CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT women's track and field squad, ranked No. 6 in Division III had some impressive performances in its final tune-up before next weekend's New England Division III championship. The Engineers competed at the non-scoring Valentine Invitational at Boston University on Friday and at a home invite on Saturday afternoon.
The most impressive showing of the weekend belonged to the 4x400 relay group, consisting of seniors Portia Jones (Queens, N.Y.) and Jamie Simmons (Carlsbad, Calif.), sophomore Jacqueline Brew (Amherst, N.H.) and freshman Madeleine Bairey (Pebble Beach, Calif.), which set a new Institute record and recorded the second-fastest time in Division III on the season at 3:50.98.
Bairey and Jones also recorded strong times in the 400m, with Bairey reaching a new personal-best at 58.69. Jones narrowly missed her own season-best, finishing in 56.53 seconds, which would still rank as a top five time in the country. Senior Martha Gross (Short Hills, N.J.) had a season-best time of 59.63 in the event as well.
Freshman Cindy Huang (San Jose, Calif.) had a personal best in the 800, finishing in 2:17.43, the best rookie time in Division III thus far in 2012. Sophomore Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) was just ahead of Huang with her time of 2:17.06.
In the mile, freshman Stephanie Marzen (McLean, Va.) had a personal record at 5:07.96. Junior Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.) and senior Margaret Lloyd (Sacramento, Calif.) recorded season bests with times of 5:10.16 and 5:10.17, respectively.
Back across the river at the Shobrys and Aronson track, the Tech sprinters and field event athletes were in action on Saturday.
In the high jump freshman Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) matcher her personal best, clearing 5-3.75 feet to win the event.
Brew and Jones had a terrific duel in the sprints, both 55-meter and 55-meter hurdles. Brew edged the senior All-American in both events, winning the straight sprint in 7.45 seconds and the hurdles in 8.50 seconds. Jones was within six one-hundredths of a second in each event, earning a pair of runner-up showings.
The Cardinal and Gray will look to its first New England regional crown since 2009 next weekend at Smith College. The Engineers have finished second in each of the past two years.