Women’s track takes small squads to ECACs

With only one week to go until the NCAA Div. III indoor national championships at Ohio Northern University, women’s track and field spent last weekend at the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships (ECACs). The ECACs, held at Harvard, provided not only a good final tune up for the Ephs, but also served as the last opportunity for the women to qualify for nationals. After battling some new and competitive Div. III eastern conference rivals over the two-day meet, the women collected 37 hard-fought points to tie SUNY Brockport for a seventh place finish.

The championship-bound mile relay team – comprised of Carrie Plitt ’08, Sara Wild ’11, Emily Heaslip ’10 and Veronica Ivey ’08 – had another stellar performance, capturing first place in a time of 3:56.22. The relays have been notably consistent throughout the indoor season and this quartet, along with the Distance Medley Relay team (DMR) of Bret Scofield ’10, Plitt, Laura Walls ’08 and Olga Kondratvjeva ’10 will attempt to bring in some valuable points for the Ephs next weekend.

The women also racked up 17 points in the mile race. Co-captain Lissy Robie ’08 led the way, crossing the finish line in second place in time of 5:06.10, while Walls finished fourth. Ceci Davis-Hayes ’11 capped off a strong rookie indoor season with a personal best time of 5:11.48 to earn fifth place.

The mid-distance women continued to demonstrate their depth and resilience in the 800. Heather Bemis ’09 ran her fastest indoor time ever, capturing eighth place a few steps behind teammate Nora Mitchell ’10 (sixth place), who has been racing well for the Ephs all season. Standout Kondratjeva had a breakthrough performance in the 1000, capturing third in a time of 2:57.09, and teammate Meghan Shea ’11 ran a personal best of 3:04.67.

The ECACs marked the end of the indoor season for many talented Ephs, including sprinter Shawna McArdle ’10 and 500 runners Cathy Nyholm ’11 and Kylie Huckleberry ’11. Pole vaulter Rachel Teitelbaum ’11 and Sarah Turner ’11, who competes in the high jump, as well as Elise Johnson ’10 (55 hurdles) finished their seasons with personal best performances at ECACs.

Williams will send a small but talented squad to Ohio Northern next weekend to defend its title. Although the list for nationals is still being finalized, at this point the crew includes the 4×400 and distance medley relay squads, first-year dynamo Wild (800) and senior powerhouse Plitt, who will compete in the 400.