April 27, 2013

MIT Women's Track and Field Capture 5th Consecutive NEWMAC Title

SRINGFIELD, Mass. - For the fifth consecutive year, the MIT women's outdoor track and field team captured the title at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Track and Field Championships, hosted by Springfield College on Saturday afternoon. Six different Engineers won individual events.

MIT wrapped up the meet with 228.50 points, finishing with 20 points more than they had last year. The next closest team was Wheaton College in second with 153, while host Springfield was third with 102.50.

In the 800m, sophomore Cindy Huang (San Jose, Calif.) finished in third place with a time of 2:16.80, while junior Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) was seventh with a 2:19.82. Junior Kaitlin Allen (Bedford, N.H.) took the title in the 5000m with a time of 18:08.26, crossing the line seven seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

The 1500m was an important race for the Engineers, who took four of the top five spots. Freshman Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.) led the way with a 4:37.33 and was followed soon after by van den Heuvel in second with a 4:38.78. Senior Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.) came third with a 4:38.82, finishing just hundredths of a second ahead of a runner from Wellesley. Junior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) closed out the pack with a fifth place finish in 4:43.47.

MIT took second through fourth and sixth in the 10,000m, with sophomore Shivani Kaushal (Grand Blanc, Mich.) placing highest with her second place finish in 40:14.71. Classmates Dacie Manion (Old Town, Maine) and Kali Benavides (Miami, Fla.) followed with a 40:14.80 and 40:15.24 respectively. Freshman Allison Hallock (Boulder, Colo.) was sixth with a time of 43:32.80.

Junior Jaclyn Konopka (Novi, Mich.) came fourth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.22, while classmate Jacqueline Brew (Amherst, N.H.) was seventh in 15.69. Brew also competed in the 100m and 400m, coming in 11th place with a time of 12.93 in the 100 and second with a 1:04.73 in the latter. Junior Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) also raced in the 400m, finishing in seventh place in 1:09.95. She later came first in the 3000m Steeplechase in 11:07.97, completing the race almost 30 seconds ahead of the next finisher.

The 4x100 relay that consisted of Brew, sophomores Veronica Szklarzewski (Chicago, Ill.) and Michelle Johnson (Glendora, Calif.), and Konopka came in third with a time of 49.52. The 4x400 relay, composed of freshman Isabel Crystal (Scotch Plains, N.J.), Brooke Johnson, Huang and Taylor, was fifth with a time of 4:07.11, dropping a few seconds from their time this season.

MIT took the top three spots in the pole vault, with senior Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) winning when she cleared the bar in 12-01.50, capturing the title in the event for the first time in the four years she has competed at NEWMACs. Freshman Cimran Virdi (Walnut Creek, Calif.) finished in second place with a vault of 11-07.75, setting a new MIT freshman record, and classmate Sherry Wan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) came in third with a vault of 10-08.00. In the long jump, Michelle Johnson came in second place with a jump of 17-01.50 and was followed by Brew in third with a 17-00.50 and Szklarzewski in fourth with a 16-04.25. Michelle Johnson went on to win the triple jump in a new MIT school record of 37-09.25.

Freshman Isabella Stuopis (Amherst, N.H.) won the shot put with a throw of 40-05.00 and, in the hammer throw, sophomore Ashley Wheeler (Milford, N.H.) was second with a throw of 152-03.

The Engineers will continue their season at the New England Division III Championships that will be held at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4.