Tufts senior Audrey Gould, front, and sophomore Brittany Bowman compete in the Women's 5000 meter run during the Final Qualifying Meet in Gantcher Center on March 4. Sofie Hecht / The Tufts Daily Archives

Jumbos take Snowflake Classic with strong performance at Ellis Oval

The women’s track and field team opened its outdoor season at full strength at Saturday’s Tufts Snowflake Classic, held at Ellis Oval. On a cold and rainy day, the Jumbos emerged victorious, scoring 210 points as they finished first out of a field of 15 teams. Dartmouth College was second with 181 points, far behind Tufts. Because of the wet and cold conditions, most of the times and marks were not the team’s best, but the Jumbos were still able to qualify athletes for postseason championships in the early outdoor season meet.

In the 100-meter dash, senior quad-captain Alexis Harrison kept the momentum going from her stellar indoor season by running the number one time in the nation. After finishing as the runner-up in the 60-meter dash at the NCAA indoor national championships in March, Harrison placed second on Saturday to Merrimack’s Carly Muscaro (a Div. II runner), but ran 11.99 seconds — the fastest mark in Div. III currently. This time is a new PR for the senior by 0.12 seconds and will assuredly qualify her for the outdoor national championships. She also won the 200 meters, running 26.21 seconds for the win. Classmate and co-captain Marilyn Allen also had a strong day. She took second in the 100-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 15.47 seconds, and also took third in the 200, running 26.62 seconds. Both Harrison and Allen were also on the winning 4×100-meter relay team, along with senior Mary Ellen Caruso and first-year Kylene DeSmith, with the team running 49.87 and winning by almost two seconds. In other sprints action, junior Rita Donohoe ran an impressive race in the 400 meters, grabbing seventh in 61.26 seconds.

The day began with the 10,000 meter run, and, in her first 10k ever, senior Lily Corcoran went out hard and was able to hang on for an impressive time, running 38:19.44 for the win. Corcoran not only qualified for the Div. III New England Championships in the 10k but also qualified for the Open New England Championships in the 10k, as well. Juniors Kelly Fahey and Sarah Corning ran together for the entire race, with Fahey taking second in 40:54.44 and Corning taking third in 40:54.97. Both also qualified for Div. III New Englands with their performances.

“My plan was to go out conservatively and see how I felt for the second half. It ended up going well and I was able to pick up the pace towards the end,” Corcoran said. “I really love trying new events and I’ve been doing longer tempos and long runs lately. My coaches suggested that the 10k might be a good race for me and I think they were right because I really enjoyed it. I was really happy with my finish and how the race went overall so hopefully I’ll run it again later in the season.”

Senior quad-captain Audrey Gould also had an impressive day in the 5000-meter run. Gould ran 17:37.05, running alone far ahead of the pack for half of the race and racing Dartmouth first-year Lillian Anderson for another half. Sophomore Eliza Lawless was fourth in 18:03.09, just missing the 18-minute barrier but still got a PR and qualified for Div. III New Englands.

In the 3000 meters, senior quad-captain Sydney Smith ran to an impressive 10:24.10 time given the conditions, as she separated from Harvard sophomore Fiona Davis and fellow Jumbo sophomore Brittany Bowman over the last lap. Bowman was third at 10:34.18. The Jumbos also flexed their muscles in the 3000 meter steeplechase, as senior Olivia Beltrani and sophomores Evie Heffernan and Sara Stokesbury finished in the second through fourth spots and clinched Div. III New England qualifying marks as well.

On a less than ideal day for field events, the Jumbos still picked up key points to help them get the win. Three Tufts athletes scored in the pole vault, which was moved inside to the Gantcher Center. Senior Julia Rogers took sixth in 9’6.25″, sophomore Matea Friedel took seventh in 9’0.25″ and first-year Sharon Kelmar took eighth in 9’0.25″. Caruso grabbed third in the triple jump with 33’10”, while sophomore Annalisa DeBari was sixth with 33’4.75″. In the throws, sophomore Jennifer Sherwill grabbed fourth in the discus, heaving the disk 112’1″ and coming close to her PR, while classmate Amylee Anyoha was third in the hammer throw with a new PR of 136’8″.

This season, Anyoha and Sherwill have raised the bar for the Tufts throws squad. Anyoha had a stellar indoor season and looks to be ready to improve this outdoor season, while Sherwill has already dropped a discus PR in her first meet of the season in San Antonio last week.

“There are only three women throwers, so we are definitely able to get more reps in during practice,” Sherwill said. “Unlike last year, the men now throw with us under the same coaches. It has been great and we have all become one team, which is nice since there are fewer women throwers this year. The throws contributed a lot of points at NESCACs last year, and although we lost people, I think the current group is going to do really well at NESCACs and hopefully get just as many points.”

Next weekend, the Jumbos will travel a few miles down the road to MIT to compete in a quad-meet against MIT, Bates and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Jumbos will be looking to qualify more athletes for postseason meets and see more PRs, especially if the weather cooperates.

“In the next few weeks the whole team will see a lot of NESCAC competition,” Sherwill said. “Going up against teams before NESCACs will help us gauge the competition but we’ll also be focused on improving our own personal marks. Everyone on the team is always looking to push each other to the next level during workouts, which only helps in our training for big meets.”

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