Women’s indoor track claims 3rd at Tufts despite reduced squad

Women’s indoor track and field headed to Boston last weekend to compete in the Tufts Stampede. The Ephs pulled away to place third at the meet despite the additional challenge of not having their entire team present. The previous two weekends the Ephs also competed in Boston, registering impressive performances at the Reggie Lewis Track Center and Harvard.

The Stampede began Friday night with the women’s pentathlon. Elise Pitmon ’16 placed fifth in the pentathlon to qualify for the New England Div. III championships. Grace Weatherall ’16 closely followed Pitmon in eighth.

On Saturday, high jumper Julie Paschal ’13 had a rare jump off with MIT’s Preethi Vaidyanathan after both women tied at the height of 1.62 meters. In the jump off, Vaidyanathan edged Paschal.

In the weight throw, both Bethany Berry ’16 and Zatio Kone ’16 had phenomenal performances. Berry launched an impressive throw of 10.93 meters, and Kone landed a throw of 7.12 meters.

Tri-captain Tanasia Hoffler ’13 placed first in both the long jump (5.36 meters) and triple jump (11.45 meters). Elena Zifkin ’16  (4.52 meters) and Berry (4.08 meters) competed in the long jump as well. In the triple jump, Berry landed a jump of 10.07 meters, while Zifkin jumped 9.26 meters.

In the sprints, Hoffler dominated the field, qualifying for the final in the 60-meter hurdles. Later in the day, she won the event with a time of 9.03 to improve her already impressive Div. III NCAA championship qualifying time. In the 60 meter, Annie Lynch ’14 and Berry both ran an impressive time of 8.36, good for 24th.

In the 400 meter, Amanda Murashige ’14 (1.00.73) passed Tufts’ senior Alyssa Corrigan on the inside lane to take first in her heat and place fourth overall. “Amanda showed incredible poise and ran a savvy race,” Assistant Coach Lance Harden said. “She saw a gap and took advantage of it and executed her race plan.” Jessica O’Brien ’16 ran in the sixth heat and finished the race with a time of 1:05.65 for 28th.

Diana Mejia ’15 ran her first 600 meter in 1.42.63. Mejia placed sixth in the event behind Ashley Graves ’15, who placed third with a time of 1:40.83.

Tri-captain Brianne Mirecki ’14 improved her time in the mile, crossing the line at 4:58.58 to place first. Mirecki made a bold move and began her final kick with 600 meters left in the race. “Traditionally, a runner makes their kick during the last 200 meters of the race,” Harden said. “Brianne knew she had to start her kick earlier to improve her time to qualify for the NCAA Div. III Championship meet.”

The women’s 5000 meter proved to be a fantastic race, with the return to the team of Kaleigh Kenny ’14 (17:54.00). Despite this being her first race of the season, Kenny closed strong to place second and was followed by Lacey Sertletti ’16, who finished third with a time of 18.01.31. To close the meet, the women ran an exhilarating 4x400m relay, claiming second.

“We had some good discoveries today, especially with our first time pentathletes and relays,” Interim Co-Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 said. “I was very happy with some exceptional performances in the 5000 meter.”

On Jan. 25, the Ephs again travelled to Boston to compete against Div. I, II and III schools at the Reggie Lewis track center. Despite the increased level of competition, the Ephs garnered an impressive 11th-place finish. Highlights of the meet included Graves and Murashige both running Div. III New England qualifying times in the 400 meter and Mirecki running an NCAA qualifying time in the 800 meter.

On Jan. 19, the Ephs competed in the Harvard Challenge, in which they attempted, with MIT, to take on Div. I competitors Harvard and Brown. Exceptional performances included Mirecki’s blazing time of 2:56.52 to place fifth overall in the 1000 meter and Serletti’s 10:26.28 in the 3000 meter to place sixth.

In the field events, Hoffler and tri-captain Brook Johnson ’13 dominated the jumps, surpassing jumpers from Div. I schools. The two swept the triple jump to place first and second. Hoffler bettered the field by landing a jump of 12.29 meters. In the long jump, Hoffler placed third with a jump of 5.37 meters, followed by Johnson (5.22 meters) in fifth.

In the weight throw, Amina Avril ’14 placed fourth with a throw of 16.4 meters and ran a personal best of 1:20.29 in the 500 meter.

Next week, the women return to the Boston area to compete at MIT’s Coed Invite on Saturday. Events begin at 12 p.m. This will be the Ephs last qualifying meet before the Div. III New England Championships.