Women speed by racers from both Amherst, Wesleyan

Despite an obscure scoring system and strong teams from Wesleyan and Amherst, the Williams women’s track team laid claim to their thirteenth consecutive Little Three title. The final score, even with a scoring system that only allowed two members of each team to score so as to ensure closer scores, was Williams first with 156, Amherst second with 117 and Wesleyan third with 105.

Beginning the day with a bang were a group of throwers that finished first and second in every event. Rebecca Brooks ’00 took first in the shot (12.33m) and the javelin (30.34m) and second in the discus (34.00m) and the hammer (32.9m). Teammate Shannon Mark ’00 took first in the discus (34.46m) and second in the shot (10.8m). Other notable Eph throwing performances came from Nzinga Kone ’98, placing first in the hammer (40.04m), and Katie Simpson ’00, placing second in the javelin (28.52m).

The running events also started with an Eph victory when tri-captain Ellen Roh ’98 laid claim to her third consecutive Little Three title in the 5000-meter in 18:42, winning by over one minute. “It was definitely a tough day with the wind blowing as hard as it was. Not having someone else there to help bear the brunt of it was tough, but I was fairly pleased,” Roh said. Maywa Montenegro ’01 also had a solid race, finishing third in 19:59.

Kate Dreher ’99 looked as strong as ever with a win in the 1500-meter in 4:57. She was closely trailed by teammates Lauren Weiner ’01, second in 4:58.43, and Meg Randall ’99, third in 4:58.84. In keeping with the obscure scoring system, Randall did not score despite being within hundredths of a second of Weiner.

The 800-meter was also marked by a dominant Williams contingent taking four of the top six places. Tri-captain Courtney O’Connor ’99 displayed that no injury will keep her down for too long with her first-place finish in a stellar time of 2:24. Less than an hour after her second place 1500-meter, Weiner came back to take another second place in 2:26.

Sprinter Brooke Harnisch ’99 expanded her racing repetoir by making an outstanding debut in the 800-meter with a fifth place finish in 2:29.75. Multi-event specialist Jenn Hahn ’01 also looked strong finishing with an identical time as Harnisch.

The distance women put an exclamation point on their statement of domination with the 3000-meter, taking the top four places. Tara Crowley ’00 and Deb Frisone ’00 finished first and second in 10:48 and 10:52, respectively. Hagan McCurdy ’01 dropped distances to join the sprinters in the 400-meter and finished solidly at fourth in 62.62, while teammate Morgan Eckles ’00 ran a personal best in 64.09 for sixth.

Tri-captain Jill Metzger ’99 showed she would not be outdone by her fellow tri-captains as she ran a season best 66.18 in the 400-meter hurdles, good for second place. Melissa Murphy ’00 also ran a personal best 69.75 for third place. Murphy continued to have a great day in other events as well, winning the long jump in 16’4.25” and taking fourth in the triple jump.

Meanwhile, teammate Leigh Olmstead ’99 jumped a season best 34’5.25”, good for second place bettered only by Amherst’s All-American Nicole Campbell. Another notable jumper was Catherine Bolten ’98, who finished third in the high jump (1.45m).

The 400-meter relay team of Harnisch, O’Connor, McCurdy and Metzger concluded the stellar day for the Williams women with a second place finish in 4:07.65. Next week, the women travel to Hamilton to defend their title at the NESCAC Championships.

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