May 19, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – One week before the NCAA Outdoor Championship, the MIT women’s track and field team sent a limited number of competitors to the ECAC Division III Championship hosted by Springfield College over the weekend. The Engineers managed a third-place finish out of 56 teams competing while setting three varsity records in the process.
Hazel Briner began the meet for Tech in the Heptathlon on Friday, looking to improve her score in hopes of qualifying for the National Championship. She finished with a total of 4247 points, a new Institute record and an NCAA provisional qualifying mark but it was not quite enough to earn a spot in next weekend’s NCAA meet.
Jacqui Wentz achieved a program standard in the 1500m, winning the event with a time of 4:30.94, almost nine seconds better than her own previous mark and six seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Portia Jones also improved upon her own MIT record in the 400-meter dash, running the race in 56.61 seconds, good for second place in the meet. Fellow freshman Martha Gross finished 11th in the event with a time of 59.73.
Jennifer Doyle was looking for a strong performance in the 10,000 meters to improve upon her NCAA provisional mark. Doyle ran a strong race to finish in 37:07.75, good for second. The senior will compete in the same event next weekend along with teammate Anna Holt-Gosselin.
In the pole vault Emily Hwang continued to impress, clearing 12-3.50 feet to finish second. Hwang enters the NCAA Championship with the fifth best mark in Division III.
In the final event of the day, the 4x400m relay squad of Jamie Simmons, Andrea Bradshaw, Gross and Jones looked to improve upon its Institute record and qualifying time set at last weekend’s All-New England Championship. The group started strong but remained in second place behind Cabrini College for the entire race, finishing with a time of 3:52.85. The quartet owns the eighth best time in the country entering the National Championship meet.
MIT will send nine athletes to next weekend’s NCAA Championship in Marietta, Ohio. In addition to Doyle, Holt-Gosselin, Hwang and the 4x400 relay, Wentz will compete in the 3000m Steeplechase, Jones and Simmons will run the 400m hurdles and Amy Magnuson will enter the 100m hurdles. The Championship meet begins Thursday morning and runs through Saturday.