Women’s track races to Little 3 championship

This week, women’s track split up to compete in three separate meets. The heptathletes competed at Middlebury on Friday and Saturday, the mid-distance and distance runners traveled to Princeton on Friday for the Larry Ellis Invite and the majority of the team gathered at Amherst for the Little Three meet against Amherst and Wesleyan on Saturday. At the Little Three meet, the women dominated the competition, scoring 176 points to Amherst’s 113 and Wesleyan’s final tally of 63 in order to keep the team’s 25-year winning streak alive.

The Ephs crushed the competition at the Little Three meet on Saturday. Williams athletes won the majority of the events, and while many more scored, the meet’s unique scoring system of only counting points from two athletes from each school in a single event prevented the point disparity from being greater.

Annie Lynch ’14 ran a season best in the 100 meter, finishing with a Div. III New England qualifying time of 13.01. Maya Harakawa ’12 also turned in her top performance of the season in the 400-meter hurdles with an ECAC-qualifying time of 1:06.64. Louisa Lee ’14 qualified for Div. III New Englands in the 800 meter with a time of 2:40.66 and also qualified in the 1500 meter with a time of 5:10.18. Olivia Delia ’12 also had a season best time of 4:51.02 in the 1500 meter, which qualified her for Div. III New Englands. Brianne Mirecki ’14 qualified for ECACs in her premiere in the 3000-meter steeplechase, in which she finished in just 11:31.44. Meghan Shea ’11 also had a season-best time in the steeplechase: She finished in 12:42.45.

The 5000 meter yielded several season-best performances. Marisa Repka ’14 won the event in a time of 17:54.58, while teammate Natalie Davis ’12 finished in second with a time of 18:03.10. Both times are Div. III New England qualifiers. KK Durante ’11 ran an 18:54.26 in the same event, also qualifying for Div. III New England competition.

“It was great to see Marisa Repka and Natalie Davis posting fast times in the rain at Little Threes, leading the race from the start,” co-captain Tina Meade ’11 said.

The Ephs continued to dominate in the field at the Little Three meet. Julie Paschal ’13 cleared 1.62 meters in the high jump, marking her season best jump. She won the event and qualified for ECACs. Madeleine Watson ’12 and Eileen Becker ’12 finished first and second, respectively, in the discus. The duo also finished the meet in third and second in the shot, respectively. Kathryn Evans ’12 won the hammer with a throw of 40.63 meters, and co-captain Julia Cohan ’11 won the javelin with a throw of 33.10 meters.

The Ephs’ 4×100 relay team of Lynch, Hillary Higgs ’12, Amodhi Weeresinghe ’14 and Marissa Lowe ’14 won the event in 52.29. The 4×400 relay team of Rebecca Fine ’13, Harakawa, Higgs and Fiona Moriarty ’11 also claimed first in the quartet’s event in a time of 4:12.84. “The group at Little Threes did their best in the horrible weather and left the team hungry for a NESCAC title,” Cohan said.

The small group that traveled to Middlebury over the weekend yielded two impressive marks. In her first heptathlon of the season, Tanasia Hoffler ’13 scored 4238 points and provisionally qualified for NCAA nationals. Additionally, Jenna Adams ’14 broke her own school record from earlier this season in the pole vault. She cleared 3.75 meters and improved her national provisional ranking.

The Larry Ellis Invite on Friday was also a success. Of the athletes who traveled to Princeton, four notched NCAA qualifying marks. Captain Lizzy Danhakl ’11 hit a provisionally qualifying mark in the 800 meter. Her time of 2:14.10 places her 11th in the nation. In the 5000 meter, the Ephs showcased their talent. Annie Dear ’13 and Jennifer Gossels ’13 ran times of 16:49.42 and 16:57.29, respectively. Dear’s time was a personal record, an automatic qualifier for NCAAs and the fastest Div. III time in the nation. Gossels’ time is a provisional mark for Div. III NCAAs and is currently the second-fastest time on the ranking list. Not to be outdone, Meade ran her own personal best of 17:15.39 and provisionally qualified for NCAAs. Her time is currently good for 11th best in the nation.

“Annie, Jen, Tina and Lizzy did an awesome job at Princeton, all qualifying for nationals with some really fast times,” Cohan said.

Meade agreed that the results this weekend are encouraging. “It is very exciting to have such strong results so early in the season, especially with Annie hitting the automatic qualifying time, and for Jen to be right behind her coming off of an injury … It certainly bodes well for championship season, heading into NESCACs and Div. III New Englands,” she said.

The women will look to continue their dominace when they compete for the NESCAC title at Wesleyan on Saturday.