Women’s track excels at New England Div. III Championship

After their success at NESCACs, women’s track and field team packed up to compete in yet another championship last weekend, finishing in second overall. However, they had even stiffer competition and competed against many more teams. Hosted by MIT, the New England Div. III championships cast a wide net, attracting 30 schools from New England to compete for the title. The Ephs had an array of top-eight finishers. This was especially concentrated in the 800 meter, in which Williams had three top-eight finishers. Yvonne Bungei ’17 led the pack with a second-place finish and a personal record of 2:14.57, followed by Stella Worters ’18 who finished in seventh with a time of 2:17.67 and Ellown Pfeiffer ’18 who ran a personal best of 2:17.77 for eighth. Williams’ strength in the 800 meter was evident when, late in the day, the 4×800 relay took the track. Bungei, Anna Harleen ’18, Laney Teaford ’17 and Victoria Kingham ’18 comprised the first-place finishing team, which ran a season best of 9:12.51. Before competing in the 4×800, Harleen had an inspiring race in the 1500 meter, finishing in second with a personal record of 4:30.57, and currently ranking third in NCAA. The 400-meter hurdles also saw three top-eight finishers. Kate Kennedy ’18 achieved a personal best of 61.71 for a second-place finish and a sixth-place rank in NCAA.

She was followed by Alyza Ngbokoli ’17, who finished in fourth with a time of 63.67 and Kayley McGonagle ’18, who achieved an impressive collegiate personal best, running the race in 64.32 to post a seventh-place finish. Ngbokoli and Kennedy came back later in the day to join Jessica O’Brien ’16 and co-captain Dianna Mejia ’15 to run the 400 meter again, this time in the 4×400. With a season best of 3:52.58, they finished in first and are ranked 13th in NCAA. This was also O’Brien’s second 400 of the day; she finished in sixth in the 400 meter with a time of 58.92. Emily Sundquist ’18 and Grace Weatherall ’16 both achieved second place finishes. Weatherall ran the 100 hurdles in 14.93, while Sundquist ran her fastest yet steeplechase in 11:02.54 and is now ranked 19th in NCAA Div. III. Teaford, Meg Richardson ’16, Emily Shea ’16 and Stephanie Boulger ’18 all achieved personal bests in their individual events. Teaford finished in eighth in the 1500 meter with a time of 4:38.40 and Richardson ran the 5K in 17:59.41 for fourth.

Shea followed Richardson in the 5k, earning seventh place with her time of 18:03.94. Boulger achieved her personal best for the season in the pole vault with an impressive jump of 3.27 meter. Candice Dyce ’17 also scored for the Ephs, earning fourth place with a jump of 11.57. “The team faced some good hard competition and performed extremely well,” Mejia said. “There were many personal and season bests! After competing in our team championship meet last weekend, NESCACs, we are now focusing on sending as many individuals to the NCAA [Championships] as we can.” It was a great day for the Ephs as they both came together as a team and excelled individually. “The team had outstanding efforts and performances all over the place this weekend. It’s always challenging to comeback the week after a big conference championship meet and they did it very well,” Head Coach Nate Hoey said. “We are excited moving forward toward the NCAA National Championship meet,” Hoey said. “Our focus remains the same…taking it one day at a time and one meet at time, focusing only on what we control and becoming the best team we can be.” Looking forward, some athletes have now finished their season, while others are gearing up to compete in future meets with an eye towards the NCAA Div. III National Championship. The next meet for the women is All-New England’s this weekend.

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