May 26, 2012

Engineers Finish Season at NCAA Championship

CLAREMONT, Calif. – MIT finished up competition at the NCAA Division III outdoor track & field championship on Saturday. The Tech women finished in a tie for 26th and the men were 68th overall. Senior Jamie Simmons (Carlsbad, Calif.)  highlighted the performances on Saturday, finishing as the national runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles. The women's 4x400 relay also earned All-America honors with an eight-place showing.

The 400 hurdles final was a terrific race between Simmons, Heather Gearity of Montclair State and Tashina McAllister of Wartburg, as all three sprinters finished within a half second of each other. Gearity edged out Simmons at the finish line, winning in 1:00.27 while Simmons came across just 0.09 seconds off the national championship pace at 1:00.36.

Simmons came back at the end of the day on Saturday, running in the 4x400 relay along with fellow seniors Portia Jones (Queens, N.Y.) and Martha Gross (Short Hills, N.J.) and sophomore Jacqueline Brew (Amherst, N.H.). The group landed on the All-America podium with an eight-place showing with a time of 3:48.77.

Also in action on Saturday was junior Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.), in the pole vault, and freshman Tilly Taylor (South Deerfield, Mass.), in the javelin. Kuntz cleared the bar at 12-5.50 feet, good enough to capture All-America accolades but missed out on the awards podium based on attempts. Taylor was 14th in the javelin with a throw of 133-02 feet.

On the men's side, senior Stephen Serene (Washington, D.C.) finished ninth in the 3000-meter steeplechase, just over four seconds off All-America pace and senior Benjamin Mattocks (Sharon, Mass.) was 12th in the 1500. Junior Nathan Peterson (Kansas City, Mo.) was one of seven vaulters to clear 15-11.00 feet but could not get over the bar at 16-2.50 feet and finished in a tie for ninth-place.

The women finished with nine points to tie for 26th along with McMurray. Senior Chinedum Umachi (Detroit, Mich.) was the lone point earner for the men, who had two points to tie for 68th. Wartburg earned the women's team title while McMurray was the champion on the men's side.