Swenson's Record Run in 1,500 Highlights Men's Track & Field at MIT Final Qualifier

Christian Swenson ran the fastest 1,500 in Tufts history

CAMBRIDGE – Sophomore Christian Swenson of the Tufts University men's outdoor track & field team broke the school record and jumped into the national top 10 in the 1,500 meters to highlight the Jumbos' efforts at the MIT Final Qualifier on Thursday night.

The meet was the last chance for certain Jumbos to post qualifying marks for the upcoming NCAA Championships in Geneva, Ohio May 25-27. The top 16 relays and the top 20 individuals earn berths into the national championship meet. Results from nine final qualifying meets across the country are due in by midnight Thursday, so an idea about the final list of qualifiers won't be known until then.

Swenson's 3:49.25 to win the 1,500 at MIT was ranked 10th nationally as of 9 p.m. Thursday night. The time broke the three-year old Tufts record of 3:49.53 set by Jamie Norton in 2014.

Senior Blake Coolidge also broke a record and improved his national mark in the 100 meters. His time of 10.71 seconds in the preliminaries broke the previous school mark of 10.77 set by sophomore Anthony Kardonsky at the DIII New England Championships earlier this season. Coolidge will be on the bubble for NCAA's as the 10.71 ranks 23rd.

The Jumbo 4x100-meter relay, which entered the meet with a season-best 41.43 mark that was #19 in DIII, ran 41.61 on Thursday night. The foursome was sophomore Brandon Levenstein, Kardonsky, Coolidge and freshman Robert Jones. Like Coolidge individually, the 4x1 are also on the bubble depending on which schools declare to compete in the event.

Senior Nick Usoff won the MIT 400-meter hurdles race in 54.14 seconds, but that does not improve on his 53.62 time that was tied for 20th in the nation entering Thursday. Similarly, sophomore Henry Hintermeister was unable to improve his season-best in the javelin throw. He had a 161'0" (51.21m) today and his 197'5" (60.18m) is #22 in the nation. Sophomore Josh Etkind was entered in the 110-meter hurdles where his 14.75 time was not better than a 14.46 season-best that is comfortably within the top 20 nationally.

Kardonsky ran 10.83 in the 100 prelims and sophomore Tommy Miller had an 11.07 as both qualified for the final. They were third (10.96) and fifth (11.04) respectively, in the final. Kardonsky also had a 21.80 for second place in the 200. None of those times are NCAA qualifying marks.

The Jumbo 4x400-meter relay was also unable to run a faster time, putting together a 3:19.51 by freshman Jordan Abate, Usoff, sophomore Thomas Doyle and DiMati. The Jumbo 4x4 season-best time of 3:17.08 is ranked 45th.

Several other Jumbos closed out their 2017 seasons on Thursday night. However, the Jumbos could have a strong contingent heading to Nationals. Entering Thursday night, Tufts had five athletes who have recorded six top 10 NCAA marks so far in the outdoor season. Senior Luke O'Connor's 8:58.46 is #1 in the steeplechase, junior Stefan Duvivier's 6'11" (2.11m) mark in the high jump is second, senior Tim Nichols is third in the 10K (29:37.09) and fourth in the 5K (14:12.63), junior Andrew DiMaiti is #6 in the 400-meter hurdles at 52.47 seconds and sophomore Josh Etkind is ninth in the 110-meter hurdles.

The official NCAA qualifying list is due on Saturday morning.