April 19, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Just one week before the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, the MIT women’s track and field team captured the Springfield Invitational on Saturday. The Engineers finished first in a field of 12 teams, including four other NEWMAC squads, with a total of 178.50 points. Tech’s day included four record-breaking performances and four NCAA qualifications.
Much like their male counterparts, the Engineers received strong performances from the distance runners, taking the top two spots in both the 1500 and 3000-meter Steeplechase. Jacqui Wentz set a program record and just missed the NCAA provisional qualifying standard at 1500 meters, finishing in 4:39.64, almost seven seconds faster than runner-up Adrienne Bolger. Katherine Eve also earned points for the Cardinal and Grey in the event with her fourth-place showing. Liz Labuz picked up a comfortable win in the Steeplechase with a time of 11:47.85. Margaret Lloyd followed her across the finish at 12:11.70.
Despite not winning any individual events, Portia Jones had a strong day overall. The freshman was a part of one winning relay squad and helped set three school records on Saturday. Jones anchored the victorious 4x400m relay team that achieved an NCAA provisional qualification with its time of 3:56.16. That time is now the fastest in school history. She also reached the provisional mark in the 400m and set a new MIT record, finishing second in 56.95 seconds. Jones also set an Institute standard in the 200 with a time of 25.32, good for third place.
Amy Magnuson also qualified for the NCAA Championship in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.47 seconds, her best effort of the spring and over a full second ahead of her closest competitor.
Tech’s other event winners included Emily Hwang in the pole vault and Jamie Simmons in the 400m hurdles. Hwang was one of five MIT vaulters in the top six, as she cleared 12-1.50 feet for first place. Simmons gave the Engineers a sweep of the hurdles events with her time of 1:06.13.
MIT outlasted the host Pride by a score of 178.50-163 to win its third meet of the 2009 outdoor season. Other NEWMAC schools competing in the meet included Wheaton (117 points), Babson (31) and Wellesley (5).
The Engineers will look to capitalize on the momentum they have generated so far this spring at next Saturday’s NEWMAC Championship. The meet will be hosted by Mount Holyoke and will begin at 11:00 a.m.