MIT Women's Track & Field Completes Harvard Challenge

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The MIT women's track and field team, which was ranked 11th in the nation in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings released on Jan. 9, officially opened the season at the Harvard Challenge on Friday and Saturday. The Engineers ended the weekend in sixth place with 26.5 points, just a handful of points behind Williams with 34 and Brown with 46.

In the opening event, the 60 meter dash, sophomore Veronica Szklarzewski (Chicago, Ill.) came in eighth place in 8.19 after qualifying for finals in exactly the same time. Classmate Madeleine Bairey (Pebble Beach, Calif.) completed the 200 meter dash in 26.94, finishing in 14th place just behind Annie Lynch of Williams.

Junior Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) earned a point for the Engineers in the 1000 meter run when she finished in sixth place with a time of 3:01.50, completing the race less than a tenth of a second ahead of a runner from Brown. In the mile, junior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) added four more points to MIT's score when she finished third in 5:04.24.

The Engineers best showing was in the 3000 meter run, earning 11 points total. Sophomore Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) came in second place with a time of 10:06.32. She was followed by freshman Allison Hallock (Boulder, Colo.) in third with a 10:07.70 and junior Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) in fifth with a 10:25.78.

On the field, sophomore Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) earned a point in the high jump and senior Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) earned a point and a half in pole vault.

Szklarzewski was back in action in the triple jump, finishing in seventh place with 10.28 meters. Freshman Katharina Ross (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) came in eighth with 10.24 meters and junior Stephanie Birkhimer (Oneonta, N.Y.) was 11th with 9.80 meters.

In the shot put, freshman Isabella Stuopis (Amherst, N.H.) came away with three points after throwing 13.05 meters, landing in fourth place. Junior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) came in 13th place with 10.98 meters and classmate Christine Labaza (Rochester, Mich.) finished directly behind her in 14th place with 10.83 meters.

MIT will return to the track next weekend when it travels up the road to Boston University for the Terrier Classic that will take place from Friday-Saturday, Jan. 25-26. They will return home on Saturday for the first of two MIT Coed Invites, the second taking place in three weeks' time.