Coming off a rigorous two-week spring-break training regimine consisting of two workouts a day, the women’s track team showed no signs of fatigue, coming through with many solid performances at the Williams Relays.
While the meet was non-scoring, the Ephs still found tough competition individually from Plattsburg State, St. Lawrence, Middlebury, NYU and Sacred Heart.
On the track, the day started off early with the 10,000m. Despite the daunting nature of this event, three Ephs rose to the challenge led by tri-captain Meg Randall ’99. After much convincing from coaches and teammates, Randall, a senior and an All-American in the 5K, ran the 10K for the first time.
With no game plan in mind, she took the early lead and consistently ran six minutes per mile or better. She won in an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 37:17.4, a mere seven seconds off of the automatic standard. Finishing a strong third in her Williams track debut was transfer Aimee Vasse ’00 (40:02.4).
Meanwhile, off the track, the throwers saw their spring break, eight hour workouts pay off. Rebecca Brooks ’00 won both the hammer (43.38m) and the shot put (12.47m). Brooks already made the NCAA provisional standard in the shot at the Florida Relays two weeks ago. Diane Williams ’02 also had a stellar day, finishing third in the shot (11.02m). However, the highlight of Williams’ day came in the discus where Williams won (133’2”) and just barely missed breaking the school record by one inch.
Melissa Purdy ’02 also had a school record setting day as she tied for second with a vault of 8’6”, tying the school record set by Catherine Bolten ’98. Melissa Murphy ’00 also came through for the Ephs with a third place finish in the long jump (4.87m).
The next event on the track for the Ephs was the 5000m run. Once again, the distance contingent rose to the challenge led by Courtney Bennigson ’01. In her first track appearance of the season as well as her first 5000m on the track, Bennigson led from start to finish, crossing the line in a stellar 18:23.5. Teammate Kate Dreher ’99 also had a very strong race to finish second in 18:53.2.
The 1500m was also a notable race for the distance contingent as training partners Lauren Krisko ’00 and Lauren Wiener ’01 worked together from the start and finished second (4:52.5) and third (4:54.5) respectively.
Sprinting sensation Jill Metzger ’99 made sure that the distance women did not get all of the attention, as she ran to a second place finish in the 400m in a blistering time of 59.38.
In one of the most exciting races of the afternoon, the 800m showcased 1500m All-American Tara Crowley ’00 and 800m indoor national qualifier Katie Sharff ’02. Crowley went out in a blistering 65 seconds for her first lap and never let up. She crossed the line in 2:15.89, winning and setting a new Williams Relays record. That time qualifies her provisionally for Nationals.
She already established an NCAA provisional mark of 4:42 in the 1500 at the Florida Relays. Sharff came through in second in a time of 2:19.29.
In the final individual race of the afternoon, the 3000m, Rebecca Atkinson ’00 faced off with a strong Middlebury contingent. Undaunted, she went out hard and held a solid pace. She finished second in a huge personal best time of 10:27.81.
With the relays as the last events of the day, many Ephs came back to run their second or third race of the day. The sprint medley team of Purdy, Leigh Olmstead ’99, Jenn Haan ’01, Hagan McCurdy ’01 came through with a third place finish (4:28.93).
The distance medley team of Wiener, Johanna Heinrichs ’02, Jonnie Vasse ’02, and Crowley won in a time of 12:51.54. And in the last event of the meet, the 4 x 400 team of McCurdy, tri-captain Courtney O’Connor ’99, Janna Rearick ’02, and Metzger came through in second (4:09.32).
“I think this was a respectable start to this short outdoor season. We worked quite hard over the spring training trip and we are beginning to see the results,” said O’Connor.
Next week, both the women and the men travel to Amherst for the Little Three Championships.