Women’s track finishes 9th at indoor NCAAs

Williams’ 4×400 relay team, the distance medley relay team and rookie Sara Wild ’11 all earned All-American honors at the Div. III indoor national championships held at Ohio Northern University on March 14 and 15. The returning indoor national champions relied on strong senior leadership as well as some fresh young talent to score a total of 15 points, closing their indoor season with a strong ninth place finish.

A talented multi-sport athlete, Wild made the most of her national debut, racing to a fourth-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:15.24. Teammate Ariel Williams ’10 also finished her season with a strong 800 race. The DMR team comprised of Bret Scofield ’10, Carrie Plitt ’08, Laura Walls ’08 and Olga Kondratjeva ’10 earned a third-place finish, and the 4×400 team of Emily Heaslip ’10, Plitt, Veronica Ivey ’08 and Wild surpassed their seed to take fifth place.

The team welcomed back alumni for the Williams Invitational last weekend. The Invitational helped commemorate the last meet held at the track before construction on the new facility begins next fall. The Ephs enjoyed a successful day at the track, taking 15 first-place finishes from competitors Plattsburgh and Saint Rose.

“The Invitational isn’t as team-oriented because we’re not competing against NESCAC schools,” co-captain Lissie Robie ’08 said. “But we posted great times.”

The women swept the relays and performed well in many of the jumping events. The steeplechasers, led by Ceci Davis-Hayes ’11, braved chilly weather and managed to take the first four place finishes in a competitive and grueling 2000 steeplechase. Plitt and Shawna McArdle ’10 finished in first and second place, respectively, in both the 100 and 200. Kondratjeva also had a great day, cruising to victories in both the 400 and 5k races.

The Ephs enjoyed staying close to home this past weekend after their two-week spring training trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. Taking on Div. I powerhouses such as Maryland and Lafayette at Coastal Carolina’s Shamrock Invitational, the Ephs impressed their competitors with some top performances.

In a thrilling 1500, Robie hustled to a third place finish and teammate Kondratjeva took fourth. Wild also started her outdoor season with a bang, placing third in the 800. Moira Yoe ’10 took fifth in the 10,000 and fellow distance runner Lauren Philbrook ’09 recorded best finish for the team when she captured second place in the 5k.

The women capped off their training trip with a stop in Richmond, Va. for the University of Richmond Invitational. Philbrook again demonstrated her spectacular endurance, winning the 10k in a time of 38:40.87, while Robie and Kondratejeva continued to deliver spectacular 800 times. Nora Mitchell ’10 also ran well for the team and placed third in the steeplechase. Rachel Teitelbaum ’11 pole vaulted to a seventh place finish.

“Spring break in Myrtle Beach, with the warm weather, was a perfect way to train and to bond as a team.” Robie said. “We needed to take advantage of that to work on getting qualifying times for championship meets, which is exactly what happened.”

Women’s track will participate at the UMass Invitational in Amherst this weekend.