On Saturday, the Tufts women’s track and field team competed against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), MIT and NESCAC opponent Bates at MIT’s Morrison Track in Cambridge, Mass. Many of the athletes had nationally ranked times and the team took first in the event, their second consecutive first-place finish of the outdoor season.
Senior Kylene DeSmith had an outstanding individual performance at the meet. Out of the five events she competed in, she achieved personal records in three of them. Desmith ran a 27.06 time in the 200-meter to take ninth out of 18 competitors, earning one of her three personal records of the day. She took second in the 100-meter hurdles with a 14.98 time, currently the 25th best time in the nation. She then went on to take sixth in the high jump to earn her third personal record of the day.
“I’m happy I was able qualify for some postseason meets and extend my season past what is guaranteed, especially since it’s my last season,” DeSmith said. “It was also the first time I had broken my 100 hurdle PR from high school, and it was really satisfying to beat it by so much. Even more special was that at least three-fourths of the team had some sort of personal best or season best this past weekend, and it was nice to share that with so many teammates and get excited for what is to come.”
DeSmith also commented on the transition from the indoor season to the outdoor season.
“Coming off of a solid indoor season, I had been disappointed in the results of my first outdoor meet the weekend before at the Snowflake Classic, so I was really motivated to improve on those at MIT,” DeSmith explained. “Coach Morwick had also given me an easier week, as I’ve been battling hamstring problems for a couple months now, so my legs felt really fresh before my race.”
The Tufts 4×400 relay team, comprised of junior Julia Gake and first-years Hannah Neilon, Luana Machado and Tara Lowensohn, took first in their event with a time of 3:59.76. Their time currently sits 15th in the nation. Neilon claimed her second victory of the day in the 400-meter, winning it in a time of 58.90.
The Jumbos were also dominant in the field events, claiming three first-place finishes. Senior co-captain Evelyn Drake took first in the hammer throw with a 155’6” throw, currently 38th in the nation.
Sophomore Nkemdilim Aduka won the discus throw with a 123’5” mark. To round out the field events, junior Julia Kissel took first in the javelin throw with a 117’5” mark. The thrust was just over 10 feet shy of her season best of 128’6”, which she accomplished at the Tufts Snowflake Classic.
By the end of the day, Tufts accumulated 198 team points, just beating out MIT’s 194. RPI took third with 138 points, while Bates finished fourth with 134.
The Jumbos were pleased with how the team finished.
“We were really excited with the results,” DeSmith said. “Our team hadn’t beaten MIT in a meet in over 10 years, and we had set that as our team goal … It definitely gives us confidence as we look ahead to the postseason.”
The Jumbos attribute their success to their passion for outdoor and the morale boost that comes along with the great weather Boston has been blessed with. Field events like the hammer and javelin throw are other additions to the outdoor meets that help the Jumbos’ team performances.
“We have been fortunate to have great weather on meet days, and the team has really rallied to make the most of the great weather,” coach Kristen Morwick said. “I think we are a better outdoor team, so that helps [to get results], but also, I think many of our kids just love outdoor track since most of them only did outdoor in high school. We also add events in the outdoor season that help us.”
Up next, the Jumbos compete in the Silfen Invitational at Connecticut College on April 12. The team is looking to keep up its string of great results at this next meet.
“We’re definitely hoping to continue the success we had last weekend,” DeSmith said. “We’re trying to get as much hard training in as we can before we start to taper for NESCACs. This weekend, we’re trying to improve our seed times and solidify who we might want to enter in different events for NESCACs while hoping to place well at the meet and continue the team’s success.”