Women’s track gears up for indoor Nationals

Women’s indoor track and field continued its streak of great performances last weekend at the Tufts Last Chance Meet on Saturday. Although the meet was not scored, it served as the final opportunity for the Ephs to improve their previous times and qualify for the Div. III NCAA Indoor National Championships this weekend. Tri-captain Tanasia Hoffler ’13, tri-captain Brooke Johnson ’13, Amina Avril ’14 qualified for Nationals, hosted by North Central University at the meet in Naperville, Ill.

Hoffler won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.02 seconds. She also competed in the triple jump and long jump, although she chose to focus mainly on the long jump. She placed fourth in the triple with a jump of 10.72 meters and won the long with a jump of 5.47 meters. Johnson competed with Hoffler at Tufts in both the triple jump and long jump, placing second in the triple jump with a distance of 11.37 meters and third in the long jump with a distance of 5.21 meters.

Avril had impressive performances in the throws after coming back from a break in competing. She placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 11.72 meters. Her standout performance, however, was in the weight throw, which she won with a throw of 18.25 meters. She set a new school record with this distance and improved her NCAA-qualifying to a third seed.

Jenna Adams ’14 also improved her chances of making the Div. III NCAA qualifying list in the pole vault. She cleared a height of 3.66 meters, which was good for second place behind MIT’s Lauren Kuntz. Kuntz just beat out Adams with her vault of 3.76 meters.

Tri-captain Brianne Mirecki ’14 had an outstanding performance in the 1000 meter. She won the event and set a new school record with a time of 2:53.92.

The 4×400 team of Amanda Murashige ’14, Ashley Graves ’15, Dianna Mejia ’15 and Desiree Daring ’13 ran a time of 3:59.09 for a sixth-place finish, which unfortunately did not secure them a spot on the Div. III NCAA-qualifying list. However, all four of them are looking ahead to the spring in hopes of an even more successful outdoor season.

“The two standout performances from the meet were Amina and Brianne,” Interim Co-Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 said. “Amina’s final weight throw was stupendous and knocked out the previous record. She did very well coming back from taking time off. Brianne also set a new school record, and she showed great pacing during her race. Overall, we are very excited about the girls who are going to Nationals. We’ve had a fantastic indoor season and hope to top it off this weekend with some nice performances.”

The weekend ahead should be an exciting one for the women who will compete at the Div. III NCAA National Championships, which will be held at North Central in Naperville, Ill., on Friday and Saturday. Williams heads into the meet ranked third nationally, behind UW-Oshkosh in first and Wartburg in second. Only three other NESCAC teams appear in the top thirty rankings, with Middlebury coming in at 15th, Tufts at 20th and Amherst rounding it out at 22nd.

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