Engineers Win 12 Events to Finish 1st at Tufts Stampede

Sophomore Nicole Zeinstra
Sophomore Nicole Zeinstra

SOMERVILLE, Mass. - After a busy weekend last weekend, which involved runners going to three separate meets, the MIT women's indoor track and field team had a quieter Saturday this time, traveling down the road to Tufts University for the Tufts Stampede Invite. Tech were victorious in 12 of the events, finishing in first out of 17 teams with a score of 231.50. Host Tufts was second with 165.50 and Bowdoin came in third place with 71 points.

Sophomore Cimran Virdi (Walnut Creek, Calif.) bettered her Pole Vault mark once again, clearing the bar in 12-06.00 to take first place. This vault places her third in country at this time. Senior Abigail Klein (Bethesda, Md.) was fourth with a 10-06.00 and sophomore Sherry Wan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) came in fifth, also with a vault of 10-06.00. In the Long Jump, senior Jaclyn Konopka (Novi, Mich.) finished in second place with a jump of 16-10.75, junior Veronica Szklarzewski (Chicago, Ill.) was fifth with a 15-09.50 and freshman Stephanie Guo (Houston, Texas) came in sixth place with a jump of 15-07.00.

Winning the High Jump was junior Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) with her jump of 5-02.25. Guo was third, also with a 5-02.25, Konopka came fifth and freshman Natalie Alper (Columbia, Md.) was seventh, both with jumps of 5-00.25. In the Triple Jump, senior Stephanie Birkhimer (Oneonta, N.Y.) captured the title with a 34-10.50 and Szklarzewski was third with a 34-04.75. For the fifth week in a row, junior Ellen Liverpool (Washington, D.C.) threw a personal best in the Weight Throw with a 51-00.75 to take second, while sophomore Isabella Stuopis (Amherst, N.H.) won the Shot Put in 42-09.75.

In the 60m Hurdles, senior Jackie Brew (Amherst, N.H.) improved from a 9.16 that placed her third in prelims to a season best of 9.07 to take first at finals. She is currently ninth in the country in that event. Konopka finished soon after in second place with a 9.15. Szklarzewski came second in the 60m finals with an 8.00, crossing the line just two one-hundredths of a second behind Alexis Harrison of Tufts in first. Brew came in fourth with a time of 8.07.

MIT took three of the top spots in the 3000m, with freshman Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.) coming in first in 10:16.30, junior Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) taking second with a 10:19.02 and sophomore Heather Sweeney (Woodland Park, N.J.) finishing fourth in 10:36.90. Senior Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) claimed first in the mile with a 5:02.75, while freshman Christina Wicker (Oak Harbor, Wash.) was eighth with a time of 5:13.27. van den Heuvel's 4:52.35 from last weekend is still first in the nation. She went on to finish in first place in the 1000m with a season best time of 2:59.97.

Guo and fellow freshman Kendra Knittel (Tucson, Ariz.) were the first Engineers to complete the 400m, coming in second and third place with times of 1:01.40 and 1:01.73. Classmate Alexandra Shade (San Diego, Calif.) was fourth in the 600m, while Wicker won the 800m in 2:19.80, finishing almost two seconds ahead of the competition. In the 5000m, sophomore Nicole Zeinstra (Holland, Mich.) won by over 12 seconds with her time of 18:09.94.

MIT's 4x400 relay won with its time of 4:08.35. The relay, made up of Brew, Konopka, Shade and Guo, finished over two seconds ahead of Tufts' A relay.

Next weekend is another busy one for the Cardinal and Gray. MIT will return to Boston University for the David Hemery Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8, while a group of Engineers will remain at home for the Gordon Kelly Invitational on Saturday, a meet named in honor of yet another former Tech head coach.