Women’s track dominates NCAAs, brings home 11 All-American titles

Women’s track competed in its final competition of the indoor winter season at the NCAA Div. III Indoor Championship meet on Friday and Saturday at Capital in Columbus, Ohio. After a long season, the women qualified 10 athletes for competition. Five of the qualifying women were rookies, a testament to the young strength of the team.

The meet opened with the long jump on Friday. Tanasia Hoffler ’13 started the Ephs off well: She won an All-American title and finished sixth in the long jump with a jump of 5.52 meters. On Saturday, Hoffler won the triple jump and claimed the fifth All-American title of her collegiate career. Her first-place jump of 12.23 meters was the longest jump of the NCAA Div. III indoor season and broke the track’s triple jump record. Brooke Johnson ’13 also competed in the triple jump in her NCAA Championship debut, finishing 11th overall with a jump of 11.34 meters.

The distance medley relay team of Maya Harakawa ’12, Julianne Fontana ’14, Brianne Mirecki ’14 and co-captain Lizzy Danhakl ’11 finished fourth with a time of 12:00.64, a time good enough for an All-American title. The relay marked the championship debut of Harakawa, Fontana and Mirecki.

In the 5000 meter, the Ephs sponsored two women: Annie Dear ’13 and rookie Chiara Del Piccolo ’14. Dear finished seventh with a time of 17:09.90 and garnered an All-American title. Del Piccolo made an impressive debut, finishing 11th in 17:50.00.

Rookies Anima Avril ’14 and Jenna Adams ’14 also made their championship debuts in the field events. Avril placed eighth in the weight with a throw of 16.50 meters. Adams took 16th in the pole vault with a jump of 3.37 meters.

“I was proud of the entire group,” said Head Coach Fletcher Brooks. “The women [brought] home 11 All-American competitors out of a potential 16. Considering how many first-time national competitors we had, this was a positive championship and bodes well for the future.”

With the conclusion of the indoor season, the women will open their outdoor season with a spring training trip to California. The team will return several athletes who were injured for the indoor season. Among the returning athletes is triple jumper and multi-event athlete Karyn Moss ’12, who is returning from a back fracture, mid-distance runner Olivia Delia ’12, who is returning from an irritated ankle, and All-American high jumper Julie Paschal ’13, who is returning from a foot fracture. All three women are leaders in their events.

The women’s first meet will be on Saturday at USC. The women will also compete at Cal State-Fullerton on March 26. Williams will then head back east for the Decathalon/Heptathalon Competition at Tufts on April 8 and 9 and a meet at UMass-Amherst on April 9.

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