For the first time in over a month, the women’s track and field team had its full squad in competition at its own Snowflake Invitational, held at the Ellis Oval. The Snowflake Classic, which ushers in the outdoor season, was run in miserable conditions. Temperatures hovered in the low 30s with a wind chill making it feel like 25 degrees on the track. And on top of the cold, it also snowed for the entire duration of the meet. Tufts’ first full-squad spring meet looked more like a winter meet than anything else.
Tufts took the victory in the meet with 149 points, beating out second-place Northeastern (96 points) and third-place Bridgewater State (89 points).
The women started the day off scoring points in the 10,000 meter. Sophomore Meredith Reynolds led the way for Tufts, running a solid time of 41:06.52 for the 25 laps of the 400-meter track to take fifth for the Jumbos. Junior Annie Levine placed seventh in the event, running a 41:38.44 to score three points for Tufts. Sophomore Sarah Corning also grabbed a point in the event, taking ninth in 41:53.30.
Junior Sydney Smith began her day in the 3000 meter run — as the steeplechase was not run at the meet due to hazardous conditions around the steeple pit — running 10:30.55 to take second overall. Sophomore Lindsay Atkeson also scored a point in the event, grabbing eighth overall in 11:01.77.
Senior Lauren Gormer, fresh off of a solid 800-meter performance in South Carolina, won the 1500 meters, running 4:52.78 and earning 10 points. Senior Megan Gillis and sophomore Alice Wasserman were not far behind, taking third and fourth with times of 4:55.80 and 4:56.40 respectively.
First-year Franchesca Burgos, who placed 43rd in the 1500 with a 5:37.28 time, noted the poor racing conditions.
“The snow and puddles on the track were not a good combination for race day,” Burgos said. “The jumps and vaults had to be held indoors, and the throwers had to deal with very wet and muddy fields, so conditions were less than ideal.”
Senior Christina Harvey sprinted to victory in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Harvey went 12.84 seconds to win the 100 meters, as she was only one of two women under 13 seconds on the day. She later returned to action in the 200 meters, again crossing the finish line first in her heat and in the event overall, running 26.76 seconds.
Sophomore Rita Donohoe, who is also an Assistant Copy Editor for the Daily, also had a strong race in the 400 meters, given the conditions, running 1:02.79 to take fifth overall in the event, earning Tufts four more points. First-year Annalisa DeBari nabbed a second place finish overall and a victory in her heat of the 100-meter hurdles, running 15.88 seconds to claim eight points for Tufts.
Tufts also had a very strong day in the jumps. Junior Alexis Harrison, normally a sprinter and long jumper, took fourth in the high jump, getting over the bar at 5’0.25”. She also won the long jump, bounding out to 16’10.5”″ for the victory.
Sophomore Keren Hendel vaulted to victory in the pole vault, passing over the height at 10’11.75.” In the triple jump, the Jumbos swept the first three spots, as first-year Toluwa Akinyemi (first, 34’6.25”), first-year Sophie Lattes (second, 33’10.75”) and junior Mary Ellen Caruso (third, 33’10.25”) grabbed a total of 24 points for Tufts.
The Jumbos continued their impressive streak in the throws. First-year Amylee Anyoha was victorious in the discus, throwing 114’0” to grab the win. First-year Jennifer Sherwill took sixth in the event, throwing 96’9”, while sophomore Bailey Conner took seventh with a throw of 93’9”. Conner also took fifth in the shot put, throwing the standard 36’9” and Sherwill took seventh with a 34’11” throw.
“The throwing conditions were pretty good given that it was snowing the entire meet,” Sherwill said. “The temperature affected us more than the condition of the throwing circles. The throwing circles were definitely wet, but I don’t think it affected our throws too badly.”
Sherwill believes there is plenty of room for improvement in the throws squad.
“I think there is a lot of room for improvement in the coming weeks,” Sherwill said. “We have a lot more practices to prepare for the meets to come and I think everyone’s marks will improve from the ones on Saturday.”
Burgos also noted how the dynamic of team cheer and energy changed throughout the meet.
“Although the weather was horrible, I think we did a pretty good job with bringing energy to the meet overall,” Burgos said. “But, it proved difficult as the day went on because most people had to stay warm for their competitions, and it was difficult to cheer for our jumpers and vaulters who were competing in Gantcher [about a half mile from the outdoor track].”
She gave a generally positive overall evaluation of Tufts’ performance at the competition.
“I think for many of us it was a good first outdoor meet,” Burgos said. “A number of people set PRs, and I know many were quite happy with their performances.”
The Jumbos will next compete at the Sam Howell Invite in Princeton, N.J. on Friday and at the Amherst Invitational, hosted by Amherst College on Saturday. There, they will face many strong teams, including Amherst, to build some momentum as they head into the late-season meets and NESCACs next month.
“Performing well at NESCACs is ultimately, I believe, the goal for everyone; remaining consistent and confident in our performances will be important,” Sherwill said.