Women’s indoor track finishes second in first meet of the year

The Williams women’s track team opened their season this Saturday at Towne Field House. The Ephs competed against UMass Lowell, Keene State, Westfield State, SUNY New Paltz, and RPI, finishing second overall with 39 points. Lowell captured first place with a team score of 112 points.

The Ephs performed well against Lowell, a strong Division II school. The team was led by sophomore Katie Sharff, the only first place finisher for Williams, who won the 3000-meter race with a time of 10:53.85. Sharff’s time qualifies her for Division III New Englands and

ECACS. The 3000 was a new race for Sharff, who usually runs the 800 and the 1500-meter races. “The times weren’t two fast, and I am definitely hoping to improve for later in the season,” she stated, “but it was a positive experience.”

Sharff was followed in the 3000 by teammates Elizabeth Roller ’01, Jasmine Mitchell ’03, Erin Davies ’00, and Meg Tierney ’01, who took places three through six, respectively.

Williams also had several second place finishers, all first years. Rachel Horowitz finished second in the pole vault with a vault of 7’6″, just 3 inches behind first place.

Julie Shapiro also did well for Williams, running a very close second place in the 800 meters with a time of 2:29.87, which qualifies her for New Englands. “It felt great to be back on the track (after a cross country injury),” said Shapiro, “but it was only the beginning. For myself and the team, there remains a lot of hard work between now and the championship meets.”

The other first-year second place finisher was Healy Thompson in the shot put. Thompson led a strong Williams showing in the shot put, with three Williams throwers placing in the top eight. Diane Williams ’02 finished a close third, while Shannon Mark ’00 finished eighth.

Williams also finished third in the weight throw with a toss of 11’3″. “As usual, the throwers came through with big points at the end of the meet to help us secure second place,” stated senior captain Melissa Murphy. Thompson’s throw of 39’9″ in the shot put was just an inch off the school record for the indoor shot put. “My throws felt pretty good,” said Thompson. “I felt that I had good speed and explosion, but my form left plenty to be desired.”

Murphy finished fourth in the 400-meter race with a time of 64.99 seconds. “I was happy with our performances in the first meet,” she said. “We have a very talented freshman class who we will look to help fill the void of last year’s strong senior class.” Assistant coach Kristen Morwick agreed, stating, “We have a young team with a lot of talent.”

The team will look to improve on their performance as they regain members from other sports. “We were missing a lot of our stars on Saturday,” said Morwick. “We’re still in the prep phase at this point.” Some individuals from the team will travel to Tufts this Saturday for a meet, but the next big team meet will not be until Dartmouth Relays in January. “By January, we’ll be ready,” said Morwick.

The team’s goals are somewhat different this season because the team is no longer competing in the Quad Cup. “Indoor season will be more for individual goals,” explained Morwick, “although we would love a good showing at Division III New Englands and ECACS, were we finished second last year.”

The team will also look to qualify as many people as possible for nationals, working hard to match last season’s successes. “We had a good start for the season,” said Morwick, “but we have a lot of work ahead of us.”