LA CROSSE, Wis. - Seven members of the MIT women's track and field team made the trip to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will run through Saturday, May 25. After the first day of competition, the Engineers are currently in tenth place with six points, scored solely by sophomore Elaine McVay's (San Ramon, Calif.) impressive performance in the 10,000m.
Junior Jaclyn Konopka (Novi, Mich.) opened the Championships with the Heptathlon, finishing the first day in 11th place. She dropped over half a second off her time in the 100m Hurdles from last weekend's ECACs when she ran a 14.83 to start the day. She jumped a 5-03 in the High Jump, threw a 31-01 in the Shot Put and wrapped things up with a time of 26.77 in the 200m. Her 2,826 points is just shy of what earned her a first place finish at ECACs.
The next day, Konopka competed in the final three events of the Heptathlon. She jumped 4.96m in the Long Jump, threw 62-07 in the Javelin Throw and ran a 2:34.67 in the 800m. She ended the day in 20th place with 4,282 points.
In her first showing at nationals, freshman Cimran Virdi (Walnut Creek, Calif.) finished in ninth place in the Pole Vault with an 11-09.75, moving up nine places from where she was ranked going into the Championships.
In prelims of the 1500m, senior Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.) stayed true to her eighth place seeding with her time of 4:36.27. Freshman Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.) was not far behind, moving up from 14th to tenth with a 4:32.19, once again improving on her MIT freshman record. Both will get another chance to improve their times at finals on Saturday.
McVay dropped a second off her seed time and moved up five spots to take third place in the 10,000m with her time of 35:53.33, earning six points towards MIT's final score and getting All-America honors. To end the first day, junior Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) finished in 19th place in the prelims of the 3000m Steeplechase with a time of 11:12.12.
MIT's only athlete competing in the second day of NCAAs is Konopka in the remaining Heptathlon events.