Tech Takes First at Engineer's Cup

Senior Christine Labaza

TROY, N.Y. – MIT's women's outdoor track and field team, which was recently ranked 11th in the nation, finished in first place at the Engineer's Cup on Saturday afternoon, taking the win with 184 points. WPI was second with 110 and host RPI was not far behind with 98. Throughout the day, the Engineers won a total of 12 events. Senior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) led the way with her two individual wins, while sophomore Cimran Virdi (Walnut Creek, Calif.) broke the MIT record in the Pole Vault.

Freshman Christina Wicker (Oak Harbor, Wash.) got things started by winning the 3000m Steeplechase with a time of 11:51.13, leaving a 40 second gap between her and the second place finisher. Tech's 4x100 relay followed this up with a victory of its own, crossing the line with a time of 49.48. The relay, which was made up of senior Jackie Brew (Amherst, N.H.), junior Veronica Szklarzewski (Chicago, Ill.), freshman Kendra Knittel (Tucson, Ariz.) and senior Stephanie Birkhimer (Oneonta, N.Y.), crossed the line just two-tenths of a second ahead of WPI's relay.

Tech took the top three spots in the 1500m, with Taylor leading the way with a time of 4:54.19. Classmate Kaitlin Allen (Bedford, N.H.) was second in 4:57.72 and freshman Nadia Lucas (Bellevue, Wash.) came in third place with a 5:01.72. It was at this point in the meet, just four events in, that the Engineers took the lead with 38 points.

Taylor won her second event of the day a few short events later, running a 2:17.83 in the 800m. Junior Cindy Huang (Mountain View, Calif.) finished with a 2:21.84, edging out a WPI runner to take second place. In the 400m Hurdles, Wicker was third with a time of 1:17.19. Freshman Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.) won the 5000m with a time of 17:43.43, finishing over 10 seconds ahead of the next runner. Senior Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) took third in 18:10.84 and freshman Rebecca Steinmeyer (La Grange, Ill.) was fifth in 19:10.39.

Birkhimer won the 400m in a 1:02.16, while sophomore Isabel Crystal (Scotch Plains, N.J.) was fourth in 1:04.37. In the 100m, Szklarzewski was second in 13.05, finishing just over a tenth of a second behind Anne Harris of WPI. Brew took the win in the 200m with a time of 26.48, crossing the line just three-tenths of a second ahead of Harris. Szklarzewski and Birkhimer also ran the event, coming in fifth and sixth with times of 28.09 and 28.18 respectively.

Three Engineers took the top three spots in the Long Jump, with Szklarzewski taking the win with a 16-10.75, junior Michelle Johnson (Glendora, Calif.) coming in second with a 16-03.75 and Birkhimer taking third with a jump of 16-02.25. Johnson went on to win the Triple Jump with a 36-04.25 and Birkhimer was fourth with a jump of 33-09.25. Junior Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) was third in the High Jump with a 5-02-25, senior Jaclyn Konopka (Novi, Mich.) was fifth with a 5-00.25 and freshman Natalie Alper (Columbia, Md.) took seventh with a height of 4-08.25.

Virdi broke the MIT record by just half an inch when she cleared the bar in 13-03.50 to take the win. Juniors Joanna Chen (Richland, Wash.) and Abigail Klein (Bethesda, Md.) were second and third with vaults of 11-02.50 and 10-08.75, while freshmen Jennifer Tylock (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Madeleine Waller (Pasadena, Calif.) took fourth and sixth with a 10-08.75 and a 9-03.00.

In the Shot Put, sophomore Isabella Stuopis (Amherst, N.H.) was first with a throw of 42-07.50 and was followed by freshman Jackie Vahey (Winchester, Mass.) in fourth with a 34-05.00, senior Christine Labaza (Rochester, Mich.) in sixth with a 32-02.00 and junior Ashley Wheeler (Milford, N.H.) in eighth place in 30-11.25. Junior Tilly Taylor (South Deerfield, Mass.) took the win in the Javelin with a throw of 123-03 and sophomore Stephanie Riocci (Pound Ridge, N.J.) was third with a 109-08. Junior Ellen Liverpool (Washington, D.C.) was second in the Hammer Throw with a 149-05.

MIT will travel to Maine next Saturday, April 12 to face host Bates College, Colby College and the University of Southern Maine for a meet starting at 12:00 p.m.