Women’s track crushes foes, seizes conference crown

ompetition at the NESCAC championships, held at Conn. College on Saturday. With an unbeatable score of 180 points, 24 points above second place Middlebury, Williams captured the NESCAC title in a field of 10 other teams.

“Our team posted a lot of fast times and great marks, but we were mostly focused on placing as high as possible in each event in order to increase our team score,” said co-captain Robin Kuntz ’09.

The Ephs claimed the top positions in their respective events from the start and simply refused to back down for the duration of the meet. In the final 1000 meter dash, Elise Johnson ’10 placed second with a time of 12.68. Hillary Higgs ’12 placed eighth with her time of 13.26. In the 200 meter dash, Higgs placed first with her time of 25.70, and Johnson followed in second. Kelsey Ham ’12 claimed second place in the 400 meter dash, and Higgs, Emily Heaslip ’10 and Nora Mitchell ’10 placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Elizabeth Danhakl ’11 continued to rack up points for Williams with her third place finish in the 800 meter run. Placing third, with a time of 2:14.64, she earned six points. Sara Wild ’11 earned fifth, and Olga Kondratjeva ’10 placed seventh. Kondratjeva also represented Williams in the 1500 meter run, in which she placed third. Danhakl followed immediately after in fourth.

Julie McNamara ’09, Tina Meade ’11 and Rachel Asher ’09 furthered Williams’ excellence with their performances in the 5000 meter run, taking fourth, sixth and seventh. In the 10,000 meter event, Mary Feeley ’09 claimed second place with a strong time of 38:01.48. Natalia Rey de Castro ’09 captured fourth, and Gillian Tedeschi ’09 finished seventh.

In the hurdling events, Williams also showed notable talent. Johnson placed first in the finals of the 100 meter hurdles; she was the only woman with a time under 15.00, and her time of 14.70 earned her NCAA provisional status. Karyn Moss ’12 also made the final round and placed eighth with a time of 16.69. Maya Harakawa ’12 led Williams in the 400 meter hurdles, placing sixth with the solid time of 1:05.86. Mitchell also performed well with an eighth place finish in the event.

The excitement continued, and Williams came out with top performances in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Meghan Shea ’11 placed first with a time of 10:53.99, while Kuntz earned third with a time of 11:35.80. Sarah Tory ’11 came in fourth.

With such excellent preceding performances, the 4×100 meter relay team’s first place finish came as no surprise. The team, composed of Johnson, Ham, Shawna McArdle ’10 and Higgs, won with a time of 48.74. In the 4×400 meter relay, Kyle Huckleberry ’11, Anne Kerth ’11, Wild and Heaslip ran an excellent time of 4:00.18, which placed Williams in second. Harakawa, Ariel Williams ’10, Alysha McElroy ’11 and Olivia Delia ’12 also ran a solid 4×800 meter relay. With a time of 9:39.12, they placed fifth.

The field athletes also made the best use of their talent for the big meet. Moss placed seventh in the high jump, and in the pole vault event, Rachel Teitelbaum ’11 placed fifth. Sara Turner ’11 managed an impressive third in the long jump and Moss took fourth in the triple jump. In the shot put, Madeline Watson ’12 and Eileen Becker ’12 placed 11th and 12th. Watson also took sixth in the discus throw. Williams earned another top-three finish in the javelin throw, in which Julia Cohan ’11 captured third.

Williams also performed well the day before in the Penn Relays meet at the University of Pennsylvania. Co-captain Lauren Philbrook ’09 ran the 10,000 meter run and placed fifth with her time of 35:16.84, which met the NCAA Div. III automatic qualifying mark. She was also the first Div. III finisher. Using her splits to calculate what her 5000 meter time would have been puts her at ninth on the list of Williams 5000 meter times.

The team now has great confidence going into the New England Div. III Championships on Saturday at Springfield.

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