Women’s indoor track and field traveled to Smith this past weekend to compete in the ECAC Div. III Championships. Finishing ninth out of 42 teams, the Ephs put on great performances amidst strong competition.
“The ECAC meet is an opportunity to get in some personal bests and hopefully qualify for the national meet,” tri-captain Nora Mitchell ’10 said. “We had some great performances … everyone gave it their best effort and left it all out there.”
Mitchell Baker, assistant coach, echoed the tri-captain. “The majority of our athletes were looking for improvements … to enhance their chances of qualifying for the NCAA Championships next week,” he said. “Those athletes not looking for NCAA marks were either tuning up for the NCAA meet by competing in a secondary event, or closing down their indoor season with a last stab at a personal best.”
The Ephs raced well in a number of track events over the weekend. Tri-captain Elise Johnson ’10 competed in the 55-meter hurdles; and ran a personal best time of 8.23, good enough for a second place finish. Jennifer Gossels ’13 placed eighth in the mile in 5:10.38, which marked another Eph personal best. Teammates Bret Scofield ’10 and Ceci Davis-Hayes ’11 raced to the finish line behind Gossels in the mile, coming in 14th and 20th, respectively. Hillary Higgs ’12 continued her strong post-season performance, placing second in the 200 meter in a blistering 25.41.
The Williams ‘A’ distance medley relay team claimed a third place finish in the weekend’s race: Mitchell, Lizzy Danhakl ’11, Ariel Williams ’10 and Olga Kondratjeva ’10 combined to race in 12:10.10, coming in just behind Middlebury and Ithaca.
On the field, Tanasia Hoffler ’13 had an excellent triple jump of 11.86 meters, which earned her an automatic trip to Nationals and second place in the meet. Fellow Ephs Karyn Moss ’12 and Brooke Johnson ’13 rounded out the triple jump results in ninth and 14th place, respectively.
Meanwhile, Sara Turner ’11 represented Williams in the pentathalon, placing eighth amid a strong field of competitors.
Baker praised the women’s individual performances this weekend, especially Hoffler’s performance in the triple jump. “Hoffler’s performance was particularly impressive as her NCAA automatic-qualifying jump occurred on her first attempt and she began her jump phase well behind the board,” Baker said. “This suggests that with more technical work and experience, future seasons look bright.”
The women echoed Baker’s excitement. “Those of us competing at Nationals are extremely excited to perform and know as long as we do what we have been doing all season, we will do very well,” Johnson stated. “We are both mentally and physically prepared to excel at Nationals.”
Ephs who have qualified for the meet throughout the course of the season will travel to DePauw University, Ind., to compete in the NCAA Div. III National Championship this weekend. Williams will send nine women to compete for glory in six separate events at NCAAs: Higgs will run the 400 meter, while Johnson competes in the 55-meter hurdles. The two will then join teammates Mitchell and Rebecca Fine ’13 on the Ephs’ 4×400 relay team, while Williams, Mitchell, Danhakl and Kondratjeva will look to improve on last weekend’s third place performance in the distance medley relay. Hoffler and Julie Paschal ’13 will take to the field for their rookie NCAA appearances in the triple jump and high jump, respectively.