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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tufts indoor track teams continue to shine

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Tufts women's track and field team at the Tufts Branwen Smith-King Invitational is pictured on Jan. 30.

The Tufts men’s and women’s indoor track teams had a busy weekend competing in both the Branwen Smith-King Multi and Tufts Cupid Challenge. Due to snowstorm rescheduling, the Branwen Smith-King Multi was pushed back a week for competing athletes. In spite of the extra effort, both teams had a strong showing.

The Branwen Smith-King Multi, hosted at Tufts, included a heptathlon for the men and a pentathlon for the women. 

At this event, the men’s team finished second, with junior Carter Rosewell scoring first in both the 60-meter dash and long jump. Both events were personal records, as was his high jump. His performance allowed the team to finish in second place.

For the women’s team, senior Rachel Eaglin came in third, finishing first in the 60-meter hurdles and high jump. Notably, her score for the pentathlon ranks 35th on the Division III national list. 

Since the pentathlon includes five different events completed with 30-minute breaks in between, Eaglin had ample time to roll out her legs and prepare for the next event. She felt most confident going into the 60-meter hurdles and high jump.

“Hurdles are my bread and butter, they are my best event and what I used to do in high school ... high jump is one of my favorite but also least favorite events, because for me it is very mental ... but it went very well,” she said. 

Eaglin wished for better in regard to her 800-meter and long jump performances.

“The long jump was very mediocre because I haven’t practiced it, and [so was] the 800-meter,” said Eaglin. 

The long-term impact of COVID-19 means that no matter how hard she tries, she may not return to her original pre-pandemic form.

“You can’t just shake off the dust and get back to it because you’re missing a whole year of practicing your technical ability ... [it’s about] managing your expectations and being kind to yourself,” Eaglin said. 

The Tufts Cupid Challenge, hosted at Tufts on Saturday, had no team scoring for either team but was marked by impressive individual finishes. The men’s team had six athletes improve their national rankings, including junior Alex Lemieux who also tied the Gantcher facility record with a time of 6.87 seconds in the 60-meter dash. The 4x4 team finished in a time of 3:26.16, the top performance of the year for the Jumbos. 

The women’s team also had season bests and personal records. Anna Slager, the senior co-captain, finished the 3,000-meter event in second with a time of 10:01.83, while Hannah Neilon, the other senior co-captain, scored first in the 800-meter with a time of 2:15.99. Both times allowed them to improve their Division III rankings. 

Neilon described the event as one of their bigger meets, and one that the entire team was excited about.

“It was probably the best competition we’ve had,” Neilon said.  

Due to the scheduling, Neilon ran the first and last events of the day — finishing in the 4x800 along with three teammates, also slightly fatigued from their previous runs.

“All four of us were coming off having run earlier in the day so we were all a little tired,” Neilon said. “We were able to get the time we wanted ... we were trying to get a spot in the fast seat at the New England championships.” 

Neilon and Eaglin are both excited about the potential to meet many individual and team goals as the season goes on.

“Coming out of winter break we had a big goal-setting meeting ... as a team we’re hoping to get wins at the New England Championship ... we’re definitely going in with big goals,” Neilon said.

She would also like to qualify for and attend the indoor track and field Division III national championships, as her previous chance was taken away due to COVID-19 in 2020. 

For Eaglin, Steven Fleagle, the new jumps coach, is encouraging them to finish in the top five for jump squads in Division III, and Eaglin also wants to throw 10 meters in the shot put event and set a personal record in hurdles. 

Both Jumbo teams will continue to show their prowess at the BU and MIT invitational meets next weekend.