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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Harrison, Allen lead Jumbos at UMass Lowell

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Lindsay Atkeson, pictured here in an indoor meet from last year, won the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday.

As a final tuneup for next weekend's NESCAC Championships, the women's track and field team competed in a small tri-meet against Dartmouth College and UMass Lowell at the George Davis Invitational, held at UMass Lowell on Saturday.The meet was unscored, but Tufts, led by its sprinters, impressed nonetheless.

Junior Marilyn Allen improved her personal best in the 100-meter hurdles to 14.43 seconds and took first place in the event.Her time places her sixth overall nationally and is likely to get her to Div. III Nationals later in the season. She also managed a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles, setting a personal record by running 64.00 seconds, good enough for 24th nationally.Her classmate, Alexis Harrison, is rounding into late-season form very well, as she set a season best in the 100-meter dash by running 12.35 seconds for second place. In other sprint action, senior Christina Harvey nabbed a season best in the 100, running 12.78 seconds for seventh place overall.First-year Annalisa DeBari also demonstrated late season improvement in the 100-meter hurdles, setting a new college personal record of 15.64 seconds. Her classmate, Julia Prusaczyk, took seventh in the 400-meter hurdles, running 67.98 seconds.Earlier in the day, the 4x100-meter team of Allen, DeBari, Harvey and Harrison teamed up to run 48.92 seconds.

"Alexis [Harrison] had a great day, as did Marilyn [Allen]," first-year Danielle Skufca said. "Many others also had great days as well."

On the distance side, the women impressed as well. Junior Sydney Smith and senior Lauren Gormer ran well in the 800, as Smith took fourth in 2:16.98 (one of the fastest times of her career), and Gormer ran 2:19.47. Both seem to be in great shape, and will be a legitimate threat for some important points next weekend at NESCACs.In the 1,500, first-year Margot Rashba took sixth, winning her heat in a new personal best of 4:58.91,while sophomore Sophie Passacantando took eighth in 5:07.08. In the rarely run 3,000, sophomore Olivia Dehm, who has been having a great outdoor campaign, broke 11 minutes for the first time in her career, running 10:58.67.In the 3000-meter steeplechase, in which only Tufts athletes ran, sophomore Lindsay Atkeson just missed her personal record, taking the victory in 11:31.95.Skufca also set a personal best in the event, running 12:14.98 to qualify for Div. III New Englands.

"I was satisfied with my race," Skufca said. "Although it wasn't quite the day I wanted, it was good to get any final kinks out before championship season."

In the field events, the women showed they were truly ready for NESCACs.Harrison came back in the high jump, crossing over the bar at 4' 11", and leaping 17' 2.25" in the long jump, a new season best.Sophomore Keren Hendel led the way in the pole vault, crossing the bar at 10' 11.75" for fifth overall.In the triple jump, Tufts took second, third and fourth, as DeBari, senior Mary Ellen Caruso and first-year Toluwa Akinyemi bounded out to marks of 34' 4.75", 34' 2" and 33' 9.25" respectively.In the shot put, sophomore Bailey Conner led the way, setting a new season best of 42' 5.5".First-year Jennifer Sherwill continued her domination in the discus, taking the victory in 114'9". First-year Amylee Anyoha and Conner took first and second in the hammer throw, as Anyoha heaved the standard 135' 10", and Conner just an inch behind in 135' 9".Sherwill also competed in the javelin, taking sixth in 112'.

"The weather was absolutely perfect for throwing." Anyoha said. "Although conditions were ideal, I wasn't very pleased with how I did in the discus since it's my favorite event."

Tufts has a very formidable throws squad this year, with multiple first years stepping up and scoring key points at meets. This group will be crucial to Tufts' team effort at NESCACs, as they will be looking to score serious points.

"I think we all need to get out of our heads and just throw far next week." Anyoha said. "We've been drilling technique and form into our heads this entire season. Now it's just about pumping each other up and having strong desires to perform well."

Next weekend, the women will travel to Williams College for the NESCAC Championships.Williams is the heavy favorite, but with weather forecasts predicting rain and cold temperatures, anything can happen on meet day.

"As a team, the goal is to win." Skufca said. "The NESCAC has some very solid teams but we as a team are definitely capable of performing at that level and have been working hard all season to do just that. Together, we will be putting our best foot forward and aiming for the highest results."