Women’s track earns 9th straight Div. III NE title

Women’s track and field dominated the competition at Coast Guard last weekend, collecting 111 points to decisively capture the Div. III New England championship for the ninth straight year. Coming into the meet, the Ephs knew they would face tough competition from NESCAC rivals Amherst and Tufts and Boston powerhouse MIT, yet the team continued to exceed expectations and once again proved itself to be the best Div. III squad in New England.

The 10k trio of Tina Meade ’11, Moira Yoe ’10 and Beth Links ’09 got the weekend off to a solid start, each running personal record times on Friday afternoon, finishing in ninth, 12th and 15th, respectively. The strong Eph performances continued early the next day, as underclassmen steeplechasers Meghan Shea ’11 and Elly Teitsworth ’10 ran smart races to capture fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the 3k steeple.

The sprint crew had a long, tough day, as many of the women had to battle through preliminaries in order to make the final rounds later in the afternoon. Despite the cold weather, a number of distance women had standout performances in a range of events. Lauren Philbrook ’09 ran to a sixth-place personal best time of 17:55.98 in the 5k. Lizzy Danhakl ’11 fought her way to second place in a feisty 1500, while teammate Laura Walls ’08 crossed the line in 12th. The Ephs impressed the crowd once again in the 800, as Olga Kondratjeva ’10 and co-captain Lissy Robie ’08 cruised to second and fourth place finishes, respectively, collecting 13 points for the team.

The temperature continued to drop as the sprinters prepared to take on the competition in the finals. Although their times were often slower as a result of the cold, Sara Wild ’11 hustled to a fifth-place finish in the 400 and Shawna McArdle ’10 nabbed fourth place in the 200. The dynamic duo of co-captain Carrie Plitt ’08 and Elise Johnson ’10 brought in a substantial number of points for squad, with Plitt finishing first in the 200 and second in the 100, and Johnson capturing first in the 100 high hurdles and seventh in the 100.
The women pulled away from the pack with second-place finishes in all three relays and received an unexpected nine points in javelin by season-best throws from Kristen Baldiga ’10 (fourth) and Julia Cohan ’11 (fifth).

With the victory sealed by late afternoon, pole vaulter Rachel Teitelbaum ’11 added some insurance points for the Ephs, launching herself to a personal best height of 11-01.75, which was good for a second-place finish.

The women look to continue their successful spring campaign this weekend at the All New England championships at UNH.