Women's Track & Field | Tufts women victorious in second home meet of the season
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 02:02
It was a jam-packed weekend for track and field at Tufts, as 24 teams from all over the northeast and hundreds of fans piled into the Gantcher Center on Friday and Saturday for the Tufts Stampede.
After all was said and done, the women’s team came out on top with an impressive performance, amassing 166 points, 11 more than second-place MIT and 71 more than third-place NESCAC rival Williams College.
“It was definitely exciting to be on our home track because of how many people were there,” freshman distance runner Audrey Gould said of the first home meet of her Tufts career.
“It completely transformed Gantcher, and I could feel the energy of everyone on the team and off the team who came to cheer on the Jumbos. It did feel a little strange to race on the same track that we work out on, but I think the familiarity may be a good thing.”
Friday night featured the pentathlon. It was a strong start for the Jumbos, with all four participants earning team points with their finishes. Sophomore Caitlin Pohl led the Jumbos with 2,671 points and a fourth place finish, followed by junior Jana Hieber, who placed fifth with 2,591 points.
The rest of the events took place on Saturday afternoon, along with all the team’s wins, as Jumbos recorded five individual event wins and 12 top 3 finishes, with the throwers, as usual, leading the way.
Tufts swept the top 3 spots in the weight throw, led by senior and first-place finisher Sabienne Brutus, who won with a distance of 56 feet and 5 and three-fourth inches. Classmate Kelly Allen placed second with a distance of 52 feet and 3 and one-fourth inches, and sophomore Grace Demyan took third with a distance of 51 feet and 4 and three-fourth inches. Demyan also placed fifth in shot put with a throw of 39 feet and 9 and three-fourth inches.
In addition to placing second in the weight throw, Allen took home victory in shot put with a throw of 43 feet and 10 inches, beating her own school record by three-fourths of an inch.
The Jumbos continued their success in the field events with a 3rd place finish in pole vault from freshman Emily Smithwick, who cleared the bar at 10 feet and 11 and three-fourths inches, and a fifth-place finish in the high jump from freshman Paige Roberts, with a jump of 5 feet and 1 and three-fourth inches.
Tufts also had a key victory on the track during Saturday’s competition. Gould placed first in the 5000 meter with a personal best time of 17:49.57, which is currently the third fastest time in the nation by a freshman runner and the 11th ranked time overall.
“I was very happy with the time I ran,” Gould said. “It was a 29-second [personal record], and I broke 18 minutes for the first time, which was my goal going into the meet. I was happy with the way the race went but it will be fun to race in the coming weeks in a more competitive field and hopefully further improve my time.”
Freshman Alexis Harrison took down her own school record in the 60-meter dash, finishing in 7.92 seconds to take third in the race.
“I was really happy with my time because it was a big improvement from my previous times in the 60, and it was also a good indication that with more practice I can break 7.90,” Harrison said. “I knew going into the finals that the race would be really close, and every hundredth of a second counted. I felt great with the outcome of the race knowing that I gave it my all.”
The team’s strong performance this weekend was particularly important, as the New England Div. III Championships are just two weeks away.
“It was important for me to [set a personal record] at this meet because it gave me more confidence as we are approaching Div. III’s and it lets me know that I am improving,” Harrison said. “I plan on working on my start and being more explosive out of the blocks to prepare for the championships.”
Before the championship meets begin, the Jumbos will compete next weekend at the Valentine Invitational at Boston University as they look to gain some momentum heading into their championship races.
For Gould, these next two weeks will provide a chance to tune up and ensure that she and her teammates are in peak form heading into the Div. III meet.
“As we go into championship season I’m going to make sure I’m listening to my body, taking rest when I need it, but pushing myself when I feel good,” she said. “Sleeping and eating right are also crucial in the pre-championship meet weeks. As a team
we’re just making sure we’re all psyched up, energized and ready to perform our best but also to support the team as a whole.”