Women’s track sends six to indoor nationals

Last Saturday, women’s track and field sent a handful of Ephs to the Tufts Last Chance meet to chase national qualifying times.

This meet stood as a strong contrast to the Boston University meet the previous week, where the events spanned two full days and hundreds of athletes lined up in their lanes or in front of the jumping pits to test their limits and push their achievements this season a little bit further. This meet, on the other hand, only lasted five hours, with only one heat of each race taking the track.

Even though the meet was small, the contest was a huge success for the distance medley. Laney Teaford ’17 ran the 1200 meter, Kayley McGonagle ’18 ran the 400 meter, Victoria Kingham ’18 ran the 800 meter, and Anna Harleen ’18 ran the mile. Collectively, these runners ran the relay in 11:51.61 for a second-place finish. In this race, the team improved its season best by almost 20 seconds, an unprecedented improvement which puts the team in a favorable place looking forward to national qualifications.

The team also had a standout performance in the 5000 meter race, where Emily Sundquist ’18 earned a personal best with a time of 17:33.30 for a third-place finish. Rounding out the longer distance events, the women also had three runners in the 800 meter – Yvonne Bungei ’17, Maggie Peard ’17 and Elowyn Pfeiffer ’18 – who placed in sixth in 2:19.52, ninth in 2:22.41 and tenth in a time of 2:22.65 respectively.

Grace Weatherall ’16 and Chloe Rogers ’17 represented the Ephs in jumping events. Rogers competed in the high jump, jumping 11.54 meters for a third-place finish. Weatherall both ran and jumped in her 60-meter hurdles race, finishing in second place with a time of 9.07.

Finally, closing out the day’s events, the 4×400 team took the track. Dianna Mejia ’15, Jessica O’Brien ’16, Alyza Ngobolki ’17 and Kathryn Kennedy ’18 secured a third-place finish, collectively running the 1600 meters in 3:57.24.

Six members of the team will compete in the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday and Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C. Teaford, O’Brien, Kingham and Harleen, will compete in the distance medley relay after ranking fifth in the nation with a time of 11:51.61. The current fastest time in the division of 11:44.24 belongs to MIT. Rogers will represent the Ephs in the triple jump, having notched a sixth place position with a jump of 11.84 metres. Weatherall will compete in the 60-meter hurdles after earning a 16th place rank with her time of 9.0 seconds. O’Brien is the only Eph of these six to ever have gone to Nationals before. The top eight finishers in each finals event at nationals will earn All-American honors.

The women are more than satisfied with their final regular season indoor performance and eagerly awaits competing at Championships next week in Winston-Salem. “The team put together a strong effort at Tufts,” said Head Coach Nate Hoey. “It was an extremely competitive field and they executed very well in that environment.”