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Women's Track and Field | Jumbos win five events at Tufts Invitational

Published: Friday, January 18, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 08:01

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Justin McCallum / The Tufts Daily

Senior Sam Bissonette won the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:02.01 in Tufts’ first home meet of the season.

In its first scored meet of the season, the women’s track and field team fell just three points short of winning the Tufts Invitational on Jan. 12, falling to UMass Lowell in the first of their four home meets of the season. Although they came up short in the team competition, the Jumbos were able to secure five event victories on the day.

“This weekend was a great beginning for the season,” senior quad−captain thrower Kelly Allen said in an email to the Daily. “There were great individual performances and also many of the new members of the team were able to seamlessly transition into collegiate action,” Allen said.

Allen herself played a huge part of Tufts’ success in the invitational. The star senior, who won Tufts’ Hester L. Sargent award for best female athlete this fall and won a double NESCAC Championship in discus and shot put last year scored 16 points for the Jumbos in two throwing events. She won the weight throw with a heave of 52 feet 9 inches and took home third in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 7 inches.

Tufts was helped as well by key contributions from a number of underclassmen.

Grace Demyan took third place in the weight throw, while freshmen Emily Smithwick, Paige Roberts, and Caitlin Keenan all had strong performances in the jumping events. Smithwick won the pole vault with a clearance of 10 feet 0 inches, Roberts earned a runner−up finish from her 5 feet, 2 inches clearance in the high jump, and Keenan finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 34 feet, 3 inches.

“It was a great chance to see what the new team members of our team could do in competition,” senior quad−captain Sarah Schiferl said.

The Jumbos also had great success on the track, highlighted by senior Sam Bissonnette’s victory in the 400 with a time of 1:02.01. In the 800, sophomore Lauren Gormer and freshman Sydney Smith finished second and third, respectively, with times of 2:25.57 and 2:30.09. The Jumbos also took home wins in both the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, finishing second in the 4x800 relay.

Although this combined team effort was not enough to secure an overall team victory for Tufts, the strong first appearance for the Jumbos is a sign of what the Jumbos will be able to produce later in the season.

“Our goal of every meet is to win, and we fell just short of that, so it’s a bit disappointing,” junior mid−distance runner Bethanne Goldman said. “But as a team, we were very supportive and had each other’s backs. It was really good to be together as a team.”

The strong team chemistry will be an asset moving forward, as the veteran members of the team will be able to support a freshman class that has already put up strong showings in this first meet.

With less than a month remaining until the Div. III New England Championship meet on Feb. 15, the Jumbos have already begun thinking about the championship meets that will ultimately define their season.

In the meantime, the Jumbos will split up for competition this week. A select group of distance runners competed locally last night at Boston University, while the rest of the team travels to Maine to compete in the Bowdoin Invitational on Saturday.

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