Women’s track preps at NYU, Harvard timesotham Cup

Women’s track and field traveled to New York City on Friday to compete in the unscored NYC Gotham Cup. Some of the top Div. I, II and III teams from across the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions competed in the meet, and despite their small numbers, the women had a strong showing. The weekend’s performance mimicked the team’s equally strong results at the unscored Harvard Invitational late in December.

The banked track of the famed Armory posed an interesting twist in the competition, as several runners were not familiar with competing on sloped turns. Williams, however, managed to post several solid results on the track. Maya Harakawa ’12 opened the season with a 1:02.28 in the 400 meter, improving slightly on her indoor record from last season. Brianne Mirecki ’14 ran her first college 800 meter, finishing with an impressive time of 2:22.27, easily qualifying for the Div. III New England championship meet and narrowly qualifying for the ECAC championship meet.

In the 500 meter, Rebecca Fine ’13 and Julieanne Fontana ’14 finished with times of 1:19.45 and 1:21.5, respectively, to earn 13th and 22nd places overall. Both times qualified the Ephs for ECACs and marked strong starts for the women’s indoor season. Fine’s time also marked a personal record.

“Fine’s [personal record] this morning was a great race,” Assistant Coach Mitchell Baker said, “When starting a new season, it is always hard to begin at the same level as you left off. Rebecca showed that she is right where she was last spring, which hopefully indicates a great season ahead.”

The field team boasted more great starts to the season. Julie Paschal ’13 leapt 1.60 meters to grab second in the high jump. Rookie Jenna Adams ’14 vaulted 3.25 meters to start her college career, qualifying for ECACs. Rachel Teitelbaum ’11 and Sarah Bender ’11 also posted good marks of 2.95 and 2.50 meters, respectively, with Teitelbaum easily qualifying to compete in the Div. III New Englands meet.

In the distance races, tri-captain Lizzie Danhakl ’11 ran a 3:02.64 in the 1000 meter while Jennifer Gossels ’13 ran a 5:10.77 in the seeded mile. Danhakl and Gossels placed eighth and sixth in their respective races and qualified for the championship meets as expected. Olivia Delia ’12 finished the 3k with a solid time of 10:54.76.

The strongest start to the season came in the last race of the day: the 5k. Rookies Chiara del Piccolo ’14 and Leslie Blackshear ’14 finished within a second of each other, posting times of 17:52.77 and 17:53.96. Emily Barreca ’14 easily beat the ECAC qualifying time, finishing in 18:34.33.

“The freshmen runners in the 5k looked like much more experienced runners,” Baker said, “and they produced great results for the amount of college training that they have undergone so far.”

The women also competed in the unscored Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, Mass. on Dec. 11, which allowed many Ephs to start off the season by qualifying for championship events. In the triple jump, Tanasia Hoffler ’13 and Brooke Johnson ’13 finished first and second, respectively, both exceeding the NCAA Div. III automatic mark. Johnson also competed in the long jump, where she earned fourth place and qualified for ECACs. Amina Avril ’14 muscled into fourth place in the weight throw and recorded her second straight NCAA Div. III qualifying mark.

The women next compete Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Continental Invitational at Hamilton. Following the weekend’s meet, the Ephs will then travel to Northeastern on Jan. 28 to compete in the Boston Indoor Games.