Rookie Power Drives MIT At NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships

March 7, 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - After enjoying a fantastic winter season, freshmen Maria Monks and Amy Magnuson have extended their campaign by one more meet as the rookie duo qualified for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., the 23rd edition of the nation's premier indoor college event is set to run this weekend, March 9-10.

Monks and Magnuson enter the NCAA Championships as the top freshmen in the country in their respective events. Monks is ranked 11th overall in the 5000-meter run, while Magnuson is the only rookie to qualify in the 55-meter hurdles.

Monks, who smashed the Institute record in the 5000m twice this season, will get a chance to earn All-America accolades on Saturday. The freshman is well within striking distance of the honor if she is able to improve her seed time (17:24.92). Three competitors have broken through the 17-minute barrier, including Tufts junior Catherine Beck, who posted the nation's fastest time earlier in the year (16:45.53). The 5000m is set to begin at 3:45 p.m.

Magnuson was the 16th entrant among 17 qualifiers in the hurdles and made the national cut by one-hundredth of one second after posting an MIT record with a split of 8.42. The prelims for the hurdles will run late in the Friday session, with finals set for Saturday afternoon.