Tim, Stefan, Hiroto, and Josh will be competing Friday and Saturday at the NCAA Division 3 National Championship meet.

Meet the Jumbo Men’s 2017 NCAA D3 Indoor Nationals Team

With a distance runner, a mid-distance runner, a sprinter/hurdler, and high jumper, this might be the most diverse event group the Jumbo men have ever sent to nationals — and probably our strongest too. This year we have a chance to score big points and move up the D3 Track & Field food chain.

We know these four athletes are amongst the best of New England. This weekend they compete at NCAA’s to prove they belong amongst the best in the country.

Smiling because Josh knows he will land on Mars one day.

Josh Etkind

Hometown: New York, New York
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Nationals Event: 60m High Hurles
Personal Best: 8.16
Nationals Seed: #12 in Division III

What is your track and field origin story? 
My first track meet was in elementary school at some point, just a local town track meet that my parents signed my sister and me up for. I competed in the hurdles, triple jump and long jump. I stuck with it through indoor and outdoor track in high school, and I’m still competing in the same events here today in college.”

What do you attribute your success to? 
“Some things that I think have been big for me to stay healthy are getting a really good static stretch in after workouts, sleeping at least an average of 7.5 hours a night, eating plenty of vegetables, and one that I still need to work on, staying consistently hydrated.

The rest comes from our program and simply trusting it.

What do you hope to accomplish before you graduate?
“I want to be all-american as many times as I can. Hurdles is unique in that so much can go wrong, but that means that so much could go right as well. If I can make nationals every season from now on, that’s 6 national appearances. The more national finals I make the more likely it is that I have a good race in a final, and that other people have an unusually bad one. That leaves a decent amount of room for exciting things to happen.”

Any pre-meet rituals?
Among other things, drinking lots of water, a leg drain before I go to sleep, and waking up really early on meet days.”

The preliminaries for Josh’s hurdle race are scheduled for this Friday at 2:45 p.m. with the final at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. Good luck Josh!

Hiroto has one of the most intense game faces out there. You don’t want to mess with him.

Hiroto Watanabe

Hometown: Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts
Major: Biology
Nationals Event: 800m
Personal Best: 1:53.50
Nationals Seed: #9 in Division III

What is your track and field origin story? 
I started track as a way to train for soccer. I started formally running in middle school but didn’t really take it seriously until Sophomore year of high school when I realized I had the potential to run at the collegiate level.”

What do you attribute your success to? 
“I’ve always loved to compete and I think my competitive spirit has been important in my success in addition to balance and a good work ethic. I’ve found balance to be an essential to achieving my goals. Balancing between getting after it in workouts and taking time in recovery. Balancing taking myself too seriously or not serious enough, or having confidence to race or using my doubt to make sure I sharpen areas of my race to improve.

Recognizing how to balance goes in hand with work ethic because it takes work to properly make shifts in those balances.

What do you hope to accomplish before you graduate?
“Before I graduate I hope to have earned all American honors both individually and with a relay team, likely the 4x4 or dmr. In addition to that I would like Tufts to be a competitive team throughout my years.”

Favorite meal the day before a meet? 
“Grilled salmon collar with rice.”

Hiroto’s 800 preliminaries at NCAA’s are on Friday at 5:20 p.m. EST. If he finishes among the top eight in the prelims, the final is Saturday at 4:25 p.m. EST. Go Hiroto!

Stef’s signature move: completely relaxing between jumps.

Stefan Duvivier

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Major: Biology, Community Health
Nationals Event: High Jump 
Personal Best: 6'10.75" 
Nationals Seed: #2 in Division III

What is your Track & Field origin story?
I came out to the track sophomore year in high school and the track coach, knowing that I played basketball, told me to come try high jump.”

What do you attribute your success to?
“I attribute my success to my new flexibility program (stretching and rolling) and Coach Sam.”

What do you hope to accomplish before you graduate? 
Get some RIIIINGZZ.”

Favorite meal the day before a meet?
“420 burger from Boston burger co.”

Stefan’s high jump competition at NCAA’s will be on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Let’s go Stef!!

Tim can be seen here without his Carhartt beanie. Have you seen it? He is looking for it.

Tim Nichols

Hometown: North Lima, Ohio
Major: Biology, Anthropology, Colonialism Studies 
Nationals Event: 5000m & 3000m
Personal Best: 14:19.45 (5000m), 8:21.24 (3000m)
Nationals Seed: #1 5000m, #12 3000m

What is your Track & Field origin story?
My interest in running started with watching my sister run as a kid and then I stuck with it as I got older. I remember feeling on top of the world after my first track race in seventh grade where I ran a 5:35 mile. Incredible.”

What do you attribute your success to?
“I attribute my success to running high mileage for sure. But also maybe vegetarianism. It’s good karma.”

What do you hope to accomplish before you graduate? 
I’m pretty convinced that college has been a scam this entire time, so I’m hoping to accomplish something that proves to me that maybe that isn’t the case.”

What kind of music do you listen to before races?
I plan on making a playlist very soon. It is sure to include my favorite Frankie Cosmos, as well as Rihanna, Courtney Barnet, and December 1963 by Frankie Valley & The Four Seasons.”

How do you feel about being the top seed in the 5k?
Um I feel very scared…”

We definitely aren’t scared, we believe in you, Tim! At NCAA’s, the 5K will be on Friday at 5:25 p.m. EST and the 3K on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. EST.

This is part of a new project of mine to share an authentic NCAA division 3 track and field experience. Track is a pretty widely misunderstood sport so I wanted to offer as much insight into this world before saying goodbye.

For more, be sure follow me on the decathlog. 👍

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