Women’s track awaits New Englands

With a nail biting finish in the two mile relay, the women’s track team came up short by 2.5 points, losing to Smith 157.5-155. However, many individuals came up with personal records and qualifying times for Division III New England Championships.

The team was once again led by the multitalented Melissa Murphy ’00 who participated in five events and placed in all of them: long jump, third (14’8″); 55 hurdles, sixth (10.5); high jump, fourth (4’9″); 400m, fifth (66.32); and triple jump, sixth (30’13″). Helping Murphy out in the field events were Shannon Mark ’00, showing that she is a contender for New England’s with a second place finish in the shot (11.13 m) and Katie Simpson ‘00, making her presence felt in the weight throw with a third place finish (11.67 m). Morgan Eckles ’00 also looked refreshed after being away for Winter Study, taking fifth in 55m (8.38) and seventh in the triple jump.

However, Smith racked up many of their points in the field events with victories in the high jump, long jump, and shot put. Smith also won the 200-meter relay in which Williams did not enter. Yet the Ephs would not go down quietly. They came roaring back once the running events began. “The running events is really where we make our presence felt,” said Tri-Captain Courteney O’Connor ‘99.

Meg Randall ’99 looked like her speedy self, downing a Smith runner with her brutal kick for the win in the 1500-meter (4:57). She also came back shortly to take second place in the 1000 (3:13). Williams came up with big points in the 1000-meter with Lauren Krisko ’00 following Randall for third (3:14). On her heels were Julie Cantatore ’99, fourth (3:16) and Rebecca Atkinson ’00, seventh (3:19).

Tri-captain Jill Metzger ’99 had an awesome day winning the 400-meter in 61.75 as well as anchoring the 400-meter relay team that included Brooke Harnisch ’99, O’Connor and Hagan McCurdy ’01 to a narrow victory over a strong Smith squad with her 61.0 leg. “The relay was definitely a mental boost for this team,” said Atkinson.

Harnisch, O’Connor, and McCurdy also had fine individual performances in the meet with Harnisch winning the 500-meter (1:22.29) and O’Connor on her heels taking third (1:23.44). McCurdy also shone in the 800-meter dueling out a Mount Holyoke runner for the win in 2:27.

The Ephs continued to hammer away at the point differential with a strong showing in the 3000-meter with tri-captain Ellen Roh ’98 taking third (10:57), Tara Crowley ’00 showing her range with a fourth place finish (11:11), and Maywa Montenegro ’01 scoring a personal best with a fifth place finish (11:28).

Finally, it all came down to the two mile relay. If Williams could beat Bates to win the relay, they would win the meet. Edie DeNiro ’99 and Elizabeth Roller ’01 who both had great 1500-meter runs combined with Cantatore and Krisko to form the team. However, the Bates runners were too quick and Williams took second.

“Despite this tight loss, with people coming back from Winter Study and time taken off for injuries, I think that we will come together as a team more than we have this year. I think today’s performances as well as how close we came to winning is just an indication of things to come,” said Metzger.

Next week, the women return to Smith for the last meet before New England’s in the nonscoring Smith Invitational.