Despite an incredibly competitive field, women’s track definitely made their presence felt at the Division III championships, earning a respectable fifth place finish and three National qualifying marks. The overall meet was won by indoor champion Wheaton College (97.75), followed by Bowdoin (96) in second, Middlebury (92.75), third, and Springfield (82) in fourth. With their fifth place finish (65.5), the Williams women exacted revenge on Colby College, who finished sixth (55.75), but defeated Williams last weekend at the NESCAC Championships.
The meet started off with a bang when Meg Randall ’99 won the 5000-meter while bettering her NCAA provisional mark with a time of 17:49. Running with the front pack for the entire race and then breaking away with Colby’s All-American Farrell Burns, she was able to outkick Burns for the win. Newcomer Charley Abernathy ’01 also made a strong showing with a seventh place finish in 18:41.
However, the Williams distance show was not over. Tara Crowley ’00 ran her best 1500-meter outdoor race, kicking past Middlebury’s All-American Katy Masselam and finally breaking away from the pack to win by a 3 second margin in 4:43.80. This mark provisionally qualifies her for the NCAA meet at the end of May. Teammates Kate Dreher ’99 and Lauren Wiener ’01 also had season best performances, finishing fifth (4:47.22) and sixth (4:47.64) respectively.
Meanwhile, the field event personnel were putting on a show of their own. Rebecca Brooks ’00 put forth an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the shot put (13.32m) to claim the win. Brooks also just missed scoring in the hammer with a ninth place throw of 40.29m.
Jumpers Leigh Olmstead ’99, Melissa Murphy ’00, and Catherine Bolten ’98 also had a tremendous day with Olmstead setting a personal record in the triple jump of 10.76m that was good for fourth. Murphy finished seventh in the long jump (5.01m) and Bolten, the comeback queen after a severe hamstring pull in the winter in her last Division III New England Championships, finished fourth in the high jump (1.57m).
Tri-captain Jill Metzger ’99 and Murphy also put forth strong efforts in the 400-meter hurdles. Murphy, coming off the long jump, ran a fast 68.49. Metzger, facing a strong field filled with National qualifiers, finished seventh in 66.36.
Once again, it was time for the distance women to show their strength. Both tri-captain Ellen Roh ’98 and Deb Frisone ’00 dropped down from their normal longer distance races to run the 3000-meter and put forth performances that made it seem like this was their best event. Roh finished sixth in 10:39.15 with Frisone on her heels finishing seventh in 10:39.49.
With the day already a raging success for most of the Williams women, the only events left were the relays. In the 400-meter relay, Murphy, tri-captain Courtney O’Connor ’99, Hagan McCurdy ’01, and Metzger combined to run a quick 4:07.78 anchored by Metzger’s 59.0 split, where she mowed down two competitors to finish fifth. Fueled by inspiration from Metzger’s finish, the 800-meter team of Wiener, Yvonne Stone ’01, Dreher, and Crowley ran a blazing, season-best time of 9:38.58 which was good for third.
Next weekend, the women travel to Tufts University for the Division III ECAC meet.