No. 7 Women's Track and Field Claims Fifth Straight New England Title

No. 7 Women's Track and Field Claims Fifth Straight New England Title

THE BASICS:

- Location: Williamstown, Mass. (Lee Track at the Weston Athletic Complex)

- The Lead: Piling up 167 points, the No. 7 ranked MIT women's track and field team captured the 2017 New England Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship by a 13.5-point margin over No. 3 ranked Williams College on Saturday. Overall, MIT defeated three nationally-ranked teams in the victory, earning 25 All-New England individual honors and three relays. The Engineers had three individual champions on the final day of the meet as well as MIT won its fifth straight New England crown.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Junior Hannah Chen (Los Gatos, Calif.) earned All-New England honors in four different events, including a victory in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:01.25. Also finishing fifth in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.09 seconds, Chen was also a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams that each placed sixth in 48.59 seconds and 3:54.10, respectively. The final MIT relay team to earn All-New England accolades was the 4x800 squad, which finished second in a time of 9:14.82.

- Freshman Jenna Melanson (Woodland, Wash.) won the 3,000-meter steeplechase title with a time of 10:51.98, which broke the MIT rookie record by a 3.19-second margin. The final MIT victory on Saturday came from junior Ariela Slutsky (Weston, Fla.) as she captured the discus with a toss of 134 feet, seven inches. Slutsky was also third in the shot put at 41 feet, 5.75 inches, while senior Jackie Vahey (Winchester, Mass.) was the runner-up in the discus with a throw of 134 feet, one inch.

- MIT completely dominated the pole vault competition with four of the eight All-New England performers. Senior Jennifer Tylock (Shrewsbury, Mass.) was second, along with freshman Kaitlyn Sparks (Cape Town, South Africa) in fourth as both cleared 12 feet, 4.5 inches. Sophomore Kari Stromhaug (Vestal, N.Y.) came in at fifth place in 12 feet, 0.5 inches, followed in eighth by sophomore Kathleen Brandes (Raleigh, N.C.) at 11 feet, 6.5 inches. The final field All-New England honor came from senior Natalie Alper (Columbia, Md.) as she placed fourth in the high jump with a leap of five feet, three inches.

- On the track, the Engineers placed three in the top six in the 1,500 meters, led by a third-place showing from freshman Katie Bacher (Macungie, Pa.). Bacher crossed in 4:34.50, followed by senior Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.) in fourth at 4:34.61 and freshman Marissa McPhillips (Narragansett, R.I.) in sixth at 4:36.47. Gong then placed fifth in the 5,000 meters at 17:49.06, along with junior Mary Eccles (Wahaiwa, Hawaii) in seventh at 18:05.91. In the sprints, freshman Michelle Menkiti (Houston, Texas) missed her own freshman record in the 100 by a hundredth of a second as she was third in 12.12. Freshman Jane Reed (New Canaan, Conn.) finished in eighth in the 400 meters, crossing in a time of 58.11 seconds.

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns to action on May 12-13 as the Engineers travel to the NEICAAA Championship at Williams College.

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