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Women's Track and Field | Tufts throwers stand tall with New England’s best at BU

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 08:02


Oliver Porter / The Tufts Daily

Competing against Div. I talent, the Jumbos finished 12th in the All-New England Championships this weekend.


Coming off of a first-place finish at New England Div. III Championships last weekend, the women’s track and field team traveled to Boston University on Friday and Saturday for the All-New England Championships, tying for 12th on the weekend.

Overall, the Jumbos picked up 24 points at the meet while up against 36 schools from all over New England, including a number from Div. I. The University of Connecticut and Providence College took home first and second place at the meet, respectively.

Because of the extremely high qualification standards for the meet, the Jumbos only sent four throwers, one vaulter, two individual runners and three relay teams. And although the strong Div. I competition kept the Jumbos out of the top 10 spots, the team did finish above all the other participating NESCAC opponents, including Williams, Middlebury, Amherst, Bates and Colby.

Leading the Jumbos was the senior triumvirate of Kelly Allen, Sabienne Brutus and Ronke Oyekunle, who owned the throwing events for Tufts, as they have all season. Brutus attributes this long season of success to both the group’s training and attitude.

“After four years of working hard, we want to leave on a good note,” Brutus said. “We train like champions, and we are going to be champions, and I’m happy to get a big throw out there for nationals.”

Brutus placed second in the weight throw with a distance of 58 feet 1 inch, breaking the previous school record set by classmate Kelly Allen. With the toss, she now ranks in the top five in the nation in Div. III this year. 

Allen finished third in the event with a throw of 55 feet 11 inches, and Oyekunle came in ninth with a throw of 48 feet 8 inches.

Allen and Oyekunle also made a strong showing in the shot put, placing third and fifth with throws of 45 feet 3.5 inches and 45 feet 0.5 inches, respectively.

“I’m really excited,” Allen said. “My shot put keeps getting better this season, and I’m definitely ready to compete at the national level.”

In addition, sophomore thrower Grace Demyan continued her excellent season with throws of 39 feet 7.75 inches in the shot put and 44 feet 7 inches in weight throw, earning her 14th and 23rd places in the respective events.

On the track, it was the underclassmen who led the charge for the Jumbos.

Freshman Marilyn Allen placed 19th in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.22 seconds, while sophomore Caitlin Pohl placed 17th in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:18.77 and Emily Smithwick finished ninth in the pole vault with a leap of 11 feet 1.75 inches.

The Jumbos also had success in the relays. The 4x800-meter relay squad finished 10th with a time of 9:23.02,  with the 4x400-meter team coming in 23rd and the Distance Medley Relay placing at No. 13.

With the season drawing to a close, the team will race one last time at home on March 2 in the Last Chance Meet, giving their athletes a final opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Div. III Championship meet the next weekend.

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