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Women's Track and Field | Jumbos shine at BU Valentine

Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 09:02

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Ann Levine / The Tufts Daily

The Jumbos proved to be among the best at Boston University’s unscored, annual David Hemery Valentine Invitational last Friday.

Senior Jana Hieber had perhaps the best performance, as she placed seventh (first among Div. III schools) in the 500-meter run. Hieber, a multi-eventer who, in the pentathlon, is ranked in the top five nationally, competed among the nation’s best long sprinters with a time of 1:15.84. She just missed breaking the school record, which still stands at 1:15.20, set by Caitlin Murphy (LA ’00) in 2000.

The Jumbos received top-30 places from sophomore Hanako Shigenobu and senior tri-captain Laura Peterson in the 1,000-meter run. Shigenobu just missed breaking the elusive three-minute barrier, placing 24th, with a time of 3:01.31. Following an impressive mile last week, Peterson returned to place 26th overall, also just going over three minutes with a time of 3:01.90. 

In the sprints, senior tri-captain Anya Kaufmann and junior Christina Harvey placed in the top 60 of the 200-meter dash, as Kaufmann ran a 25.91 time, finishing at 56th place, and Harvey ran 25.96, finishing in 58th place. 

Sophomore Marilyn Allen ran 9.65 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing in 47th place. Hieber later returned in the 4x400 relay, leading junior Lauren Gormer, freshman Rita Donohue, Allen and herself to a 23rd place finish, running at 4:01.05.

“BU’s fast track, especially going down the banking on the final turn, helped a lot of us set a PR on the day,” Harvey said. “We also got to watch elite runners race in an amazing atmosphere, which definitely inspired us to perform well. That helped many of us set many PRs and a few of us qualify for nationals.”

Off the track, sophomore Mary Ellen Caruso leapt 34’7.75” in the triple jump to win her flight and place 30th overall. 

The action heated up as day turned into night at the two-day meet. The distance performance of the night came in the women’s 5000-meter run, as sophomore Audrey Gould ran a time of 17:20.32, securing 21st place at the meet, and seventh in Div. III this year. Gould’s run ranks as one of the top five for the distance in Tufts’ history and ranks her as No. 1 in New England. 

In the 3000-meter run, senior Abby Barker had a similarly impressive performance, as she ran a time of 10:02.18 for 61st place. This time is also among the top five in school history and ranks as the 17th fastest time in the nation.

“Audrey was one of our many incredible performances on the distance squad on the day,” Barker said. “Most of our milers set PRs too, so it was a solid day. We definitely showed to Div. I, II and III schools that we are a legit program.”

The Jumbos return to action next week at home at the Cupid Challenge, where they hope to improve on seed times and marks, and qualify more athletes for postseason action.

“Our biggest goal is to win Div. III New Englands,” Barker said. “Although it won’t be easy with MIT, Williams and Middlebury all competing for the same title as us, it is definitely attainable if we all perform well.”

“We still have work to do, but the performances we’ve seen so far are a good sign of things to come.” Harvey added. 

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