Women’s Track and Field Takes Fourth at NCAA Division III Championship
DELAWARE, Ohio – The MIT women's track and field team capped off the most successful year in program history with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship over the weekend. The Cardinal and Gray collected 14 All-America nods and finished with 45 team points. Coach Halston Taylor's program also clinched the Deb Vercauteren national program of the year award, given to the team that registers the best combined finishes at the NCAA Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Portia Jones led the way for Tech, landing on the All-America podium four times and accounting for 16.5 points for the team during the Championship. Jones was the national runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles, after running the fastest qualifying time in the heats on Friday. Amy Magnuson joined Jones on the awards stand, taking fourth place in the event with time of 14.64.
Jones also finished third in the 200 meters, as the final eight runners were able to overcome a slight headwind to run a very competitive race. Jones' time was 24.91, just five one-hundredths of a second behind second place and one one-hundredth faster than fourth. The junior competed in the 100-meter dash as well, but was unable to qualify for the final after running a 12.45 prelim.
Jamie Simmons earned All-America honors in the 400 Intermediate hurdles for the second year in a row. Simmons' time of 1:00.65 was good for fourth overall. Simmons was also entered in the 400m but did not advance to the final.
Tech picked up two more All-America nods in the pole vault, as Karin Fisher and Lauren Kuntz went three-four. Fisher was one of just three vaulters in the country to clear 13 feet, as her final vault of 13-3.00 feet was enough to place third. Kuntz went over the bar at 12-7.25 feet to pick up five points for the Engineers. Hazel Briner just missed out on the All-America level, placing in a tie for 10th.
MIT also had strong entries in the two relay events, particularly its 4x400m group, which came into the meet with the second fastest time in Division III. After beating the top squad from Wartburg in the prelims, Jones, Simmons, Jacqueline Brew and Martha Gross were unable to improve their time in the finals, settling for third place with a time of 3:45.93.
The 4x100 relay was able to significantly improve its standing, as the group wound up in fifth place after coming into the meet as the 13th seed overall. Brew, Gross and Simmons completed the first three legs before handing off to Jones, who brought the team home in 47.12 seconds.
Also competing for the Cardinal and Gray, in a pair of distance events was Anna Holt-Gosselin. The senior was 19th in the 5000 meters (18:22.66) and took 18th in the 10k.
MIT combined this week's fourth-place finish with third-place results during the cross country and indoor seasons. The program's total of 10 points, easily eclipsed Williams College, who was the runner-up in the program of the year standings with 17 points.