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

Women's Track and Field | Jumbos place ninth at ECAC Champs

With a slimmed-down team and an eye on making a final push before NCAA Championships this weekend, the women's track and field team headed to Harvard this past weekend for the ECAC Div. III Indoor Championships and secured a top-10 finish.

Although the competing Jumbos may have been concentrating on posting top performances in individual events ahead of next week's Nationals hosted at Ohio Northern, Tufts still scored 35.5 points and took ninth place out of 51 schools. In 16 events, the Jumbos ended up with fourteen top-10 finishes.

Following the trend sophomore Logan Crane started three weeks ago when she set a school record in the 55-meter dash, freshman Allison Fechter set a new Tufts mark in the pole vault on Saturday. Fechter broke her own personal record by vaulting 10 feet, seven inches, besting the mark previously held by Myriam Claudio (LA '03) by one inch.

Coach Kristen Morwick was pleasantly surprised that Fechter broke the record in this event as a freshman, especially at such a big meet.

"The [pole] vault was really competitive," she said.

Fellow freshman Stephanie McNamara also recorded a personal record on Saturday in the 1,000-meter run, as her second-place finish of 2:56.49 netted the team eight points. The freshman used this shorter race to work on her speed for the distance medley relay at Nationals next weekend, where she will be the leadoff leg, running the 1,200-meter portion of the race.

"It's definitely stressful being the only freshman on the [relay] team, and especially being the first leg," McNamara said.

McNamara is no stranger to national championships, as she experienced that competition in cross country this fall, and the DMR team will certainly have its sights set on winning the event.

"I don't think we've ever won a relay before, so we would love to be national champions," McNamara said.

Also taking the track in the 1,000-meter run on Saturday was freshman Amy Wilfert, who followed McNamara with a sixth-place finish, clocking in at 3:01.60. Meanwhile senior Katy O'Brien took another runner-up finish for the Jumbos in the 800-meter run. Her time of 2:14.88 earned the team eight points and hit the provisional qualifier for the NCAA Championships.

The 4x400 relay team took fourth place, adding five points to the Jumbos' scoreboard with a time of 4:01.94.

Crane prepared for next weekend by racing the 55-meter dash, taking fourth place with a time of 7.24 seconds, good for 4.5 points. In the 500 meters, freshman Andrea Caruth finished in eighth place with a time of 1:19.80.

Freshman Sarah Nolet competed in the pentathlon, where she took part in the 800-meter run, the 55-meter hurdles, the high jump, the long jump and the shot put. Nolet took third place overall, with a total of 2,938 points, buttressed by a first place showing in the shot put, launching it 13.17 meters, and a second-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:37.16.

In field events, freshman Kanku Kabongo's triple jump of 10.49 meters earned her an 18th-place finish, while senior Sarah Martin competed in the weight throw, coming in 23rd out of 34 competitors with her throw of 13.17 meters. In the long jump, senior Jenna Weir took ninth place with a leap of 5.12 meters.

Despite the fact that only about a quarter of the team took part in the ECAC Championships, the Jumbos ended up only a few points behind the top teams, finishing within seven points of MIT, who clinched second place with 42.50 points. Moravian won the whole meet with a 56-point effort.

"We knew that the few people we had in the meet would do really well," Morwick said.