Women’s track impresses at NCAAs

Women’s indoor track and field rounded out a strong season last weekend at the Div. III NCAA National Championships on Friday and Saturday, held in Naperville, Ill. The team placed seventh overall with 17.5 points, and five Ephs returned home with All-American titles. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the meet with 56 points, 26 points ahead of second-place Illinois College.

Amina Avril ’14 was the first of the women to compete on Friday, placing fourth with a strong performance in the weight throw and earning All-American honors with a toss of 18.15 meters.

Tri-captain Tanasia Hoffler ’13 was next to compete in the long jump. The competition ended prematurely for Hoffler when she was injured during her second attempt. However, her incredible first-attempt jump of 5.65 meters landed her in third place, an impressive finish that earned her All-American honors. Unfortunately, due to the injury she sustained in her first event, Hoffler was unable to compete in her subsequent events, the 60-meter hurdles and the triple jump.

The jumpers also had strong performances in Saturday’s events, beginning with Julie Paschal ’13 in the high jump. She tied for eighth and was named an All-American with a jump of 1.65 meters. Tri-captain Brooke Johnson ’13 competed very well in the triple jump with a distance of 11.52 meters. This jump earned her a seventh-place finish and her first All-American title. Jenna Adams ’14 also competed in the pole vault, but did not clear the bar.

Tri-captain Brianne Mirecki ’14 finished out the meet with an outstanding performance in the mile. On Friday, she qualified for the finals with a time of 4:55.36, which she bettered by four seconds on Saturday, finishing in fifth with a time of 4:51.19. This time not only earned her All-American honors, but was a personal record for Mirecki and a new school record as well. “I honestly had no idea how fast I ran until about an hour later. I was feeling a bit disappointed about getting outkicked, and then [Assistant Coach] Lance [Harden] told me I ran a four-second [personal record], so I guess I’m pretty happy with that,” said Mirecki. “I’m really proud of our team in general. We got off to a bit of a rough start, and Tanasia [Hoffler] getting injured was obviously less than ideal, but everyone stayed focused and gave the best performance they could, given the situation. Placing seventh as a team without Tanasia [Hoffler] in the triple or hurdles is a very good showing and everyone contributed to that accomplishment.”

With the indoor competition over, the Ephs begin training for their outdoor season. Their first outdoor competitions take place during their two-week spring training trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. The women will compete at the University of South Carolina on March 22 and 23 and then at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, N.C., on March 29.