BAREA, Ohio – The MIT women’s track and field team concluded an excellent season on Saturday afternoon with a third-place finish, the highest in Institute history, at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. On the strength of six All-America honors, including the program’s first Individual National Champion, the Cardinal and Gray totaled 37 points at the meet.
Sitting in just 11th position going into Saturday, the Engineers placed five athletes on the awards podium on the final day of competition. Jacqui Wentz, who on Friday captured the National title in the 3000m Steeplechase, started things off with a fifth-place showing in the 1500. Portia Jones followed that up with a fifth-place performance in the 100-meter hurdles.
Jamie Simmons was the runner-up in the 400 hurdles, with a time of 61.01 seconds. Jones was back in action in the 200, taking sixth in 24.28.
Jones, Simmons, Wentz and Martha Gross wrapped things up by taking second place in the 4x400 relay with an Institute record time of 3:44.49 in the final event of the day, moving the Engineers up to third place in the team standings.
With the third-place finish, the program moved up to No. 2 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year standings. The USTFCCCA tracks the results of the Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track NCAA Championships, crowning the program with the lowest total the Program of the Year. With 18 points, MIT finished just one behind University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.