Amherst, MA --- Buoyed by school-record performances from Oliver Thomas (Goffstown, NH) and Benjamin Steeves (Hollis, ME), the WPI men's track and field team placed second overall at the UMass Amherst Minuteman Invitational on Saturday.
Thomas and Steeves both updated entries in the all-time WPI record books, as WPI compiled 128 points. UMass won with 170 team points, while the Engineers finished ahead of Division I BU (82), UVM (76), and Harvard (44).
Thomas lowered his own record in the 110-meter hurdles, going 14.38, which is currently the second-fastest time in NCAA Division III. Steeves took down the 800-meter record in a speedy 1:51.41, besting the time of two-time WPI All-American, Ryan Wittenberg '19.
Overall, WPI student-athletes piled up 22 top-five finishes at the mostly Division I event. Aside from the record-breaking performances of Thomas and Steeves, Andrew Whitney (North Kingston, RI), Matthew Catuccio (Trumbull, CT), and Will Pagliarulo (Bedford, NH) recorded two top-five finishes.
Whitney was fourth in both the 100-meter dash (11.16) and the long jump (6.38m), Catuccio was the runner-up in the high jump (1.90m) and tied for fourth in the triple jump (12.51m), while Pagliarulo was fifth in both the high jump (1.80m) and the pole vault (4.00m).
In the 800-meter event, Engineers took the top three spots led by Steeves' win. Right behind him was Owen Lally (Lebanon, CT) in second in 1:53.64, while Brian Brooks (Brewster, MA) was third in 1:54.96.
Avinash Bissoondial (Millbury, MA) and Alex Simoneau (Attleboro, MA) were second and third in the 1500-meter event, as Bissoondial ran a 4:02.76, while Simoneau clocked in at 4:03.41. In the 110-meter hurdles, two more Engineers placed in the top five. Nicholas Fiorenza (Oakton, VA) was second in 14.86, while Anthony Algieri (Nutley, NJ) was fourth in 15.44.
On the field side, Matt Gadziala (Clinton, NY), Michael Neff (West Hartford, CT), and Isaac Frederique (Methuen, MA) wrapped up the UMass meet with fourth-place finishes. Gadziala went 4.00m in the pole vault, Neff threw 52.40m in the javelin, and Frederique went 12.51m in the triple jump.
Also competing this weekend for the Engineers, Brooks won the 1500-meter event in 3.56.24 at Conn College's Silfen Elite Invitational.
WPI returns to action on Saturday, competing at the UMass Lowell Invitational.