Women’s track posts top early season times

Women’s track and field was the only Div. III team to compete last Saturday at the six-team meet at West Point. The Ephs performed well against the Div. I competition, posting several top-three individual finishes and placing fifth overall. They scored 59 points, ahead of Rider’s 56 points and just behind Columbia’s 77. Lehigh came in first with 142 points. This was the first competition of the season for many athletes after the conclusion of the cross country season. Additionally, many athletes returned from studying abroad.

The majority of the middle- and long-distance runners were competing for the first time this season. All 10 of the runners posted Div. III New England qualifying times. Amelia Ortiz ’15 led the charge in the 5000 meter, setting a personal record of 18:23.75 for fifth place in her first collegiate indoor track meet. Shayna Barbash ’14 followed close behind in 18:27.59 for sixth place, while Elleree Erdos ’12 and Emily Barreca ’14 also posted strong finishes in 18:38.41 and 19:13.52, respectively. Erdos took eighth and Barreca claimed 14th.

Brianne Mirecki ’14 took fourth in the mile with a time of 5:05.36 to lead a strong group that included Anna Spiers ’15 in sixth at 5:06.95, Kaleigh Kenny ’14 in seventh with a time of  5:14.42, Adrienne Strait ’15 in ninth at 5:26.02 and Louisa Lee ’14 in 10th with a 5:26.25 result.

Tanasia Hoffler ’13 returned from her semester abroad with an impressive performance. Head Coach Fletcher Brooks had Hoffler jumping off a limited approach to “take away some speed and give her more control.” Hoffler won the long jump with a mark of 5.14 meters and the triple jump in 11.33 meters against strong Div. I competition. Pole-vaulter Jenna Adams ’14 vaulted 3.40 meters in her first meet of the season for second place.

The throwers built on their strong performances from December, as Amina Avril ’14 threw the weight 15.82 meters for third place and Eileen Becker ’12 took fifth in the shot put with an 11.59-meter toss. Kathryn Evans ’12 had a solid outing in the weight throw with a 12.81-meter mark.

Despite technical struggles in the sprints, Maya Harakawa ’12 took third in the 400 meter with a time of 1:01.52, and Amanda Murashige ’14 took 11th in the 200 meter with a time of 27.35. Haley Stewart ’15 showed promise in the 60 meter, running 8.25 for ninth to edge out veterans Hoffler and Annie Lynch ’14, who both finished in 8.34. Williams looked strong in the 500 meter, as co-captain Hillary Higgs ’12 took ninth in 1:20.62. Higgs was followed by Rebecca Fine ’13, who took 12th in 1:22.22, and Ashley Graves ’15, who took 14th in 1:23.77. The 4×400 relay team of Fine, Lynch, Stewart and Murashige also ran well to take third in 4:06.41. Brooks emphasized that this group “continues to work hard on mechanics, [and though] there is certainly talent, it takes time.”

The team is seeking to improve on its result in upcoming meets. “The talent is there; the work ethic is there,” Brooks said. “We need to think big.”

A small contingent of women will compete at Hamilton on Saturday. Events will begin at 11 a.m.

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