Wright, women’s distance-medley relay lead Ephs at ECACs

Last Friday and Saturday members of the men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Tufts University’s Gantcher Center for the final time this indoor season. The event, the 2003 ECAC Championships, is a circus of more than 50 teams from all over the northeast and the last chance for national contenders to boost their rankings on the rolls before next week’s NCAA Div. III Indoor Championships at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. The Ephs placed sixth of 51 teams among the women and 11th of 43 among the men.

The women’s performance of the weekend came in the distance-medley relay, when Ann Schorling ’03, Afton Johnson ’05, Kali Moody ’05 and Jenn Campbell ’05 combined their 1200-, 400-, 800- and 1600-meter legs, respectively, for 11:54.85. Though the plan was to skate under the automatic standard of 12:01, Campbell torched her eight anchor laps in 4:54, beating out Keene State rival Mary Proulx and reeling in Amherst all-American Carter Hamill. The Williams foursome therefore not only won the event, but unhinged the previous school record of 11:57.54 that Campbell, Moody, Claire Samuel ’04 and captain Colleen Doody ’03 set in 2000. Schorling and company are currently ranked fifth in the country going into next weekend’s national championship.

Kristin Moss ’06 made the national stage in the high jump, one of her five pentathlon events, clearing 5’5.25″, a two-inch season-best. Captain Healy Thompson ’03 came up second by one centimeter in the weight throw, launching the ball-and-bag 15.77 meters, roughly 51’9″. Thompson threw 54’4″ in December. Anna Swisher ’05 collected an eighth-place point with her own 45’4″ huck. Swisher also marked 37’7″ in the shot put, with Robin Young ’05 about a foot back at 36’3″.

Elsewhere inside the oval, Meredith Jones ’04 and Audrey Lumley-Sapanski ’04 paired off in the triple-jump at 34’8″ and 34’6″, respectively. Jones cleared 10’8″ in the pole vault, while teammates Rachel Horwitz ’03 and Sarah Iams ’04 matched at 9’2″.

Katie Fulton ’06 stripped a few hundredths from last weekend’s time in the 55-meter dash to clock 7.41 seconds. Doody focused her efforts on shorter distances, staying out of the 800-meters to run the 200- and 400-meter dashes in 26.54 and 58.32, respectively. Maya Kessler ’05 powered to eighth place in the 1500-meters, rounding seven-and-a-half laps in 4:45.47. Katie Marsh ’05 followed in 4:51.78.

Co-captains Trey Wright ’03 and Chris Garvin ’03 capped the men’s day at Tufts, Wright in the shot put and Garvin in the 1000-meter run. Wright put the distance of his life, sending the plastic-coated cannonball 55’7″, catapulting him to third on the national performance list and restoring him to form reminiscent of last spring, prior to the ankle sprain that hampered his momentum. Garvin, riding the speed of last week’s 1:53 in the 800-meters, paced with Mark Miller of Keene State to 2:28.82 in the 1000-meters, a slim eight tenths off Jay Slowik’s ’01 school record of 2:28.02.

Garvin’s fellow cross-country captain, Neal Hannan ’03, competed Friday night in the 5000-meters with Neal Holtschulte ’06. Holtschulte, as in weeks past, stayed among the leaders until the race broke open in the closing laps, winding up sixth in 15:09.42, a couple of notches above his entrance seed. Hannan arrived in 15:38.04, his best time over the distance since December.

John Symanski ’06 couldn’t quite match his Div. III New England times, but hammered out 6.65 and 23.27 in the 55- and 200-meter dashes, respectively. Captain Mike Sheehan ’03 came through 500 meters in 1:06.66, solid enough to place fifth and pull Tommy Hall ’06 and George Rodriguez ’06 around in 1:07.34 and 1:08.35. Matt Winkler ’04 spun out the 800-meters in 1:56.15, earning him a point for eighth place. Tim Austin ’03, battling illness, could not repeat last week’s stunning all-New England blowout in the 1000-meters, but managed 2:36.03 nonetheless.

As NCAA officials tally last-minute submissions and arrange the entrants for the national championship, athletes are either packing their bags or crossing their fingers in hopes that this coming Thursday and Friday will find them in Indiana. Finalized rankings will be available Monday night. Wright (shot put), Garvin (800 meters) and Winkler (1500 meters) will likely comprise the Williams men’s contingent, while ten women – Campbell, Doody, Johnson, Schorling, Moody, Thompson, Jones, Moss, Caroline Cretti ’06 and captain Julia Bensen ’03 – are in good position to seal bids, as well.

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