Women’s track breezes past Div. III for New England title

Women’s track pulled off a decisive victory last Saturday at Div. III New Englands, grabbing the team’s second win in as many weeks at Tufts University. Adding points from a mix of both unexpected and expected sectors, Williams pulled away from the competition with a score of 157 to reclaim the title from last year’s champion MIT, who finished in second on Saturday with a score of 120.5.

“This was just a strong, confident, team performance overall,” Assistant Coach Matt Campanelli said. “There was an array of scoring from all areas, and some unexpected performances offset losing some big points in other events due to injuries.”

For some athletes, the championship meet started on Friday with several field events, the women’s 10K race and the first part of the heptathlon. In the hammer, Jasmine Adekoya ’13 threw 41.71 meters for seventh place. Tanasia Hoffler ’13 and Brooke Johnson ’13 placed second and fifth in the long jump, respectively, to start the team’s weekend off with some solid points. In the first 10K of her William’s career, Bret Scofield ’10 ran 37:43.83 for third. Lauren Goldstein-Kral ’12 scored for the Ephs as well, finishing in eighth place with a time of 39:03.92. Blair Robinson ’13 followed just under four seconds later for ninth.

Standout performances and new personal records abounded in the field events on Saturday. Julia Cohan ’11 threw a season best 37.73 meters for fourth place in the javelin. In the discus, Adekoya and Madeleine Watson ’12 both threw personal records, hitting 40.57 meters and 37.22 meters for second and ninth places, respectively. Eileen Becker ’12 also scored a bonus point in the shot put, finishing eighth with a throw of 11.65 meters. In the jumps, Julie Paschal ’13 cleared 1.63 meters in the high jump for fourth. Karyn Moss ’12 added a third place triple jump of 11.36 meters to her fifth place performance in the heptathlon.

“Moss’s triple was a huge jump, especially considering her efforts in the heptathlon,” Campanelli said. “Every point counts, and you never know what will happen with injuries and fatigue during the later days of competition.”

The sprints pulled in their usual big points for the Ephs. Tri-captain Elise Johnson ’10 raced in the 100 meter, 100-meter hurdles and the 200 meter on Saturday, finishing second, first and fourth in the respective races. Hillary Higgs ’12 also scored in multiple events, beating Johnson out for third in the 200 meter and finishing in 56.98 for second in the 400. Mitchell also ran an impressive 400-meter hurdle time of 1:06.20 for sixth.

In the weekend’s longer races, the Ephs had to battle against the heat as well as the stiff competition. Despite the obstacles, Jennifer Gossels ’13, Annie Dear ’13 and Elleree Erdos ’12 all competed well in the 5K, notching second, fourth and eighth place finishes, respectively.

The relays last weekend also showcased the team’s dominance across the board. In the 4×800, Olga Kondratjeva ’10, Jessica Clark ’10, Rebecca Fine ’13 and Lizzie Danhakl ’11 ran an impressive time of 9:17.73 for the win. In the other two relays, Ephs posted national qualifying times en route to second-place finishes. Johnson, Higgs, Hoffler and Kelsey Ham ’12 combined for a 48.23 in the 4×100, while Johnson, Higgs and Hoffler snagged the second win with tri-captain Nora Mitchell ’10. The team posted a 3:56.30 in the 4×400 meter.

A number of Ephs toyed with national provisional qualifying times over the weekend. Maya Harakawa ’12 and Sarah Tory ’11 came close to the benchmark: Harakawa ran a 1:04.47, just .27 seconds off of the qualifier, for third place in the 400-meter hurdles, and Tory finished in second with a time of 11:14.71 in the steeplechase, just over a second slower that the provisional mark. Danhakl and Kondratjeva broke past the qualifier in the 800, posting some solid provisional marks to finish fourth and sixth, respectively.

Campanelli emphasized that the team is still looking to improve heading into the rest of the season. “We concluded the team competition portion of our schedule on a high [with] many great performances, and will carry the momentum into the remainder of the championship season,” he said.

Winning this meet marks the end of the season for many Ephs, but those who are close to qualifying for NCAAs will have one more chance to hit qualifying marks at Saturday’s Div. I New Englands at Northeastern University. The spring championship season will wrap up with NCAAs May 27-29 at Baldwin Wallace, following ECACs at Springfield May 14-15.

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