No. 7 Women's Track and Field Finishes Seventh at NEICAAA's

No. 7 Women's Track and Field Finishes Seventh at NEICAAA's

THE BASICS:

- Location: Williamstown, Mass. (Lee Track at the Weston Athletic Complex)

- The Lead: At the 2017 NEICAAA Outdoor Championship, the No. 7 ranked MIT women's track and field team placed seventh overall out of 40 schools with 52 points over the two-day event. The Engineers finished as the top Division III program in New England, were three points out of fourth place overall and finished just one point behind Division I UMass and Dartmouth College. In addition, MIT defeated No. 3 Williams College for the second straight week by an 11.5-point margin.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- On Friday, junior Nneoma Okonkwo (Lagos, Nigeria) captured the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 6.5 inches to win the event by a 3.5-inch margin. Okonkwo has now won the New England D3 indoor and outdoor titles, the NEICAAA indoor and outdoor titles and the NEWMAC outdoor championship in the long jump in 2016-17. Junior Haley Strouf (Rice Lake, Wis.) also earned All-Region accolades as she leapt 18 feet, 1.5 inches to place fourth overall.

- Junior Hannah Chen (Los Gatos, Calif.) qualified for both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdle finals, posting times of 14.59 and 1:01.64 to place eighth and second, respectively.

- Senior Natalie Alper (Columbia, Md.) captured sixth in the high jump with a leap of five feet, five inches, along with a pair of All-Region performances in the hammer throw by senior Jackie Vahey (Winchester, Mass.) and junior Ariela Slutsky (Weston, Fla.). Vahey placed seventh with a throw of 170 feet, three inches, while Slutsky was just three inches back at 170 feet. 

- In the pole vault, sophomores Kari Stromhaug (Vestal, N.Y.) and Kathleen Brandes (Raleigh, N.C.) earned All-Region accolades by placing fourth and seventh, respectively. Stromhaug cleared 12 feet, 1.5 inches, while Brandes posted a vault of 11 feet, 7.75 inches. Senior Jennifer Tylock (Shrewsbury, Mass.) finished ninth at 11 feet, 1.75 inches, along with sophomore Makenzie Patarino (Lakewood, Colo.) in 15th place at 11 feet, 1.75 inches.

- The final Friday competition came in the 100 and 200-meter preliminary heats with freshman Michelle Menkiti (Houston, Texas) finishing 15th and 11th, respectively. She ran a time of 12.36 seconds in the 100, along with a 25.21 time in the 200 meters.

- On Saturday, freshman Katie Bacher (Macungie, Pa.) led three Engineers in the 1,500 meters as she placed eighth in a time of 4:34.70 to earn All-Region honors. Freshman Marissa McPhillips (Narragansett, R.I.) finished 10th in 4:35.69, followed by senior Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.) in 16th place as she crossed in 4:38.53.

- In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, freshman Jenna Melanson (Woodland, Wash.) set the MIT record again as she ran 10:43.41 to finish fourth overall and is now ranked fifth in the country in Division III.

- In the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdle finals, Chen earned All-New England honors in both to earn nine points for the Engineers. Placing second in the 400-meter hurdle final in 1:01.72, she also finished eighth in the 100-meter event with a time of 15.08 seconds. Chen was also part of the 4x100 relay team that placed 10th overall as the Engineers ran 48.85 on Saturday.

- In the discus, Slutsky finished as the runner-up with a throw of 147 feet, eight inches, along with an eighth-place showing by Vahey as 130 feet, five inches as the duo earned All-Region honors in their second event of the weekend.

UP NEXT:

- MIT hosts a Last Chance Qualifier on Thursday, May 18th beginning at 4 p.m., which will mark the team's final meet prior to the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. 

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