Women’s track stays a step ahead of the competition

A school record and numerous personal bests headlined a stellar weekend for the women’s track team that split its team between the All-New England Championship and the MIT Invitational.

With only nine Williams athletes competing at the Division I New England Championships at the University of Rhode Island, the team finished eighth overall with 22 points, defeating all other Division III schools as well as a few Division I teams. This is one of the best team finishes at the All -New England Championships in Williams women’s track history.

Perennial powerhouse Jill Metzger ’99 showed that she is definitely back in top form with a third place finish and a school record performance in the 500m in a time of 1:18.21. She was the top Division III finisher. Teammate Janna Rearick ’02 finished ninth in a personal best time of 1:21.22. She was the second fastest Division III finisher.

Katie Worth ’02, another freshman sensation, had a great day, finishing second in the 1000m in 2:57.16. She was right on the heels of the defending New England champ, senior Nicole Way, from UMass-Amherst (2:56.95); furthermore, she just missed the school record set by track legend Nancy Byrne ‘95 in 1995 (2:26.54).

Tara Crowley ’00 showed her versatility in the mile after running to a second place and personal best in the 3000 last weekend. Her time was just off the NCAA automatic standard and still puts her in a good position to qualify for nationals. Crowley and Worth later combined with Katie Sharff ’02 and Terri O’Brien ’02 for a fourth place finish in the 4x800m relay in a time of 9:38.20. Despite having to run in the slower heat, they defeated four teams in the faster heat to run a season best.

Tri-captain Meg Randall ’99 also had a strong day finishing 8th in the 3000m in 10:19.81. Rearick, Metzger, and tri-captains Courtney O’Connor ’99 and Brooke Harnisch ’99 combined to finish 10th in the 4x400m relay in a season best of 4:09.25. The other members of the team competed at the non-scoring MIT Invitational in Boston. Notable performances included a 1-2 finish in the shot by Shannon Mark ’00 (39’1.25”) and Diane Williams ’02 (38’1”). Mark’s throw was a personal best and she later came back to finish fifth in the weight throw.

Amy MacDonald ’99 and Sandra DiPillo ’01 also scored 1-2 finish in the 5K in times of 18:52 and 18:55. Kate Dreher ’99 also showed that her talent extends to the longer races as she won the 3K in 10:53.35. Lauren Wiener ’01 made her much anticipated return to the 1500m winning in a solid time of 4:57.0. Teammate Rebecca Atkinson ’00 continued her streak of personal bests with a second place finish in a time of 4:59.50.

Melissa Murphy ’00 was a strength in the sprints as she took second in the 400 (64.67) and fourth in the 200 (28.88). Teammate Maggie Clark ’02 took sixth in the 200 and the 55 dash while Johanna Heinrichs ’00 took seventh in the 200m and fifth in the 55m hurdles. Hagan McCurdy ’01 also had a solid day winning the 600m in 1:44.75.

“I think that this team gets stronger each week. Taking 8th at Division 1 New Englands was a definite confidence booster. We have one more meet to fine tune before New Englands. We are definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with come New Englands,” said O’Connor. Next week the team heads to the Smith Invitational at Smith College.

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