With record-breaking performances and a massive team turnout, the women’s track team affirmed that they will be a stronger, deeper team this year.
They handily defeated the competition with 114 points at Williams’ Towne Field House. Middlebury was second (64.5), Westfield, third (51) and Keene State, fourth (14.5).
Despite being an early, low-key meet, the competition was highlighted by a few record-breaking performances. Jill Metzger ’99 won the 600-meter in a blazing1:38.62, a new field house record. She also just missed the school record by just tenths of a second. Also setting a new Towne Field House record with a win in her first college race was first-year Katie Worth ’02 in the 800-meter. Her time of 2:18.79 is one of the four fastest times ever run by a Williams woman.
Another first-year who had a great day was multi-event specialist Melissa Purdy ’02. Purdy won the high jump (5’0”), the 55-meter sprint (7.84) and the 55-meter hurdles (8.87). She also finished fourth in the 200-meter (29.16) as well as in the shot put (33’ 8.5”).
Williams clearly dominated the middle distance races from 600 to 1500-meter. Williams swept the top four places in the 600-meter, led by Metzger and followed by Janna Rearick ’02, second in 1:43.60; tri-captain Courtney O’Connor ’99, third in 1:44.30; and Hagan McCurdy ’01, fourth in 1:48.15. In the 800-meter, Worth led the pack with her first place finish followed by teammates Katie Sharff ’02, third in 2:24.76 and Yvonne Stone ’01, fourth in 2:24.83.
Winning the 1500-meter ( 5:15.61) as well as the 3000-meter (11:08.54) was Kate Dreher ’99. Dreher and her teammates dominated the 1500 despite a slow early pace. She was followed by comeback kid Rebecca Atkinson ’00, third in 5:16.05; Terri O’Brien ’02, fourth in 5:16.32; and Marie Glancy ’99, fifth in 5:16.78. This is an especially strong start of the season for Atkinson, who had been hampered by illness during cross-country season.
The throws were also prominent for Williams. Led by impressive new throwing coach Fletcher Brooks, the women showed their strength by dominating the shot put. Shannon Mark ’00 won with a throw of 37’ 2.5” followed by Anne Huber-Richards ’02, second (37’0”), Dianne Williams ’02, third (36’ 9.5”), and Purdy in fourth.
Other notable field event performances were Melissa Murphy ’00, who was second in the long jump. Taylor Schildgen ’00 was third (7’) in the pole vault followed by teammate Caitlin Carr ’01, fourth (7’), making her pole vault debut.
“I think this was a good start to the season. We have a very talented freshman class that will contribute heavily as well as a larger team than last year. I’m looking forward to good things this season,” said Head Coach Pete Farwell.
While a few are racing at Harvard next weekend, most of the team resumes competition at the Dartmouth Relays the first weekend in January.