH), junior Alex Rus (Newton, MA), sophomore Matt Adiletta (Bolton, MA) and senior Antoine Harris (Southington, CT) clocked a 41.95, which was just .05 ahead of the team from Brown. Steeves, meanwhile, finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.94 and freshman Owen Lally (Lebanon, CT) took eighth (1:58.87). Steeves also ends the week at No. 17 on the NCAA Division III performance list.
Fleury was also eighth in the 400-meter dash (50.80) as Rus was fourth in the 200-meter dash (22.51). Rus and Steeves were joined by freshman Devin Coughlin (Newton, MA) and junior Quinton Schimmel (Monroe Township, NJ) in the 4x400-meter relay that collected seventh-place points with a time of 3:28.58. Earlier in the day, Schimmel was ninth in the 400-meter hurdles (57.47).
Sophomore Johann Bradley (Slidell, LA) was third with a height of 14-1.25 in the pole vault. Freshman Brian Brooks (Brewster, MA) came home fourth (3:59.54) in the 1,500-meter run while senior Ryan Wittenberg (Bedford, NH) was .28 off of a top eight finish with a time of 4:01.62.
Freshman Andrew Whitney (North Kingston, RI) posted a pair of fifth-place performances with an 11.45 in the 100-meter dash and a distance of 21-10 in the long jump. Graduate student Kyle Gerlach (Smithfield, RI) collected valuable points with a fifth-place 10:40.32 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The discus saw senior Lucas Gagne (Franklin, NH) launch the discus 149-1, which was also good for fifth and entry into the NEICAAA (All-New England, All-Divisions) Championships.
Senior Michael Brady (Medway, MA) handed in a sixth-place 32:27.50 in the 10,000-meter run to also qualify for the NEICAAA Championships while sophomore Malek Elshakhs (Storrs, CT) won his section of the 110-meter hurdles with a sixth-place 15.60. Junior Fabian Gaziano (Wilbraham, MA) followed with a D3NE qualifying time of 16.44.
Junior Garth Hull (Arlington, MA) was seventh in the high jump with a clearance of 6-1.5. Classmates Matt Jankowski (Burlington, MA) and Mike Corace (Spotswood, NJ) gained entry into the postseason in the hammer (PR - 142.7.75) and javelin (169-9), respectively.
The Engineers head to the UMass Minutemen Invitational on Saturday.