On Saturday, the women’s track and field team traveled to Amherst College where it won the school’s Spring Fling Invitational. Winds reached speeds as high as 30 miles per hour, but the weather did not stop the Jumbos from taking first with 133 points, beating out second-place host Amherst’s 99 points.
As much of the track was still covered in snow, the meet operated with only seven lanes rather than the usual eight. Times were relatively slow and marks unusually short due to the wind, but the Jumbos looked dominant against their competition regardless.
“We wanted to go out there and see what we had against some of the other NESCAC teams,” senior Catherine Madden said. “We had a lot to fight for after indoor track, and it was a good chance for us to see where we were and compete as a team again. We ended up winning the meet by a large margin, so that was incredibly exciting.”
The women started the day off in the 5,000 meters. Junior Lily Corcoran made her 5000-meter track debut in impressive fashion, running 18:44.49 over 12.5 laps of the 400-meter track to take fourth overall. First-year Margot Rashba also grabbed a point in the race, running 19:07.44 for sixth overall.
Junior quad-captain Sydney Smith took the tape in the 1,500 meters in 4:49.11 for the win, qualifying for the Div. III New England meet in the process. Senior quad-captain Lauren Gormer ran most of the 800 meters without any company, pushing herself against the wind and taking the win in 2:20.26 while notching herself a Div. III New England qualifying time. Behind her, four Jumbos had solid races, as junior Katie Kurtz (seventh, 2:28.29), sophomore Alice Wasserman (eighth, 2:28.67), sophomore Samantha Cox (ninth, 2:29.07) and Madden (10th, 2:29.76) all were able to run sub-2:30 in windy conditions.
Tufts later sent three teams to the four team 4×800-meter relay, scoring 14 points with first-, third- and fourth-place finishes. The effort was led by the ‘A-team’ of Cox, Wasserman, Kurtz and first-year Lena Walton.
“The wind was definitely a force to be reckoned with,” Madden said. “Racing was difficult because the wind was directly against us on the back stretch, and if we ended up alone it was a struggle, but as much as it hurts having to run against it, it’s great having it behind you pushing you on the home stretch.”
The Jumbos dominated the competition in the sprints as well. Juniors Alexis Harrison and Marilyn Allen and senior quad-captain Christina Harvey took the first three spots in the 100 meters as all used a 2.2 m/s tailwind to run 12.44 seconds, 12.89 seconds and 12.95 seconds, respectively. Harrison later took second in the 200 meters, running 26.24 seconds.
Allen, who qualified for the Div. III Indoor National Championships in the 60-meter hurdles, made her second appearance this season in the 100-meter hurdles, running 15.01 seconds for the win. First-year Annalisa DeBari was second in the race with 16.21 seconds.
“My race went pretty well,” DeBari said. “Marilyn and I took first and second in the [100-meter] hurdles. In the triple jump, the wind was going directly against us, but my teammates and I worked through it and got second, third and fourth, which was pretty exciting.”
Allen, Harrison, Harvey and sophomore Rita Donohoe later teamed up to win the 4×100 meter relay, posting a time of 50.35 seconds.
In the 400 meters, sophomore Hannah Loss took fourth overall, running 1:04.89. First-year Julia Prusaczyk battled the wind in the 400-meter hurdles, grabbing second in 1:11.14. Loss teamed up later in the day with Smith, Allen and Gormer to win the 4×400 meter relay, taking the victory in 4:15.34.
In the field, the Jumbos also showed strong promise. Junior Julia Rogers took the victory in the pole vault, getting over the bar at 9’0.25”. First-year Matea Friedel also scored two points in the event, crossing the bar at 8’0.5” to take fifth. First-year Sophie Lattes managed fifth place in the long jump, setting a new college personal record at 14’9.75”. She later took third in the triple jump with a bound of 32’11.25”, behind classmate DeBari in second (33’1.75”) and just ahead of junior Mary Ellen Caruso (fourth, 32’6.25”).
Sophomore Bailey Conner led the way in the shot put, taking second for the Jumbos with a heave of 38’6.25”, qualifying her for Div. III New Englands. First-years Amylee Anyoha and Jennifer Sherwill also scored for the Jumbos, as Anyoha took fourth in 34’0.75” and Sherwill took sixth in 32’11”. Conner later scored in the hammer throw (fifth, 117’6”), Anyoha in discus (sixth, 98’9”) and the hammer throw (second, 129’1”), and Sherwill in the discus (fourth, 106’11”) and the javelin (fourth, 97’9”).
After a week of training, the Jumbos will travel to Conn. College for the Silfen Invitational, where they hope to improve their seed times and qualify more athletes for postseason competition.
“The outdoor season is really short, so we need to put in a lot of effort in a very short time span to get the most out of ourselves and do the best that we can going into the postseason,” Madden said.
“We just need to keep working hard and taking care of our injuries.” DeBari added. “We have really strong and talented athletes, and we just need to keep up the intensity and get mentally prepared to do our best for the upcoming meets.”