Engineers place in the middle at Middlebury College

Field athletes dominated against the eight teams competing at Middlebury College in Vermont on Saturday. Victories by sophomore jumper Matt Vitagliano and senior throwers Tyler Yeastedt and Andrea Ukleja paved the way for the third and fourth place finishes by the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.

Vitagliano earned 20 of the mens’ 135 points with his two winning marks for the afternoon of 6.25 meters in the long jump and 12.80 m in the triple jump. Fellow triple jumper’s sophomore Luca Scheuer and freshman Joseph Osaheni claimed second and third, boosting the score by another 14 points.

Conquering the shot put with a 14.71 m mark and 35 lb. weight throw in 16.05 m, Yeastedt continued the winning trend he began at the start of the season.

“My goals for this year are to put together some good performances at our conference meets and put the team in a good position to win,” said Yeastedt. “I’d like to break RPI’s shot put and weight throw records, which are at 16.18 and 18.38 meters, respectively.

“My favorite track memory has to be from last year’s discus competition at nationals. I went into the meet seeded 18th and [improved] by over 10 feet to finish fourth and become an All-American. It was a great feeling, and it keeps me motivated to get back there this season and try to win a national championship.”

With a gap of over 1.7 meters separating her from the runner-up, Ukleja relinquished her opponents in the 20 lb weight throw with a distance of 14.64 m. Second place turned out to be Rensselaer sophomore Renee Nuzzi, who helped her team garner 22 points out of the possible 34 for the event. Ukleja was also second in the shot put with a throw of 10.83 m.

In the high jump, junior Erik Trinkle produced a leap of 1.88 m to place third, while senior Nathaniel Ogilvie took fifth in the pole vault. Freshman Lauren Parker also placed third in the high jump.

On the track, sophomore Jaime Lord came in second with a time of 2:19.9 in the women’s 800 meter. Junior Jodi Wrzosek gained four points by running the fifth-fastest time in the event. Unlike Lord, Wrzosek was in the first flight of the 800.

“My race this past weekend went well,” said Wrzosek. “It was hard leading my heat, and I went out faster than I wanted to, but overall was very satisfied with my race. I hope to qualify for [the Division III Eastern College Athletic Championship Meet] in the 800 m the next time I run it. My goal for this season is to hopefully PR…which means breaking 2:20.”

Junior Maddie Dery placed second in the women’s 1000 m in 3:04.3. Senior Erin Evke and junior Taylor MacEwen placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

The Middlebury Panthers captured the meet on the men’s side, and Williams College won the women’s team standings. Coming up next for the Engineers is an indoor meet hosted by Dartmouth College on February 6.