CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The third-ranked MIT women's track and field team had a number of impressive individual performances at Saturday's non-scoring MIT Spring Invitational at the Steinbrenner Track. Seniors Jamie Simmons (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Portia Jones (Queens, N.Y.) had a tremendous head-to-head dual in the 400-meter hurdles, posting two of the top five times in the country to highlight the Engineers' final weekend of competition before entering the upcoming championship portion of their schedule.
Simmons got the better of Jones in the 400IH, winning the event with a time of 1:01.89, the third-fastest time in Division III in 2012. Jones was nearly as fast, coming through in 1:02.12, which places her fifth on the national performance list. Jones did win the other hurdles event, taking first in the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.76 seconds.
Freshman Cindy Huang (San Jose, Calif.) set a new MIT rookie record in the 800, taking second with a time of 2:16.47, over five seconds better than the previous freshman record. Teammate Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) was right behind Huang with a time of 2:16.60.
Senior Martha Gross (Short Hills, N.J.) ran the 200m/400m double, along with freshman teammate Madeleine Bairey (Pebble Beach, Calif.). Gross was the winner at 400 meters with a time of 59.22 and took second in the 200 (26.12 seconds). Bairey also had a pair of strong races, earning fifth place in the 400 (1:00.56) and sixth in the 200 (26.42).
Senior Margaret Lloyd (Sacramento, Calif.) won the 3000 Steeplechase with a time of 11:58.65 and then joined Taylor, freshman Margaret Coad (Arlington, Va.) and sophomore Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) to win the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:38.04.
The Cardinal and Gray also had a number of impressive showings in the field events, including wins in the pole vault, triple jump and javelin. Freshman Tilly Talyor (South Deerfield, Mass.), who already owns the MIT rookie record and the fifth-best mark nationally in the javelin, had another solid effort, winning the event with a toss of 193-09 feet, just six inches off her record mark.
Freshman Michelle Johnson (Glendora, Calif.) won the triple jump with a leap of 36-7.75 feet. Junior Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) won the pole vault in a jump off with Brown's Hannah Wallace. Kuntz tied a season-best by clearing 12-1.50 feet in the jump off to take first place.
Freshman Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) earned second place in the high jump by clearing 5-3.00 feet. Vaidyanathan set an MIT rookie record and come within one-quarter inch of the overall Institute mark.
Freshman Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) made the trip to Princeton University to take part in the Larry Ellis Invitational over the weekend as well and ran a blistering time in the women's 5000 meters. McVay shattered the rookie record with her time of 17:15.42, which currently stands 13th on the overall NCAA performance list.
MIT will look to capture its fourth straight New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship next weekend, as the Engineers will travel to Smith College on Saturday. The championship meet begins at 11:00 a.m.