No. 5 Women's Track and Field Finishes First at Bates

No. 5 Women's Track and Field Finishes First at Bates

THE BASICS:

- Location: Lewiston, Maine (Russell Street Track - Bates College)

- The Lead: On Saturday, the No. 5 ranked MIT women's track and field team finished first out of four teams at a meet hosted by Bates College. The Engineers finished with 235 points to defeat RPI, Bates and Tufts University. MIT also sent senior Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.) to the Sam Howell Invitational in New Jersey on Friday, where she ran the No. 3 time in the country in the 10K.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- On Friday, Gong finished second overall in the 10,000 meters in a time of 35:47.93 as she closed with a final lap of 79 seconds to hold off Emma Zehner from Williams. Gong opened the race with a time of 5:39 over the first mile, followed by mile times between 5:43 and 5:48 for the remainder of the race.

- The Engineers picked up victories in 10 individual events and one relay on Saturday while posting three times that rank among the top 15 in the nation. Junior Hannah Chen (Los Gatos, Calif.) posted the No. 9 time in the country in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.68 as she finished second and improved upon her time from last week by .33 seconds. Freshman Jenna Melanson (Woodland, Wash.) was the winner in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 11:15.19, while the 4x100 relay team of Chen, freshman Jane Reed (New Canann, Conn.), freshman Michelle Menkiti (Houston, Texas) and Nneoma Okonkwo (Lagos, Nigeria) won the event in 48.75. Both of those times rank No. 15 in the nation currently.

- Chen captured the 200 meters in 25.59, followed in second by Menkiti in 25.79 seconds. Menkiti was victorious in the 100 meters in 12.51 seconds, while Okonkwo finished second at 12.66.

- The final victory on the track came from junior Mary Eccles (Wahaiwa, Hawaii) as she won the 5,000 in a time of 18:03.25. Freshman Marissa McPhillips (Narragansett, R.I.) placed second in the 800 at 2:20.56, while freshman Katie Bacher (Macungie, Pa.) was third in the 1,500 meters in a time of 4:50.95. The 4x400 relay team also placed in the top three as the team of Reed, Bacher, McPhillips and freshman Margaret Trautner (Houston, Texas) crossed in third at 4:10.35.

- The duo of junior Ariela Slutsky (Weston, Fla.) and senior Jackie Vahey (Winchester, Mass.) both posted top-3 finishes in the shot put, discus and hammer throw. Slutsky won the shot put at 40 feet, 9.5 inches and the discus in 136 feet, five inches, while Vahey was victorious in the hammer throw with a toss of 159 feet, four inches. Vahey was third in the shot put at 36 feet, 11.5 inches and second in the discus at 136 feet, three inches, while Slutsky was runner-up in the hammer at 156 feet, two inches.

- In the pole vault, sophomore Kari Stromhaug (Vestal, N.Y.) led a sweep of the top five spots as she won the event with a height of 11 feet, 7.75 inches. Freshman Kaitlyn Sparks (Cape Town, South Africa) was second at 11 feet, 1.75 inches, while Kathleen Brandes placed third with a vault of 10 feet, eight inches.

- Senior Natalie Alper (Columbia, Md.) captured the high jump with a jump of five feet, 4.25 inches, while Okonkwo won the long jump at 18 feet, three inches. Junior Haley Strouf (Rice Lake, Wisc.) was second in the long jump at 18 feet, one half inch, while freshman Jasmine Jin (Fanchang, China) placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 35 feet, four inches.

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns to action on Saturday, April 15th as the Engineers travel to No. 3 ranked Williams College for a dual meet with the Ephs.

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