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

Tufts shines at home, BU as Allen breaks school record

The women's Track and Field competed in the Tufts Stampede Invitational in the Gantcher Center at Tufts.

The women's track and field team split its squad up over the weekend for a pair of non-scoring meets. A few members of the team traveled to Boston University's annualJohn Thomas Terrier Invitational on Friday, while the majority of the team competed at Tufts' own Stampede Invitational, held at the Gantcher Center on Jan. 30 and 31.

At BU, junior Marilyn Allen set a Tufts record in the 200-meter run with her 25.42 time, shattering the 25.59 mark set by Jessica Trombly in 2004. Normally a hurdler, Allen used the banked curves of BU's track to her advantage to set the new record, which also stands as the top Div. III finish in that event this season.

Saturday's Tufts Stampede kicked off with the women's 3,000-meter run. Sophomore Kelly Fahey placed second overall in the event at 10:35.85, qualifying for both the Div. III New England Championships and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) meet. In the same heat, junior Lily Corcoran and sophomores Meredith Reynolds and Olivia Dehm also had strong races, running as a pack and finishing ninth, 10th and 11th respectively. Senior Meghan Gillis raced well in the women's one-mile run, placing sixth in 5:20.40.

Tufts also had a robust presence in the mid-distance events, as first-year Prudence Sax (3:04.39) and sophomore Sam Cox (3:06.70) finished second and third in the 1,000-meter run. First-year Sara Stokesbury also raced well, taking second place in the 800 meters with a time of 2:25.32. Junior Sydney Smith, doubling back from running the 800 at BU the night before, took silver in the 600 with a 1:41.32 time.

In the sprints, the Jumbos were without team members who had competed at BU, but they still enjoyed several strong performances. Two first-years, Annalisa DeBari and Toluwa Akinyemi, made the 60-meter hurdle finals, taking fifth in 9.87 seconds and seventh in 10.07 seconds, respectively. The 4x200 team of sophomores Bianca Rescalvo, Hannah Loss, Rita Donohoe and first-year Julia Prusaczyk finished third with a time of 1:51.75.

In the field, sophomore Keren Hendel took fourth in the pole vault with a 10' 11.75" clearing -- a new season best. DeBari finished fourth in the triple jump, leaping 33' 7.25" in her first collegiate triple jump competition. Junior Mary Ellen Caruso also took eighth in the competition with her leap of 32' 10.50". Sophomore Bailey Conner was fourth in the shot put, throwing the ball 37' 9.25", and later took fourth in the weight throw, heaving the weight a distance of 45' 7.75". Freshman Amylee Anyoha also competed in the weight throw, securing third place with a throw of 46' 4.00".

"I feel that I threw well," Conner said. "I was able to PR in the shot put and qualify for ECACs in both the shot and weight throw. Amy [Anyoha] had a huge throw to shatter the freshman weight record, and, it being only the third meet of the season, I feel that our team will have many more opportunities to grow if we keep working hard."

This year's team is admittedly short on experience, particularly in the throws squad, but that hasn't hindered it much at all.

"This year's throws team is very young, but the freshmen are very talented," Conner said. "They have had a huge impact, as they have been scoring points for the team from the first meet of the season. As a class they bring so much energy and athleticism to the team, so I can't wait to see what they can do in the next few years."

At BU on Friday night, Allen became the new school record holder in the 200 meters as she obliterated her old PR of 26.82 seconds by 1.4 seconds, qualifying for Div. III New Englands, ECACs and the Open New England Championships. She also competed in the 60-meter hurdles -- her main event -- and took 18th place overall with a 9.11 second time that was fourth best in Tufts history. Junior Alexis Harrison competed in the 60-meter dash, covering the distance in 8.07 seconds, as well as the 200-meter dash, which she ran in 27.08 seconds. Donohoe also competed in the 400 meters, landing 92nd in 61.35 seconds.

In the 500-meter dash, Prusaczyk ran for a quick 79.05 seconds to take 19th overall, while Loss took 38th overall in 81.31 seconds. Smith and senior Lauren Gormer also competed in the 800 meters, as both broke 2:20. Gormer placed 43rd overall in 2:18.91, while Smith finished 48th overall in 2:19.24.

"We saw some solid mid-season performances from everyone at BU," Smith said. "Our long sprints team is looking stronger every week. I think between Hannah [Loss], Rita [Donohue] and Julia [Prusaczyk], we can anticipate getting points from the long sprint events in almost every meet. Lauren [Gormer] and I both feel our performances at BU were good midseason benchmarks in the 800 and should set us up to run some fast times later on."

The Jumbos host their last home meet of the season, the Cupid Invitational, this Saturday before heading back to BU for the David Hemmery Invitational. Although the Jumbos have performed well in the last few weeks, Smith believes there is still more room for improvement.

"I think the biggest hurdle we need to address is gearing up mentally to run as well in races as we do at practice," Smith said. "We need to get better as a team about walking into races with confidence that we can keep up with almost any team in New England Div. III track."