Women’s track runs to fifth at Open NEs

Last Friday and Saturday, several women’s track and field athletes took on stiff Div. I, Div. II and Div. III competition in the Div. I New England Championship meet at Northeastern University. The Ephs came in fifth out of 39 teams with 40.75 points and outscored all other Div. III schools at the meet. Williams came in behind front-runner Boston College, which tallied 102 points. UNH, UMass-Amherst and UVM also outraced the women.

Spurred by the high level of competition, the Ephs competed well on the track. In the sprints, tri-captain Elise Johnson ’10 won her heat in the preliminaries of the 100-meter hurdles but couldn’t quite catch Northeastern’s Saleena Abdur-Rashed in the final and the Eph finished second overall in 14.87. Hillary Higgs ’12 competed well in the 200 meter, running just .04 seconds off her season best time of 25.05 in the preliminaries before placing sixth in a 25.75 race in the finals. The 4×100 relay team also dismissed its Div. III rivals while claiming sixth overall with a 48.48 result.

Lizzy Danhakl ’11 posted a personal season record in the 800 meter, running a strong 2:13.07 for a fifth-place finish and an improvement on her NCAA provisional qualifying time. Sarah Tory ’11 also improved her provisional qualifier with her 11:10.55 finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Though the time was good enough for 11th, Tory will need to shave a bit more off her time in the weeks before NCAAs in order to compete at the national level. Bret Scofield ’10 beat out all of her Div. III competition in the 5000-meter run, rounding out her career with an 11th place finish after a solid time of 17:52.65.

Assistant Coach Pete Farwell praised both Scofield’s and Tory’s performances last weekend. “Bret has had a great outdoor season as she has moved up in distance from her former 1500 and 3K racing to the 5K and even 10K,” he said. “She ran close to NCAA qualifying times in each, and this 5K personal best shows how well she has combined speed and stamina. Sarah Tory has run three quality steeplechase races in a row, placing high for the team at NESCACs and Div. IIIs, and this meet notching her first ever NCAA qualifying mark.”

In the field, Jasmine Adekoya ’13 threw a personal record 41.02 meters in the discus for fifth place, edging closer to the provisional qualifier, while Julia Cohan ’11 threw 35.22 for 12th in the javelin. Both athletes, despite recent upward trends, need to use these last few weeks to continue improving and reach the qualifying benchmarks. Julie Paschal ’13 cleared 1.60 meters in the high jump for seventh place. She also needs to improve her current mark to ensure a berth in Nationals.

Tanasia Hoffler ’13 once again had a very successful weekend. On Friday, she leapt 5.48 meters for third place overall in the long jump and returned on Saturday to take second place in the triple jump with 11.93 meters. She also ran a 57-second split in the 4×400, helping the relay team to a fifth-place finish in a season’s best time of 3:54.27.

The women will travel to Springfield this weekend for the ECAC Championships. This weekend’s meet and a potential last-chance meet, to be scheduled after the team competes at ECACs if needed, are the only remaining chances for Ephs to qualify for the NCAA National Championship, which will be held May 27-29 at Baldwin-Wallace College.

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