Ephs race to fifth in ECAC Championships

With a fifth place team finish and six NCAA provisional qualifying marks earned at the ECAC Championships at Tufts, the Williams women’s track team showed the rest of New England that they have just begun to hit their stride. The overall meet winner was Wheaton College (107), followed by Middlebury College (81), Springfield (73), Bowdoin (64) and Williams (57).

As usual, the meet started off with bang with outstanding performances from the distance women. In the 10,000-meter, Deb Frisone ’00 ran a personal record and improved her national provisional mark with a time of 37:24.14, good for fourth. She was closely followed by teammate and tri-captain Ellen Roh ’98. Her fifth place time of 37:28.58 was also a provisional qualifying mark.

The distance women’s success continued with the fifth place finish of newcomer Charley Abertnathy ’01 in the 5000-meter. Her time of 18:20.01 bettered her previous best by 20 seconds.

Perennial powerhouse Meg Randall ’99 continued to show her strength by dropping down to the 3000-meter from her normal 5000-meter. Her second place finish in a time of 10:14.49 qualified her provisionally for nationals, matching her other provisional mark earned last weekend in the 5K. However, she is likely to only run the 5K at nationals. Lauren Krisko ’00 also had a huge day in the 3000-meter with a personal best of 10:34.48 which was good for ninth.

The most exciting race of the day for the distance women came in the 1500-meter where 10 of the entrants in the field came in with times below 4:50, including three Williams women. Tara Crowley ’00 remained tough throughout the race despite the race being taken out slow. She bettered her provisional mark with a time of 4:42.38 which was good for a fifth place finish. Freshman phenom Lauren Wiener ’01 was eighth (4:48.570, followed closely by Kate Dreher ’99 in ninth (4:48.95).

Tri-captain Jill Metzger also hurdled her way to provisional status in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 64.61, good for third place.

Williams field event specialists also had a good day led by Rebecca Brooks ’00 whose provisional qualifying shot put performance of 12.97m was good for second place. Brooks has already been guaranteed an NCAA berth with her qualifying performance last weekend at the New England Championships. Shannon Mark ’00 also threw well with a seventh place finish in the discus (34.10m). Leigh Olmsted ’99 finished fifth in the triple jump (10.62m) while Melissa Murphy took ninth in the long jump (4.85m).

With only the relays to go, the Ephwomen’s show was far from over. Murphy, tri-captain Courtney O’Connor ’99, Hagan McCurdy ’01, and Metzger combined for an eighth place finish in the 400-meter (4:06.41). The final event of the day, the 800-meter relay, reaffirmed the statement of excellence the Ephwomen had made all day. The team of Wiener, Dreher, Yvonne Stone ’01, and Crowley downed NESCAC rival Middlebury to finish second in a time of 9:37.13.

Next week, the women travel to Dartmouth College for the Division I New England Championships where they hope to better their provisional qualifying marks and possibly earn some new ones in anticipation of the Division III National meet.

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