February 21, 2010

Women’s Track & Field Takes Second at New England Championship

GORHAM, Maine - Competing without a pair of All-America performers, the No. 3 ranked MIT women's track and field team was still able to take home second place at the NCAA New England Division III Championship, hosted by Southern Maine over the weekend. Portia Jones, Jamie Simmons and Hazel Briner captured individual New England titles, as Tech's 90 team points were good for second behind Williams College, which finished with 156 points.

Jones earned a team-high 25 points for the Cardinal and Grey while reaching a pair of NCAA provisional qualifying marks. Jones captured her first ever Indoor New England Championship in the 55-meter hurdles, finishing nine one-hundredths of a second ahead of Wheaton's Didi Jusme, in 8.34 seconds. Jones was second in the event at last year's regional Championship, behind teammate Amy Magnuson, who has been hampered by injury for much of the season and was not able to defend her title.

Jones finished as the runner-up in the 400m, an event in which she already holds the top time in Division III on the season, with a time of 58.13. The sophomore All-American was also a part of the second-place 4x200 relay, along with Margaret Leibovic, Martha Gross and Simmons. She then had a fourth-place effort in the 200, completing one lap of the track in 26.09 seconds.

Simmons captured the individual title at 600 meters in 1:37.01, beating Middlebury's Julie Ryan-Davies to the finish by 0.05 seconds.

Hazel Briner cruised to the win in the Pentathlon, outscoring her nearest competitor by 180 points while finishing no lower than fourth in any single event. Briner won the 55-meter hurdles (8.73 seconds) and 800m (2:22.89) and finished second in the high jump (5-0.25 feet).

Brooke Johnson set a new MIT standard in the mile, finishing in 4:57.75 en route to a third-place showing. Johnson's time leaves her seventh in the nation currently.

Tech brought home the most total points in the pole vault, as three Engineers were among the top eight, for a total of 14 points. Karin Fisher led the way with a second-place finish, clearing an NCAA Provisional qualifying height of 11-5.75 feet. Briner made it over the same bar but finished in fourth place based on attempts. Lynn Jepsen earned points with an eighth-place effort.

The Engineers will travel to Boston University next weekend for the NEICAAA Championship, beginning on Friday, February 26 at 11:00 a.m.