Valentine Invite preps women’s track for NE’s

Women’s indoor track and field had a busy and successful past few weeks, as members of the squad traveled across New England improving their personal bests and qualifying for Div. III New England’s. Last weekend a portion of the women’s squad headed to the highly competitive Boston University Valentine Invitational. Despite the large size of the meet and impressive opposition, the small Eph crew were a strong presence among Div. I schools.

In a competitive mile, Lissy Robie ’08 and Laura Walls ’08 ran strong races, crossing the finish line in 5:02.83 and 5:03.18, respectively. Their finishes provisionally qualified the two women for nationals. Lauren Philbrook ’09 also performed well in Boston, winning her heat in the 5k in a time of 18:26.68.

Other members of the team attempted to improve their marks at Wesleyan’s Cardinal Invitational on Saturday. The younger Ephs made the most of this opportunity, with Sara Turner ’11 winning the high jump with a height of 5’3”and Cecilia Davis-Hayes ’11 captured first place in the mile with a time of 5:18.60.

Coaches and captains were also pleased with many Eph performances at the Dartmouth Invite earlier in the season. Halley Smith ’08 impressed both teammates and fans when she launched a shot put 37-00.50 in her collegiate shot put debut. On the track, Elise Johnson, ’10, wasted no time making a name for herself in her first collegiate race, as she blazed through the 60 hurdles in a Div. III New England qualifying time of 9.67. The 4×200 relay team also came through for the Ephs, as Smith, Carrie Plitt ’08, Emily Heaslip ’10 and Johnson captured first place with an NCAA qualifying time of 1:48.

The Ephs will travel to Tufts this weekend for their last regular season meet. Assistant Coach Shannon Houlihan is optimistic about the upcoming weeks. “People are starting to round into form,” she said. “Tufts will be a good tune up as we try to get the rest of our team qualified for Div. III New England’s.”