Women’s track races to second

Women’s track and field competed against seven other teams at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Springfield last weekend, taking second with 162 points to UMass-Amherst’s 175.5. Williams scored over twice as many points as fifth-place Amherst: The Jeffs garnered just 75 points. The women focused on hitting qualifiers for the NESCAC Championship meet, as well as the more stringent qualifiers for the Div. III New England Championships. The successes last weekend came one week after the team’s spring training trip in North Carolina, where the women competed against Div. I opponents at the High Point Vertklasse Meeting.

At Springfield, both Haley Stewart ’15 and Annie Lynch ’14 hit the Div. III ECACs standard in the 100 meter, finishing in 12.95 and 12.99, respectively, and the 200 meter, in which they crossed the line in 26.85 and 26.42, respectively. Ashley Graves ’15 and Amanda Murashige ’14 hit the standard for the 400 meter, finishing almost simultaneously in 59.60 and 59.61, respectively. Tanasia Hoffler ’13 also qualified for Div. III ECACs in winning the 100-meter hurdles in 15.13, as did Maya Harakawa ’12, who claimed the 400-meter hurdles in 1:03.30. The 4×100 relay team of Stewart, Lynch, Murashige and Hillary Higgs ’12 ran a respectable 49.98 for fifth.

In the middle and long distances, Rebecca Fine ’13 and Anna Spiers ’15 both ran strong Div. III ECACs qualifiers in the 800 meter, finishing in 2:18.49 and 2:19.50, respectively. Olivia Delia ’12 qualified for NESCACs with a time of 2:26.47. Adrienne Strait ’15 also qualified for NESCACs in the 1500 meter, posting a 4:59.06, while Kaleigh Kenny ’14 and Alison Smith ’15 both qualified for Div. III ECACs. The rookies finished in 18:09.84 and 18:14.78, respectively, in the duo’s first 5k race on a collegiate track. One of the best performances of the day came from a rookie running her first-ever 10k on the track: Amelia Ortiz ’15 beat the entire field by over a minute, running 37:09.2 to easily qualify for Div. III ECACs and claim this season’s 10th-best time in the country. Louisa Lee ’14 also qualified for Div. III ECACs in the 10k.

In the jumps, Julie Paschal ’13 flew over the Div. III high-jump qualifier with a leap of 1.60 meters, while Lucy Bergwall ’15 hit the NESCAC qualifier in the pole vault at 2.45 meters. The long jump saw more Div. III qualifiers from Hoffler and Karyn Moss ’12, who hit 5.22 and 5.07 meters, respectively. Moss and Brooke Johnson ’13 also garnered qualifiers in the triple jump after leaping to 10.78 and 10.93 meters, respectively. Johnson and Bergwall met NESCAC qualifiers in the long and triple jumps, respectively. Johnson posted a 4.93-meter result in the long jump, while Bergwall leapt to a 9.81-meter triple jump finish.

The throwers showed consistency throughout the meet, as Amina Avril ’14 and Eileen Becker ’12 were well over the Div. III qualifier in the shot with their respective throws of 12.32 and 11.85 meters.  Avril also qualified in the discus with a 41.73-meter launch, while Becker crushed the NESCAC standard and just missed the Div. III qualifier with a 30.26-meter throw. Avril and Kathryn Evans ’12 both blew through the Div. III qualifier in the hammer, throwing 51.88 and 44.58 meters, respectively.

Over spring break, the women were strong across all events at the High Point Vertklasse Meeting. Avril dominated the throwing events, as she threw down marks in the shot, discus and hammer, events in which she is currently ranked 24th, ninth and fifth nationally, with throws of 12.66, 43.65 and 53.59 meters, respectively. Hoffler and Paschal gave standout performances in the long jump, leaping to distances of 5.81 and 5.40 meters. Jenna Adams ’14 garnered a 3.72-meter result in the pole vault, and the 4×400 meter relay team of Harakawa, Higgs, Murashige and Fine ran a strong opener in 3:59.47. Higgs complemented that performance with a time of 25.62 in the 200 meter and 12.52 in the 100 meter. Though the 5k and 10k were canceled due to lightning, the distance group still highlighted its talent in the 1500 meter, where Brianne Mirecki ’14 finished in 4:37.58 with Spiers  close behind at 4:43.80.

The women next compete at UMass-Amherst on Saturday. Meanwhile, certain athletes will travel to compete in the Decathlon/Heptathlon Competition at Tufts on Saturday and Sunday.

Assistant Coach Ben Raphelson explains the importance of each competition, “Given the short outdoor season, we have a small window for which to earn  championship-qualifying marks. We’ll have one more invitational weekend before turning our attention to the championship season with Little Threes on April 21,” he said.