Two Jumbo National Champions
Tufts student-athletes won two more national championships last weekend as seniors Brittany Bowman and Stefan Duvivier were victorious at the NCAA track and field meet in Birmingham, Alabama.
Bowman, A18, captured the 5,000 meters title on March 9 with a school-record 16:31.32 time. Duvivier, A18, extended his own school record in the high jump by winning the event with a 7'2 ½" (2.20m) mark. These victories brought Tufts’ total of individual national champions to forty-seven, including eleven since 2010.
In becoming the first Tufts woman to win an indoor distance title, Bowman defeated the NCAA Division III meet record-holder in the race. The Jumbo co-captain’s game plan was to run at the front of the pack, but not in the lead.
It worked out perfectly, as she settled into second place for the majority of the race and waited until 600 meters remained before kicking past Ithaca’s Taryn Cordani to win. Bowman chopped almost eleven seconds off the previous Tufts indoor 5K record of 16:42.23 set by Cat Beck eleven years ago in 2007.
“I was positive and confident during the race and believed in myself, which I think helped a lot,” Bowman said. “Once I took the lead, I knew there was no turning back, and I went for it. I’m extremely happy.”
Duvivier was nearly flawless in winning his first NCAA championship. He didn’t miss until his first attempt at 6'11 ¾", but he made his second attempt and then cleared his first attempt at 7'1". Rowan University’s Harrison Escoffery missed on all three of his attempts at that height, giving Duvivier the win. Continuing on, Duvivier made his second attempt at 7'2 ½" (2.20m) to further improve upon his school record. That is tied for the fourth-best indoor mark in NCAA DIII history.
“I’m a firm believer in trusting the process,” Duvivier said. “Sam (Wuest), my coach, put me through an incredible training program, and all I did was follow it. These last couple weeks have been very restful comparatively to the rest of the season. That was key to being mentally and physically ready for competition today. It feels great being a national champion.”
Both Jumbos led their teams to strong national finishes. Bowman, who was also fourth in the 3,000 meters on Saturday (9:39.98), helped the Jumbos tie for eleventh place at the NCAA meet. That’s the highest since Tufts took ninth at the 2012 NCAA indoor meet. Duvivier led the men’s team to a tie for thirteenth place, which is the best showing since the 2007 indoor team was seventh.
Director of Athletic Communications Paul Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.