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Women's Track and Field | Hieber smashes school record, Jumbos take second at Stampede

Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 06:02

 Although senior Jana Hieber did not compete on the same day as her nationally-ranked No. 23 team, she was still able to lead it to an impressive second place finish behind No. 2 MIT at the annual Tufts Stampede Invitational. 

Hieber scored 3,622 points in the pentathlon on Friday, winning the event by over 400 points, smashing the former Tufts record and achieving  the fourth-best all-time score in Div. III history. Of her five events, Hieber won four of them. In her fifth and final event, the 800-meter dash, she was still able to manage a second-place finish to lock up the victory.

“My goal was to get a good overall score and work on each individual event,” Hieber said. “Since the pentathlon is such a taxing event on the body, I use the meet as an opportunity to qualify for nationals very early in the season, so I can be fresher as the season goes on.”

Although Hieber did post an impressive score, she is still hungry for more.

“I definitely need to work on my shot put and long jump techniques,” Hieber said. “Those weren’t my best marks, but I know I can improve.”

The rest of the Jumbo squad got started on Saturday. The sprinters had an impressive day against many top-ranked runners and teams. Sophomore Alexis Harrison got the day started with a win in the 60-meter dash, finishing in 7.98 seconds, just 0.02 seconds faster than her next closest competitor. Sophomore Marilyn Allen soon followed suit in the 60-meter hurdles, placing third in the finals by running over the barriers with a time of 9.31. 

In the 200-meter dash, senior Anya Kaufmann and freshman Bianca Rescalvo scored valuable points for the Jumbos, as they took fifth and sixth with times of 27.13 and 27.70 seconds, respectively. 

Freshman Hannah Loss picked up a few points for the Jumbos, running a solid 63.31 in the 400-meter dash to take fifth place. The Jumbos also scored a key victory in the 4x200-meter relay, winning the event with a fast time of 1:47.25.

The mid-distance and distance girls also had impressive days on the oval. Juniors Colleen Flanagan and Lauren Gormer took the top two spots in the 600-meter run to pick up 18 points for the Jumbos. Flanagan (1:40.90) just edged out Gormer (1:40.96) for the win. Senior Misha Patel and junior Isa Cuervo also placed in the top six in their event, running times of 2:21.60 and 2:22.05, respectively, to take third and fourth in the 800-meter run. 

Sophomore Sydney Smith added eight more points to the score, running a time of 3:01.66 to take second in the 1,000-meter run. In the mile run, senior Laura Peterson (fifth, 5:09.50), sophomore Olivia Beltrani (sixth, 5:12.07), and senior Abby Barker (seventh, 5:13.12) used their “run together” strategy, that worked so well for their team during cross country season, to finish within three seconds of each other, allowing them to add more to their scoring tally. 

In the 5,000-meter run, senior Lauren Creath used her cross-country running strength to pull her to a time of 18:40.63 and a fourth-place finish. At the end of the meet, the distance runners also combined together to take second in the 4x800-meter relay, running a solid early season time of 9:56.91.

Peterson elaborated on the goals of the distance runners on the season.

“We had a strong cross-country season, and we want to continue that success on the track,” Peterson said. “There is also a lot of room for the mid-distance and longer distance girls to make up for key graduations last year.”

Although the women’s field event competitors did not notch many victories on the day, they were still able to post enough solid results to contribute to the Jumbos’ final tally. 

Senior Kristen Roberts took fourth place in the high jump by leaping over the bar at a height of 5’ 1/4”. Freshman Keren Hendel grabbed third-place honors in the pole vault as she flew over the bar at 10’10”. 

Junior Grace Demyan continued her solid season in the shot put and weight throw, as she was able to take third by heaving the ball 38’ 3 1/2”, and fourth in the weight throw by launching the weight 48’ 3 1/2” away.

“I would give our performance at this meet a seven out of 10,” Peterson said. “Although there were a lot of personal records set, MIT, our biggest competition at Div. III New Englands, definitely gave us a wake up call. There is still more room for improvement.”

The Jumbos will next be competing in the BU Valentine Invitational, held at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center next weekend.

“It’s still early in the season, but we have talent across the board and have already had some great performances,” Hieber said. The girls on the team just need to focus on each role everyone plays.” 

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