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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Women's Track and Field | After five second-place finishes, Jumbos aim for the top

After winning the New England Division III Championships for the past five years, Williams may have finally found its match.

This weekend, the women's track and field team is hoping to break its frustrating streak of five straight second-place finishes to Williams when it travels to Smith College for its first postseason meet of the season.

"It's definitely going to be a tough match," senior co-captain Cat Beck said. "Our goal is to hit all of our seeds. We want to be controlling all the factors that we can."

Judging from the team's final regular-season tuneup - last weekend's Tufts Invite III - the Jumbos look like they have a good chance. In the 55-meter dash, sophomore Logan Crane finished first, beating Williams' Carrie Plitt by .08 of a second.

Meanwhile, one of Williams' top mid-distance runners, Lissy Robie, took fourth place to Beck's second place finish in the 800-meter run. In addition, Tufts freshmen Stephanie McNamara and Amy Wilfert got the better of fellow freshman Ceci Davis-Hayes in the 1,000-meter run.

To make things even more challenging for the Ephs, the team's top sprinter - indoor All-American Maddy Outman - will be running unattached at this meet, meaning she will not be able to score any points for the Ephs. That will likely be a large factor this weekend, as Outman is a pentathlete and therefore would have had the ability to score in five different events.

The Jumbos' freshman class will have the opportunity to make a big impact at the meet. First-year Allison Fechter has consistently made the top 10 in the pole vault this year, while McNamara and Wilfert keep bringing in the points in the mid- and long-distance races. Classmate Kanku Kabongo has given several strong showings in the triple jump this season.

Coach Kristen Morwick is hoping to put people in as many events as they can stand to compete in on Saturday in order to get a lot of points from a variety of races. Top sprinters Crane and senior co-captain Kaleigh Fitzpatrick are planning on performing in four different events for this meet. The veterans on the team, especially the seniors who have finished behind Williams every season, are ready to go after the win.

"The seniors are the ones who want [the win] the most, so they're willing to be tortured for it," Morwick said.