Impressive showings earn women’s track fourth at ECACs

Women’s track and field competed this past weekend at the ECAC Championships at the Armory in New York City. Despite only bringing a small squad of athletes attempting to hit national qualifying marks, the women tied with Cortland State for fourth in the meet: Each team earned 42 points. MIT won with 56.33 points.

Tanasia Hoffler ’13 was once again a huge scorer for the Ephs, winning the long jump with a leap of 5.62 meters, taking third in the triple jump with 11.86 meters and just missing the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, running 9.09 seconds in the preliminaries.

Amina Avril ’14 also earned big points, throwing a personal-best 17.61 meters in the weight throw to win the event.Co-captain Karyn Moss ’12 won the pentathlon with a season-best performance of 3231 points.

Other points came from Brooke Johnson ’13, who took fifth in the triple jump by flying 11.17 meters, and Brianne Mirecki ’14, who ran 5:05.39 for seventh in the mile.

Also of note was the women’s distance medley relay of Anna Spiers ’15, Rebecca Fine ’13, Olivia Delia ’12 and Kaleigh Kenny ’14, which took over 30 seconds off its previous best time by running 12:03.95 for 10th place. Meanwhile, Eileen Becker ’12 threw the shot put 12.02 meters for ninth place.

The real focus for the Ephs at this meet, however, was not on scoring points but on posting competitive marks ranking in the top 15 nationally in order to qualify for the NCAA meet. Hoffler, Avril and Moss all achieved this goal, as Hoffler’s long jump and Moss’s pentathlon put both in 13th nationally. Avril’s weight throw ranked her seventh in the nation. As this was the final weekend of competition before Nationals, all rankings are now final.

Other athletes who will be representing Williams at NCAAs this  weekend based on earlier performances include Jenna Adams ’14 in the pole vault, the 4×400 relay team of Fine, Maya Harakawa ’12, Haley Stewart ’15 and co-captain Hillary Higgs ’12, Mirecki in the mile and Hoffler in both the triple jump and the hurdles. Chiara Del Piccolo ’14 holds the top time in the 5000 meter but will not be competing due to injury.

Qualifying such a large group of athletes in a wide range of events is an achievement in itself; however, the team’s goal is not just to qualify for  Nationals but also to perform and score well during the meet. “We’re bringing a good-sized group of nine women with the goal of bringing back nine All-Americans,” Head Coach Fletcher Brooks said of his team’s chances. “With some injuries it will be hard to get on the podium [top four], but that has been a team goal since Nationals last year and is certainly still in our sights if we have some strong performances next week.”

The NCAA meet will be held in Grinnell, Iowa. Athletes will compete on both Friday and Saturday.

Of the nine Ephs heading to Nationals this weekend, four – Fine, Hoffler, Higgs and Mirecki – are looking to defend previously-earned All-American titles. For six seniors, their indoor collegiate career has ended, as they are not continuing to NCAAs.

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