Women capture first Quad Cup of season

The women’s track team proved to be a balanced and deadly scoring force as it defeated NESCAC archrival Middlebury 226-181 in the first Quad Cup meet of the indoor season. Despite their current rigorous winter training regiment, the Ephs maintained composure by fighting for every point available.

One of the highlights of the day, and a major scoring coup for the team, was a 1-2-3 sweep by the shot putters. With the help of the challenging training program of new throwing coach Fletcher Brooks, the throwing trio of Anne Huber-Richards ’02, Shannon Mark ’00 and Diane Williams ’02 lived up to its massive scoring potential. Huber-Richards led the way with a throw of 37’3”, followed by Mark with a throw of 35’7” and Williams in third.

Another highlight of the day was the performances of the middle distance runners Katie Sharff ’02 and Tara Crowley ’00, who both handily defeated Middlebury’s All-American Kate Irvin in the 1500-meter and the 1000-meter, respectively. Sharff won the 1500-meter in a blisteringly fast 4:51.2. She was followed by Williams’ tri-captain Meg Randall ’99 in third, Jonnie Vasse ’02 in fifth and Amy MacDonald ’99 in sixth at 5:15.06. It was MacDonald’s first time back on the track since a fractured foot took her out for the entire ’97-’98 track season.

“It was great to see so many people contributing points to the victory instead of just a few key people,” said O’Connor.

Crowley ran her best time on the Williams track, winning the 1000-meter run in 3:05.89 and beating Irvin by three seconds. Crowley was followed by teammates Julie Cantatore ’99 (3:14.13) and Davis Teichgraeber ’99 (3:16.66), in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Terri O’Brien ’02, another middle distance runner, also had a good day, easily winning the 800-meter dash in 2:28.40. Teammate Hagan McCurdy ’01 was fourth in 2:32.63. Perennial powerhouse Jill Metzger ’99 returned to action and easily won the 600-meter dash in 1:41.65. Despite not practicing for a week because of illness, Metzger ran within 1.5 seconds of her personal best. Teammate Taylor Schildgen ’00 finished third in 1:47.56.

Sprinters Carolyn Shank ’02 and Joanna Heinrichs ’02 also proved to be scoring threats, as Shank took second in the 55 meter hurdles (9.38), the 200-meter dash (28.95) and the triple jump (31’1.5”), and Heinrichs took sixth in the hurdles and third in the triple jump (30’ 5.5”). Fellow jumper Melissa Murphy ’00 finished second in the long jump (14’5”). The day also saw the debut of another Williams sprinter, Maggie Clark ’02, who finished third in the 55 and fourth in the 200.

The day concluded with Williams winning both the 4×400 and the 4×800 relays. Tri-captains Brooke Harpist ’99 and Courtney O’Connor ’99 teamed up with McCurdy and Metzger to easily win the 4×400 in 4:17.82. However, the 4×800 win did not come as handily, as anchor leg Crowley chased down Middlebury’s anchor runner to win the race in 10:17.88.

“Our meets with Middlebury will always be close, but this time we had people come through big time for us like our throwers and our multievent people. Sharff and Crowley both defeating Kate Irvin was also a major victory for us,” said assistant coach Kristen Morwick.

Next week the team competes again at home for another Quad Cup victory at noon.