Women’s track and field wins Div. III New Englands

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Anna Passannante ’20 won the mile with a personal best of 4:56. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

No. 2 women’s track and field secured its second consecutive win at the Div. III New England Championship this weekend. The women finished the meet with 140 points, while No. 6 MIT, their biggest rival, came in second place with 87.50 points. Tufts placed third with 67 points.

The first event of the weekend was the 5000m on Friday. With four Ephs competing, the women had the most participants in the race. All four women raced well, with co-captain Emily Harris ’19 finishing with a personal best of 7:31 and securing fourth place, gaining the team 5 points.

The two relay teams that competed next claimed record-breaking performances. The 4x200m team crossed the finish line in 1:44.31, placing second, earning 8 points for the team and breaking a seven-year-old school record. The distance medley relay team then earned first place and won 10 points for the team. The distance medley relay also secured the all-region title, set a meet and track record and moved into second place in the nation.

In the pentathlon, the Ephs once again had the highest number of athletes of any school entered. Izabelle Ith ’21 started off strong in the 60m hurdles, winning the event in 9.18 seconds. Summer-Solstice Thomas ’20 closely followed in 9.48 and then finished in second place in the next event, the high jump. Ith and Thomas both recorded personal bests in the shot put, while Thomas added another personal best in the long jump. In the final event, the 800m, Thomas notched a third personal best with a time of 2:22 to win the event. With a total of 3451 points, Thomas won the overall title for the second consecutive year.

Finally, Kelsie Hao ’21 had a strong performance in the pole vault. Jumping 3.71 meters, she placed second, earning 8 points for the team. 

At the end of Day One, the women led with 48 points, followed by MIT in second with 36.5 points.

Saturday, the second day of competition, started off with the 60m. All four Ephs in the race ended up in the finals and scored points for the team. Co-captain Kennedy Green ’19 led the group, finishing in 7.83 seconds. Green obtained 10 points for the team. Deja Cunningham ’22 also set a personal record, breaking 8 seconds for the first time.

Green continued her success in the 200m, running a time of 26.25 for third place and 6 points. The 60m hurdles marked the first event back from injury for co-captain Caity Ubl ’19, who nevertheless clinched second with a time of 8.84. 

The 4x400m relay team also had a great day, putting significant distance between itself and the other teams. With a time of 4:53, Davis Collison ’21, Thomas, Ella Dunn ’21 and Megan Powell ’20 won the event and 10 points for the team. The time placed the relay team in second place nationwide.

The distance squad next racked up points for the Ephs. In the mile, Anna Passannante ’20 separated herself from the pack, winning the event in a time of 4:56, a personal best that ranks fifth in the nation. In the 3000m, Audrey Rustad ’20 placed seventh, running a 10:01 and claiming 2 points for the team.

The Ephs’ jumpers won points in all of the day’s jumping events. In the high jump, Emma Egan ’20 had a best jump of 1.73 meters, winning first place by two heights. Thomas and co-captain Kene Odenigbo ’19 also came in fourth and fifth, respectively. 

In the triple jump, Odenigbo finished second, with an indoor personal best of 11.32 meters. Next, in the long jump, Egan seized second place, jumping a personal record of 5.54 meters and scoring 8 points.

The women will head to Boston for the NCAA National Championship on March 8–9. Some members of the team will compete at the Tufts Last Chance Meet on Saturday in hopes of reaching some last-minute qualifying marks leading up to the national championships.