Women’s track wins 18th straight Little Three title

For the 18th consecutive year, women’s track captured the Little Three title, dominating rivals Wesleyan and Amherst on a scorching afternoon in Amherst. The women ended the day with a total of 169 points to second-place Amherst’s 120.5.

As the last regular season meet of the year, the Little Threes provided an ideal setting for the Ephs to qualify for upcoming meets as well as mentally prepare for the upcoming month of intense competition. Although the women took victories in over half of the day’s events, they relied on a deep crew to collect an abundance of second and third place finishes. This impressive depth and teamwork will help the women excel in the upcoming championship season.

A number of athletes set personal records, boosted their rankings and had breakthrough performances in a variety of events. The coaches were especially proud of the improvements seen in many younger athletes competing in the field events.

After losing several All-Americans to graduation last year, the throwers and jumpers have worked diligently all year to increase their strength and better their techniques. Julia Cohan ’11 placed in all four throwing events, taking second in her first hammer performance and tossing a personal record in the shot put (10.11 meters.) Kristen Baldiga ’10 had a season’s-best javelin throw for a second place finish, while Halley Smith ’08 overcame plaguing injuries to capture first in the shot put (10.88 meters). Sara Turner ’11 (high jump, long jump), Fhatarah Zinnamon ’11 (long jump, triple jump), Rachel Teitelbaum ’11 (pole vault) and vaulter Tara Oberg ’10 all had solid performances in the jumps and look to prolong their seasons at NESCACs.

On the track, the women overcame the heat to dominate many of the sprints. Elise Johnson ’10 had a busy day scoring in four events, including three first-place finishes. Fellow 4×100 relay member and co-captain Carrie Plitt ’08 confirmed her reputation as one of the best sprinters in the league by taking individual titles in the 200 and 400 races. Katie Dupre ’10, Robin Kuntz ’08 and Johnson continued to improve in the hurdles, and sprinters Shawna McArdle ’10 and Anne Kerth ’11 had standout performances in many of the shorter races. Kerth’s speedy times in both the 200 and 400 races qualified her for Div. III nationals.

Although the hot temperatures threatened to impact some distance times, the women entertained the crowds with some close races. Lizzy Danhakl ’11 and Laura Walls ’08 took first and second place, respectively, in an exciting 800, while Lauren Philbrook ’09 experimented with the 1500 and claimed third place with teammate Meghan Shea ’11 finishing right behind.

Assistant Coach Erica Clausen is optimistic about the team’s outlook. “We’re looking forward to the rest of the championship season and are fired up for the NESCACs next weekend,” Clausen said.

The Ephs will race in the Penn Relays on Thursday and Friday, and the NESCAC championships will be held at Hamilton on Saturday.

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