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

Personal records, strong performances for Tufts at BU

Tufts has high hopes its relay teams can place high at championship meets.

On Friday and Saturday, the women's track and field team took its talents to Boston University's Indoor Track and Tennis Center for the annual David Hemery Valentine Invitational.BU's banked track has been dubbed one of the fastest indoor tracks in the world, which was on display when 12 runners in the men's competition broke four minutes for the mile. They led the way to an unprecedented 36 sub-4 minute miles around the nation on Saturday.The women, just like the men, took advantage of the very fast track and many athletes broke into the top 10 in school history in their respective events.

On Saturday, the women's distance medley relay team of first-years Prudence Sax, Julia Prusaczyk, Lena Walton and sophomore Sam Cox ran 12:43.19 for 23rd place overall.The evening before, their teammates took to the track for individual races.Sophomore Kelly Fahey, fresh off a top 10 nationally ranked time for the 5,000 meters (17:29) at Tufts last week,dropped another huge personal record by running 9:56.77 in the 3,000 meters. She took 44th overall and eighth overall in her heat.Fahey's time qualifies her for the Open New England meet in a few weeks, and is also fourth all-time in Tufts history.

Many of her teammates ran personal bests as well.Senior Megan Gillis set a nine second personal record (PR) in the same event, running 10:26.87,while first-year Olivia Nicholson, who has had a great indoor season so far, PRed by nine seconds in 10:34.21.In the mile, sophomore Alice Wasserman ran a solid time, 5:20.4, while junior Lily Corcoran ran 5:29.82.

"This was the first time I've ever run on a banked track so the race was different for me." Nicholson said. "I went out way too fast and overall am not thrilled with how I ran the race but I PRed by nine seconds so I am pleased with my time. Every Tufts runner in the 3K PRed, so it was a good day overall and it prepared us for Div. IIIs this weekend."

In the mid-distance events, the women continued the trend of fast races. Senior Lauren Gormer set a season best in the 800 meters, running 2:17.16 -- less than a second off of her PR -- to win her heat and take 60th overall. Walton and first-year Sara Stokesbury ran season bests in the same event, as Walton ran 2:23.43 for 114th overall, and Stokesbury ran 2:24.12 for 120th overall.

In the 1,000 meters, junior Sydney Smith ran 2:59.41 for 37th overall, becoming just the ninth person in school history to break three minutes in the event.

Junior Marilyn Allen continued her impressive indoor season in the 200 meters, as she ran 25.50 for 51st overall, missing her school record of 25.42 from BU's Terrier Invite a few weeks ago by the narrowest of margins.Junior Alexis Harrison also fared well, running 25.93 for 83rd overall.Sophomore Rita Donohoe took 127th overall, running 26.66,and senior Christina Harvey took 140th overall in 26.92 seconds.

In the longer sprint events, sophomore Hannah Loss took 113th overall in the 400 meters, running 61.45, and Prusaczyk just missed PRing in the 500 meters by 0.02 seconds, running 79.07 seconds for 35th overall.The 4x400-meter relay team of Loss, Allen, Smith and Gormer took 33rd overall, just missing the four minute barrier by running 4:00.08 for a new season best.

"We were able to get more qualifiers at BU," Donohoe said. "Alexis [Harrison] ran an awesome 200, which puts her in a promising position to school at Div. IIIs. Lena [Walton] also ran a PR in the 800 to qualify. Going to BU always means top-notch competition at a fast facility, so we always look to put up season bests and PRs there. Personally, I set a season best in the 200 which I was happy with, but its not where I wanted to be at this point unfortunately because of setbacks due to injury. However, I am optimistic about this weekend at Smith and hope to be able to show significant improvements."

The Jumbos were represented by a few individuals in the field events. Sophomore Keren Hendel matched her PR in the pole vault, going over the bar at 11' 5.75". First-year Sophie Lattes PRed in the triple jump, leaping 34' 10.25" to qualify for Div. III New Englands which will be held next weekend.First-year Annalisa DeBari and senior Mary Ellen Caruso also competed in the same event, as DeBari jumped 34' 3.5" for 34th overall, and Caruso launched herself 33' 7.5" for 40th overall.

Next weekend, the Jumbos will travel to Smith College for the Div. III New England Championships, where they hope to secure a top three finish.

"At Div. III New Englands, we will be trying to score a lot of points, and for others, we will be looking to qualify for Open New Englands or ECACs," Nicholson said. "Our 4x800 team has a great chance at placing in the top three."