Last Saturday, women’s track competed at Smith in its first meet of the season. Although the competition was non-scoring, many athletes put together strong opening performances and secured early qualifiers for championship meets. As the only competitor in the 5000 meter, Chiara Del Piccolo ’14 finished the race in a strong time of 16:57.98. Del Piccolo’s mark meets the previous automatic qualifying time for Div. III NCAAs. However, the new rules allow the top 15 competitors in the 5000 meter to automatically qualify for Div. III NCAAs, so Del Piccolo qualified for Nationals based on her first place finish.
In the field, Amina Avril ’14 earned first in the weight throw, hitting the former provisional qualifying distance with her 16.78-meter throw. Kathryn Evans ’12 threw 13.01 meters for third place in the event. Avril also won the shot put with a mark of 11.55 meters. Eileen Becker ’12 came in second in the shot put with a throw of 11.40 meters. All of the competing Eph throwers hit Div. III New England qualifying marks.
“The throwers, as a whole, are off to a strong start for the indoor season,” Head Coach Fletcher Brooks said. “All of the marks [last] weekend were better than marks from last year at this time, and in Kathryn’s case, her first mark of the year was even better than her personal record from last season.”
The Ephs had a good start on the track as well. The women dominated the 400-meter dash: Maya Harakawa ’12 and Amanda Murashige ’14 finished in Div. III New England qualifying times of 1:01.34 and 1:02.07, respectively, for respective first and second places. Rookie Ashley Graves ’15 finished in sixth with a time of 1:04.28. In the 600 meter, co-captain Hillary Higgs ’12 came in fourth with a time of 1:48.07. Rookie Haley Stewart ’15 and Annie Lynch ’14 finished in third and fourth, respectively, in the 60-meter dash. Stewart’s time of 8.16 seconds and Lynch’s mark of 8.17 seconds qualify them for Div. III NCAAs.
In the 60-meter hurdles, Marissa Lowe ’14 and co-captain Karyn Moss ’12 took the top two spots. Lowe finished in 9.47 seconds and Moss completed the event in 9.78 seconds. Both times qualify the Ephs for Div. III NCAAs. Lowe and Moss also competed in the triple jump. Moss won the event with a Div. III NCAA qualifying jump of 10.59 meters. Lowe hit 10.08 meters to take third place.
In the relays, the 4×400 team won its event with a time of 4:15.40. The 4×200 meter relay team finished with a strong time of 1:51.65, claiming second place.
“The team performed well for both our first meet and for where we are in our season,” Assistant Coach Howard Powell said. “The overall goal now is to stay healthy over the rest of the month, therefore allowing us to fix all the kinks by training hard and improve at future meets.”
Brooks emphasized that while the team scored some positive results, training and continued intensity will be critical to its success this season. “This meet was a chance for team to showcase their early gains from the weight room and track,” he said. “We had some excellent times and marks considering we only started formal training at the beginning of November. That being said, this was only a starting benchmark. We have a while to go before we start seeing championship results.”
A small contingent of women will compete at the Harvard Open on Saturday, and the whole team will next compete on Jan. 14 for a 10 a.m. meet at West Point.