Women’s track and field | Jumbos finish season at Last Chance Meet, lose out on NCAA Championships
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 06:03
Tufts women’s track and field hosted the Last Chance Meet on Saturday at the Gantcher Center for athletes attempting to secure a spot at the NCAA Division III National Championships next weekend.
The meet did not have team scoring because all of the focus was on individual performances. To qualify for the National Championship meet, individuals need to rank 15th or better in the country, and relay teams need to rank 10th or better.
Nevertheless, the athletes competing understood the importance of the day.
“My thought process was to go big or go home and leave everything on the table,” freshman pole−vaulter Emily Smithwick said.
“You take the week before the meet pretty easy,” senior quad−captain Alyssa Corrigan added.
For the Jumbos, a lot of attention was placed on the 4x400 meter relay team, as they looked to be able to break into the top 10 and qualify for nationals.
But seniors Sam Bissonnette and Alyssa Corrigan, junior Jana Hieber and freshman Marilyn Allen finished the race in a time of 3:55.03, which landed them 12th in the nation, just missing the cutoff for the NCAA Championships.
The time was good enough to place fourth at the meet and was the second fastest 4x400 meter time in Tufts history.
“We prepared ourselves to give it everything and be proud of the race no matter what the outcome was” Corrigan said. “We absolutely did that.”
Although the team did not qualify for the National Championship, Corrigan has chosen to stay positive.
Freshman Emily Smithwick finished her impressive first year by taking 4th place in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet and one quarter inches. Although this wasn’t enough to qualify for NCAAs, Smithwick is proud of her performance.
“I was trying to qualify for the Championships like many people at the meet,” she said. “Although I didn’t perform as well as I wanted and I didn’t qualify, I feel like I did everything I could, so I have no regrets.”
Another freshman finishing her stellar first season was 5000−meter runner Audrey Gould. Her time of 17:29.32 placed seventh at the meet and 21st in the nation, but fourth in the country for freshman runners.
The senior throwing trio of Kelly Allen, Ronke Oyekunle and Sabienne Brutus dominated the meet once again for the Jumbos.
Allen won the shot put with a throw of 45 feet six and one quarter inches, placing her 11th in the country and improving on her own school record. She also placed second in the weight throw with a toss of 57 feet, a distance that ranks ninth in the country.
Oyekunle placed second behind Allen in shot put with a throw of 43 feet seven and one quarter inches, and Brutus finished third behind Allen in weight throw with a toss of 56 feet four and three quarter inches. Oyekunle ranks 13th in the nation in shot put and 12th in weight throw, while Brutus ranks sixth nationally in weight throw.
All three women will represent the Jumbos at the NCAA Division III National Championship meet at North Central College on Mar. 8 and 9. They will be joined by Jana Hieber, who ranks 12th nationally in the pentathlon.
“I am so proud of the athletes that did qualify,” Smithwick said. “We have an amazing team.”