Women’s track takes 28th place at NCAAs

Last weekend, women’s track and field finished its indoor season at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Grinnell, ultimately placing 28th. The team earned eight points after coming in second in the distance medley relay (DMR), putting the women in a five-way tie for ninth place heading into the second day of competition. The DMR team consisted of Laney Teaford ’17, Kayley McGonagle ’18, Katie Spence ’18 and Anna Harleen ’18. Coming into the meet, this quartet was seeded fourth for the DMR.

Teaford ran the 1200 meter leg before handing the baton to McGonagle to run the 400 meter leg. Spence received the baton from McGonagle and ran the 800 meter leg before passing the baton off to Harleen to run the final 1600 meters. Williams finished in 11:50.58, and St. Thomas won the event in 11:47.04. With this second-place finish, the quartet earned All-American honors.

Also on day one, Victoria Kingham ’18 competed in the mile race and Emily Sundquist ’18 ran in the 5k. Kingham was unable to complete her event due to an injury, while Sundquist finished the 5k in 17:26.89 to place ninth, one spot short of an All-American finish.

On day two, Chloe Rogers ’17 competed in both the high jump and the triple jump. Starting off the day with a high jump of 1.65 meters, Rogers finished in fourteenth place. In the triple jump, she reached 11.73 meters and secured a ninth-place finish.

“We are proud of the group this weekend at Nationals,” Head Coach Nate Hoey said. “They represented Williams and the team very well, competing with passion and intensity. Our expectations moving forward remain the same: to do the very best we can with what we control, one day at a time.”

The women have also garnered other recent accolades. The U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named nine athletes from the team as All-Region across 12 events for the 2015-2016 indoor season. To be named All-Region, an athlete must either be ranked in the top five of an individual event or top three in a relay team in the region.

Awarded Ephs include Kingham in the 800 meter, the mile and the DMR, McGonagle in the DMR, Rogers in the high jump and triple jump, Spence in the DMR, Sundquist in the 5k, Teaford in the 800 meter and DMR, Candice Dyce ’17 in the long jump, Lacey Serletti ’16 in the 3k and 5k and Grace Weatherall ’16 in the 600-meter hurdles and long jump.

Students are the not the only members of women’s track and field who have been garnering awards. Assistant Track and Field Coach Sarah Lagasse was named the New England Region Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year by USTFCCCA on March 8. Lagasse joined the cross country and track and field coaching staffs in the fall of 2014 after two years of coaching at Div. II Franklin Pierce.

Lagasse works with the Eph mid-distance and distance crew, and this year, her athletes posted 13 top 50 performances this year. Three of those Ephs qualified for nationals last weekend, and the DMR’s fourth-place seed is a testament to her excellent work.

Lagasse coached multiple Franklin Pierce runners to USTFCCA All-Academic honors and dozens more of her runners earned All-East Region recognition. She was also an accomplished athlete herself at Bridgewater State, where she earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-Region I honors and notched school records in the 1000 meter, 3k steeplechase and 800 meter while competing as a member of five record-setting relay teams.

After the close of the indoor season, the team looks to begin its outdoor competition in San Diego, Calif., at the Point Loma Invitational on March 26 and the UC San Diego Invitational on April 2.

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