Women’s track finishes 17th at Div. I NEs

Women’s indoor track gave a strong performance throughout the Div. I New England Championships at BU this weekend. In a field of 32 teams, Williams placed 17th with 14 points scored and ranked above particular rivals Amherst and Bowdoin.

With high spirits, the team put all of its effort into the meet. Though just about .11 seconds shy of a finals qualifying time in the 400 meter dash, Hillary Higgs ’12 performed excellently with a time of 58.28 in the preliminary round. Ariel Williams ’10 placed 10th in the mile run with a time of 5:08.06. Following closely were Meghan Shea ’11, who placed 12th with a time of 5:08.58, and Olga Kondratjeva ’10, who took 14th in 5:09.93.

The meet intensified in excitement when Sara Wild ’11 and Elizabeth Danhakl ’11 qualified in the preliminary round for finals in the women’s 800. Wild and Danhakl placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the final round with times of 2:13.36 and 2:13.52. Together they earned Williams a total of nine points and also ran strong provisional NCAA qualifying times. While the team earned no further points in meter runs, Mary Feeley ’09 still ran a strong 3000 meter race, placing 17th with a personal record of 10:28.63.

Elise Johnson ’10 proudly represented Williams in the hurdling events. While Johnson did not qualify for the final round of the 55 meter hurdles, her semifinal qualifying preliminary time of 8.44 placed her in seventh, and her semi-final time of 8.61 placed her in 12th.

Williams did not place in any field event, but the team competed exceptionally in the relays. In the 4×400 meter relay, the Williams team of Johnson, Nora Mitchell ’10, Wild and Higgs placed ninth out of 20 teams with a time of 3:57.69.

In the 4×800 meter relay, Mitchell, Kathie Nyholm ’11, co-captain Robin Kuntz ’09 and Jess Clarke ’10 crossed the line in fourth and set a school record with a time of 9:17.35, which also contributed five points to the Ephs’ final score.

Kuntz remarked that the meet was an opportunity to improve on individual times and look towards Nationals. “The support of our teammates was essential in running well this weekend,” Kuntz said. “The times, performances, and general spirit of the Williams squad at this meet bodes well for the two remaining competitions of the indoor season.”

The team will travel to the ECAC Div. III Championships at Tufts on Friday and will head off to Rose Hulman/Terre Haute in Indiana for Nationals on March 13.