Watanabe Tops 6 National Marks, 5 Wins Posted by Men's Track & Field at Cupid Challenge

Hiroto Watanabe ran the nation's second-fastest 800 today

MEDFORD - In a meet that featured 50 national top 50 performances overall, the Tufts University men's indoor track & field team had six of them and won five events at the Cupid Challenge hosted by the Jumbos at the Gantcher Center on Saturday.

Junior Hiroto Watanabe led the day for the Jumbos with a time of 1:52.56 in the 800 meters that won the event and is a career-best. The time is faster than either of the two marks he ran at the NCAA indoor meet last year when he was an All-American finishing eighth. Today's race is converted to a 1:50.98 banked-track time making it the #2 mark in the nation for Division III as of 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Watanabe also anchored Tufts in today's 4x400-meter relay, which saw four teams post national top 20 marks. The Jumbo foursome of senior co-captain Drew DiMaiti, junior Thomas Doyle, senior Patrick Milne and Watanabe were fourth in the race with a 3:23.82 mark. Converted to a 3:20.62, it's at #18 on the national list.

Junior Colin Raposo ran a career-best in the mile with a 4:15.58 time that was fifth in the event, which featured four top 10 national times overall. Raposo's mark converts to a 4:12.36 for #10 nationally. Sophomore Dylan McEniry's 1:57.57 in the 800 which converts to a 1:55.92 is on the national list in that event at 45th.

Juniors Henry Hintermeister and James Gregoire finished the heptathlon with three more events on Saturday. Hintermeister was the runner-up with a score of 4,239 points. Converted to a 4,263 score, it's at #30 nationally. Gregoire's final score of 4,105 for third place is 4,130 converted to place 36th nationally. They went 1-2 in today's heptathlon 1,000 meters with Gregoire's 2:48.39 winning the event and scoring 782 points, while Hintermeister's 2:49.89 accumulated 767 points.

Other Jumbo victories today came from junior Anthony Kardonsky in the 200 meters (22.42), sophomore Matt D'Anieri in the 1,000 meters (2:31), senior Stefan Duvivier in the high jump (6-6 ; 1.98m) and junior Ben Wallace in the pole vault (14-5 1/4 ; 4.40m). D'Anieri's 1,000 time was a career best.

There was no team scoring in today's meet.

Next weekend (Feb. 9-10) the Jumbos are scheduled to compete at Boston University's David Hemery Invitational and at the MIT Invitational.