Jumbos claim first at Sunshine Classic

First-year Gia Kim competes in the second 4000-meter Distance Medley Relay heat at the New England Div. III Indoor Championship at MIT's Johnson Athletic Center on Feb. 18. Ray Bernoff / The Tufts Daily

The Jumbos took home the win at the second annual Sunshine Classic on Saturday, compiling a slew of first-place finishes over the course of the day. The Classic lived up to its name, as the weather was breezy and beautiful, a perfect day for running.

“The team performed really well this weekend,” junior Jennifer Sherwill said. “The weather was fantastic, which definitely helped our marks.”

The weekend was also an alumni meet, so faces old and new came to the Dussault Track to watch the Jumbos earn first place.

“It was great to see some familiar faces from last year as well as past alumni I had never met,” sophomore Patricia Blumeris told the Daily in an email. “The overall feeling of the meet was very upbeat, and it made the time pass by extremely fast.”

Tufts compiled 293 team points for the win, outscoring second-place Colby by 97 points. In the 1,500-meter, sophomore Olivia Barnett took first, coming in at 4:50.40 and earning 10 points toward the team total.  First-year Nicole Kerrigan followed closely behind, coming in at 4:50.75 for eight points.  

The 5,000-meter saw Tufts sweep the first three places. First-year Cecelia Rosenman led off, placing first at 19:18.39. Senior Sarah Corning came next at 19:53.52 and senior Meredith Reynolds completed the Tufts trifecta at 20:22.65.  

The Jumbos also saw success in the field events.

“I know the women’s throws had a pretty big weekend with several PRs,” Blumeris said. “I was lucky enough to have some time to watch them compete this weekend and was impressed by all of their talent.”

Sherwill dominated the discus field with a throw of 124-feet-11-inches scoring her first win of the season. First-year Julia Kissel impressed in the javelin, winning the field of nine with a throw of 123-feet-5-inches. Additionally, Sophomore Brita Dawson put up a season-best long jump for the Jumbos with a distance of 17-feet-3 ¼-inches.   

The Jumbos won both hurdle events, with junior Annalisa DeBari taking the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.37 and first-year Nehalem Kunkle-Read winning the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:07.05, another season best for the Jumbos.

Sophomore Sarah Perkins took first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, coming in at 12:19.50, and fellow sophomore Sydney Ladner cleared 10-feet-2-inches to win the pole vault.

The 4×100-meter relay led to yet another season best time, with Ladner, quad-captain Rita Donohoe, first-year Raquel Whiting and DeBari posting a 49.19. 

On Friday, the Jumbos competed in the Elite Distance Events portion of the Silfen Invitational at Connecticut College. Since they only participated in part of the meet, Tufts wasn’t entered into the scoring competition, but the Jumbos saw enough success to consider Friday a solid overall win.  

“Only distance girls ran at Conn. College on Friday,” Sherwill said. “They did great, there were a lot of PRs.”

In the 5,000-meter, junior Brittany Bowman ran a 17:01.27, earning herself numerous accolades including second place, a career best time and a No. 10 rank in the nation. Three other Jumbos competed with her in the 5,000: sophomore Natalie Bettez came in ninth place at 17:39.22, junior Margot Rashba placed 14th at 18:03.82 and junior Olivia Nicholson came in at 18:03.98 to snag 15th place.

Senior Lindsay Atkeson led the Jumbos in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 11:20.21. Her time was also a career best and Tufts’ season-best 3,000-meter run.

In the 1,500-meter, senior quad-captain Samantha Cox took second place with a time of 4:43.88, joining several other Jumbos who scored a career-best time and making a season best for Tufts in her event.

First-year Julia Gake ran the 800-meter with a time of 2:19.61, earning herself seventh place and scoring another season-best run for the Jumbos.  

After a successful weekend, the Jumbos are gearing up for the most competitive part of their spring. The championship season starts in two weeks, but the team will have the chance to prepare at an invitational at Trinity College next weekend, their last regular-season meet.  

“Winning the Sunshine Classic as a team was great,” Sherwill said. “And it’s a great way to set the tone since we’re moving into championship season.”


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