Women’s track competes well after break

Despite two weeks away from competition and practice, the women’s track team came up with some stellar performances at the Dartmouth Relays to start off the indoor season.

The day began early for first-year phenom Melissa Purdy ’02, as she competed in the long jump, the 55-meter hurdles and the pole vault. She ran three rounds of the hurdles, getting faster with each one, and finished seventh in 8.96. Leaving her best performance for last, Purdy vaulted 8’6” to finish sixth and tie the school record.

Two other first years had good days as Katie Worth ’02 and Katie Sharff ’02 both shone in the 800-meter dash. Sharff ran a 2:23.43, while Worth bettered her NCAA provisional qualifying time by one second (2:17.74) to finish third amidst strong competition. Her time is the second fastest ever by a Williams woman.

Tara Crowley ’00 also had a strong day. Despite having to cut her warm-up short and running in the slower heat, Crowley ran a quick 5:17 mile to finish third. Teammate Rebecca Atkinson ’00 also ran well with a 5:30.54.

Later in the day, the 3000-meter run saw the return of Jonnie Vasse ’02 to competition. The talented first year was one of the top cross country runners at the beginning of this season until a bout with mono ended her season. She proceeded to run an 11:14.63 on Sunday.

The meet also saw the return of the throwing trio to action. Shannon Mark ’00 threw for 11.05m while her first year teammates Anne Huber-Richards ’02 and Diane Williams ’02 threw for 10.90m and 10.85, respectively.

The day ended on a high note as the distance medley relay saved the team’s best performance for last. Worth (1200m), tri-captain Courtney O’Connor ’99 (400m), Sharff (800m), and Crowley (1600m) combined to run in 12:35.20, finishing first and setting a new school record. Shattering the old record by 16 seconds, the team dominated the race, winning by more than 100 meters.

“I think that there were some great performances, especially considering that we have been gone for two weeks,” said tri-captain Brooke Harnisch ’99.

One might also note that much of the team had been stricken by the flu, including heavy hitters such as tri-captain Meg Randall ’99 and Jill Metzger ’99.

“I think that the team performed as expected at this meet. This is a long season and the priority is to get people healthy, in training, and back into action,” said assistant coach Kristen Morwick.

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