Strong Individual Performances are Highlight for MIT at Terrier Classic

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 6 ranked MIT women's track and field team competed in a pair of non-scoring meets over the weekend, with some competitors heading across the river to compete at the Boston University Terrier Classic while others stayed at home for an invitational at the Shobrys and Aronson Track. The focus of the meets was on strong individual performances and many of Tech's top athletes delivered

Seniors Portia Jones (Queens, N.Y.) and Jamie Simmons (Carlsbad, Calif.) showed they were in mid-season form already, as they posted the first and second fastest 400-meter times of 2012 in all of Division III. Jones finished fifth overall with her outstanding time of 56.10, the fastest in the nation so far this season and just over one-tenth of a second slower than her own MIT record. Simmons was not far behind, placing third in the same heat that Jones won and ninth overall at 57.01 seconds. Sophomore Jacqueline Brew (Amherst, N.H.) and freshman Madeleine Bairey (Pebble Beach, Calif.) also posted impressive times in the event, at 58.91 and 59.77, respectively, both of which rank in the top 20 nationally.

The same four runners competed in the 200 meters as well, with Jones again leading the way with a time of 24.95, good for fourth place. Brew's time of 25.89 was good for 18th while Simmons and Bairey both had sub 27-second finishes.

Jones, Simmons and Brew then teamed up with freshman Cindy Huang (San Jose, Calif.) to finish eighth in the 4x400 relay, with a time of 3:59.74.

Junior Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led a strong showing for the Cardinal and Gray in the pole vault, placing second with a season-best vault of 11-9.75 feet. Freshman Joanna Chen (Richland, Mich.) took seventh with a 10-6.00 foot effort and freshman Marissa Engle (Sunnyvale, Calif.) was ninth.

Sophomore Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) had a pair of strong performances in the distance events. Her time of 5:00.42 in the mile is the second fastest in the country and was good for 20th overall. She also posted a 3:01.34 split at 1000 meters.

Huang was also in action in the 800m, posting a time of 2:21.39, a personal best and the third fastest time thus far by a freshman in the country. Freshman Stephanie Marzen (McLean, Va.) was not far behind Huang, with a time of 2:21.96.

Back at home, the field event athletes competed on Saturday afternoon. The highlight of the day was sophomore Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) tying the varsity record in the high jump, as she cleared 5-3.75 feet. Bunker and freshman Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) are now tied for the program record. Both Bunker and sophomore Jaclyn Konopka (Novi, Mich.) competed in the five pentathlon events, with each of them scoring over 3000 points.

Next Saturday, MIT will make the short trip up to Harvard University to compete in the Beanpot Classic, along with three Division I squads. Tech will take on the host Crimson, as well as Boston University and Northeastern University.