January 24, 2010

Briner’s NCAA Qualifying Mark Highlights MIT Invitational

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Hazel Briner achieved an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the pole vault while Jacqui Wentz set a new Institute record at 1000m for the MIT women's track & field squad at a Coed Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Shobrys and Aronson Track. Portia Jones also had an impressive day sprinting for the Cardinal and Gray, who competed against some of the top teams in New England at this non-scoring meet.

Briner had a busy day, taking part in four events, but saved her best effort for the vault where she cleared 11-7.75 feet, over 13 inches better than her previous personal-best, to take first place. Briner also took second in the long jump (15-2.75 feet) and was part of the runner-up 4x400m relay team.

Wentz and teammate Brooke Johnson had perhaps the best performances of the day in the 1000m. Wentz's time of 2:57.68 bested the previous school-record by over six-tenths of a second. Johnson came out strong, leading for the first 400 meters of the race, before falling back slightly. She was still able to complete the race in 3:00.77, which stands as the fourth-best ever at MIT.  

Jones showed just how talented she is, as she ran both the 55-meter hurdles and the 55-meter dash. Jones had a solid effort in the 55m hurdles, with a time of 8.74 seconds to finish second. She followed that up with her first ever appearance in the 55m dash and turned in the fourth-best time in program history, at 7.63 seconds.

Some other notable performances included Martha Gross' personal best of 27.69 seconds in the 200m. Gross also added a first-place finish in the 400m, with a time of 1:02.15. Kristen Aarsvold came in right behind Gross in that event, with a time of 1:03.37, a personal record. Melissa Showers paced the field in the mile, completing the race in 5:18.28, more than six seconds better than her nearest competitor. Jamie Simmons (1:39.00) came in second in the 600m, with the second-best time in MIT history.

The Engineers will travel to Bowdoin College next weekend to compete with the host Polar Bears, as well as Colby, Mount Holyoke and Tufts. The coed meet begins at 12:00 p.m.