Women’s track powers to 3rd at UMass-Amherst Invitational

Women’s track and field competed Saturday in the UMass-Amherst Invitational. The women finished in third place with 117 points. University of Albany won the meet and Boston College came in second, making Williams the top-scoring Div. III school. The squad also competed in two meets in California over spring break, impressing at Cal State-Fullerton on March 26 and at USC on March 19.

Saturday’s competition was the first chance for the team to compete as a whole, and several members made decisive marks in their season openers. In the hammer throw, Amina Avril ’14 improved upon her previous marks with a throw of 46.42 meters, qualifying for All New Englands and winning the event. Kathryn Evans ’12 also qualified for Div. III New Englands with a throw of 41.85 meters and Maya Dennis ’13 set a personal record with a throw of 35.09 meters. Eileen Becker ’12 qualified for ECACs in the shot put with a throw of 11.86 meters. In the discus, Avril placed second with a throw of 41.59 meters, provisionally qualifying for nationals. Madeleine Watson ’12 threw 34.67 to qualify for Div. III New Englands in the discus as well.

Kathleen Durante ’11 qualified for Div. III New Englands in the 10k with a time of 40:49.14. Tanasia Hoffler ’13 triple-jumped 12.04 meters for an automatic national qualifying mark. Karyn Moss ’12 improved her Div. III New Englands qualifying distance of 10.95 meters in the same event. Amodhi Weeresinghe ’14 ran 12.96 to qualify for Div. III New Englands in the 100 meter, and Rebecca Fine ’13, Hillary Higgs ’12 and Amanda Murashige ’14 all improved their Div. III New Englands qualifying times in the 400 meter.

On March 26 at Cal State-Fullerton, the Ephs almost universally improved their marks from the previous week. In the 100 meter, Hoffler qualified for ECACs with a time of 12.70 seconds. Higgs and Murashige qualified for Div. III New Englands in the same event. In the 800 meter run, tri-captain Lizzy Danhakl ’11 and Julieanne Fontana ’14 ran 2:16.75 and 2:21.30 respectively, finishing sixth and seventh for the team and qualifying for both ECACs and Div. III New Englands.

The distance team came out in force for the 1500 meter run: Danhakl, Annie Dear ’13, Brianne Mirecki ’13, Chiara del Piccolo ’14, Sarah Tory ’11, Natalie Davis ’12 and Fontana all had their strongest races in the event so far this season, with Dear leading the pack and running for 4:32.57 for a national provisional qualifying time. “It was really surprising how fast she was able to run in the 1500. This meet was very much a ‘train-through meet,’ and her result happened in spite of a heavy running schedule,” Assistant Coach Patrick Wales-Dinan said. Tri-captain Tina Meade ’11 also had a strong race in the 5000 meter run, finishing in 17:42.82 and qualifying for the All New England championship meet. In the 400-meter hurdles, Maya Harakawa ’12 qualified for ECACs with at time of 1:06.95.

The field events also had sound results. Hoffler and Brooke Johnson ’13 qualified for All New Englands in the long jump and Julie Paschal ’13 qualified for ECACs in the high jump.

The Ephs competed in their first meet of the season while in California for their training trip. The women competed at USC on March 19. In the field, Jenna Adams ’14 set a new school record and provisionally qualified for nationals with a height of 3.70 meters in the pole vault. Avril threw 11.97 meters in shot put and 39.72 meters in discus, qualifying for ECACs in each event. Tri-captain Julia Cohan ’11 also qualified for ECACs in javelin with a throw of 37.43 meters. On the track, Annie Lynch ’14 ran a Div. III New England qualifier of 13.07 seconds in the 100 meter and finished in 27.75 in the 200. The 4×400 meter relay of Rebecca Fine ’13, Harakawa, Higgs and Danhakl finished off the day with an ECAC qualifying time of 4:06.85.

The spring break trip was seen as a success, as Wales-Dinan said: “Being able to go on a spring break trip like this one is a great advantage. It helps the technical and running events alike, and athletes can take away a lot from two weeks of nice weather and intense practices in a team environment.”

The women will next compete Saturday in the Brown Invitational.

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