Women’s track sends 4 Ephs to race at NCAAs

Four Ephs represented women’s indoor track at NCAAs at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday. Elise Johnson ’10, Sara Wild ’11, Elizabeth Danhakl ’11 and co-captain Lauren Philbrook ’09 traveled all the way to Indiana for the meet, which saw them complete the indoor track season with a solid showing of spirit and strength.
Johnson competed in the 55 meter hurdles. Although she did not qualify for the final round, she placed fifth in her heat, with a personal best time of 8.29 for the season. She placed ninth overall across all the preliminary heats.

The 800 meter race proved itself an exciting event, with runners sprinting to the finish line just milliseconds after each other in every heat. Wild and Danhakl placed third and fifth, respectively. Regrettably, Danhakl did not qualify for the final round with her time of 2:15.90, but she did place 11th overall. Wild ran a time of 2:15.35, earning her the chance to represent Williams in the finals. Her admirable finals time of 2:15.77 placed her seventh, and Wild received All-American honors for the 2009 indoor track season.
Philbrook continued the Ephs’ streak of excellence with her performance in the 5000 meter race. Philbrook, an automatic qualifier for Nationals, placed eighth with a time of 17:18.68. Her performance made her the second All-American woman from Williams.

The sport has recognized these talented four athletes as some of the top contenders in Div. III track and field. Although not all the competitors on the Nationals squad were able to compete at the level they would have liked, no one can deny the high intensity of performance and energy they exhibited not only at NCAAs, but also throughout the entire indoor season.

“Not placing as high as we would have liked has only fueled us to work harder each day so that we can run faster and show everyone what we are capable of doing,” Johnson said. “We have only just begun to truly tap into our talents and I look forward to competing in the future.”

The Ephs are now looking to the outdoor track and field season, which will provide new opportunities for them to test their training. The first outdoor meet will take place at home against Central Florida University on March 28.