Jumbos take second in quad meet at Ellis Oval

Junior co-captain Brita Dawson charges forward in the 100-meter dash at the Snowflake Classic on March 31. Alina Strileckis / The Tufts Daily

The Tufts women’s track and field team played host to Bates, MIT and RPI in a meet at Ellis Oval on Saturday. Multiple Jumbos won events and recorded personal-best times in the third meet of their spring season.

Individual event winners received nine points for their teams, second-place finishers garnered seven and each successive athlete through tenth place earned one less point. Meanwhile, the relays were scored with a 9–7–6–5 point template. Tufts took second place with 186 points, trailing only MIT (212 points), which has won this meet for the past two years. Bates (132.5) and RPI (122.5) placed third and fourth, respectively.

The meet got underway at 10 a.m. with wind conditions that were not nearly as brutal as in previous days. The athletes confronted only a light breeze under sunny skies at Ellis Oval. In the javelin competition, Tufts sophomore Julia Kissel threw 37.47 meters, good enough for second place. Kissel’s mark currently ranks 36th in the Div. III rankings.

In the hammer throw, junior Evelyn Drake’s 40.75-meter mark set a personal record, as well as a season-best for the Tufts squad. First-year Jacqueline Kirk took part in the high jump and cleared the bar at 1.54 meters — a personal best. Junior Sydney Ladner set another personal record for the Jumbos, clearing 3.10 meters in the pole vault competition.

Tufts coach Kristen Morwick was pleased to see athletes improving their performances after facing tribulations earlier in the year.

“I’m really excited about those athletes who [set] their personal-best record,” Morwick said. “It is very rewarding for them to see the results of their training. We had some awesome performances, especially Julia [Kissel]. She just came back from injuries after weeks of recovery indoor trainings. I’m very happy for her.”

Meanwhile, a handful of Tufts runners also performed well on SaturdaySenior co-captain Annalisa DeBari ran a time of 14.79 seconds in the preliminaries of the 100-meter hurdles. The Melrose, Mass. native then went on to win the finals of the same event in 14.97 seconds — the 11th-best mark in Div. III.

DeBari explained that although the performance was not her best, she was pleased with her recent consistency.

“I ran 14.75 [seconds] at this same quad meet last year at Bates,” DeBari said. “I had a bigger tailwind for that race, and I have been very consistent so far this year, running about 14.80 [seconds] the past three weeks. So I feel pretty good about my season so far, but I would love to reach 14.50 seconds. I think with more endurance technique practice and warmer weather, I will race faster.”

Running the 800 meters outdoors for the first time since last spring, sophomore Rhemi Toth took first place in with a time of 2:15.55. Toth’s mark set a new career-best and currently ranks 12th in the country. Her time is nearly 13 seconds faster than her previous best mark of 2:28.28.

In the 4×400-meter relay, the top Tufts foursome of sophomore Raquel Whiting, sophomore Julia Gake, sophomore Nehalem Kunkle-Read and DeBari turned in a second-place time of 4:06.36. The mark is 35th on the Div. III leaderboards for the 2018 outdoor season. The Jumbos also took third in this event, as sophomore Sarah Levine, first-year Kristen Andersen, first-year Olivia Schwern and first-year Sydney McKiernan turned in a time of 4:18.57.

DeBari and Morwick both spoke about the positive effects of the quad meet.

“I enjoy smaller meets like this because [they have] a more casual feel and there is more time and space to warm up,” DeBari said.

Morwick focused on how the Jumbos’ competition pushed them to improve on Saturday.

“This kind of meet really is about making individual progress,” Morwick said. “Especially when a better school participated, it really pushed our athletes to look ahead.”

Tufts will continue its outdoor season with a two-day event at Conn. College on Friday and Saturday.


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