MIT Women's Track and Field Finishes in 2nd Place at Tufts Stampede

Junior Louise van den Heuvel
Junior Louise van den Heuvel

MEDFORD, Mass. - At the Tufts Stampede that took place at Tufts University on Saturday morning, the No. 12 MIT women's track and field team came in second place out of the 24 teams that competed. The Engineers, who finished with 155 points, were just 11 points behind host Tufts but left a 60 point gap between themselves and Williams College, who finished in third place with 95 points.

Junior Jacqueline Brew (Amherst, N.H.) kicked things off for MIT with her 21st place finish in the 60 meters with a time of 8.32. Freshman Tony DiBlasi (Phoenix, Ariz.) came in 52nd with her time of 8.93. DiBlasi had a relatively quick turnaround and competed in the next event, the 200 meters, and came in 44th place with a time of 30.07.

Freshman Isabel Crystal (Scotch Plains,  N.J.) had a strong finish in the 600 meters, coming in seventh place with a time of 1:43.07, earning one point towards the Engineers' final score. Sophomore Cindy Huang (San Jose, Calif.) had a second place finish in the 800 meters with her time of 2:24.41, receiving eight points for her effort.

MIT had a strong showing in the 1000 meters, which saw three runners finish in the top eight. Junior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) came in first place with a time of 3:00.98, earning ten points. Seniors Marie Burkland (Almont, Mich.) and Missy Showers (Cherry Hill, N.J.) finished in seventh and eighth place with times of 3:06.84 and 3:07.24 respectively, adding three more points to the Engineers' score. Taylor went on to finish in second place in the mile, turning in a time of 5:04.31. Classmate Louise van den Heuvel (Nashua, N.H.) came third with a time of 5:09.98, sophomore Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) came sixth in 5:13.50 and Showers was eighth with a 5:18.07.

The Engineers' best results came in the 3000 meter, where they took the top six spots. Freshman Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.) came first with a time of 9:56.01 and was the only one in the entire race to go under the ten minute mark, smashing both the freshman  record and the varsity record for MIT. Senior Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.J.) was second with a 10:01.74, junior Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) came third with a time of 10:15.75, freshmen Allison Hallock (Boulder, Colo.) and Nicole Zeinstra (Holland, Mich.) finished in fourth and fifth place with times of 10:21.91 and 10:35.42 and sophomore Kali Benavides (Miami, Fla.) came in sixth place with a 10:41.78.

Brew was back in action when she came in seventh place finish in the 60 meter hurdles with her time of 9.65. Freshman Shivani Kaushal (Grand Blanc, Mich.) had a strong performance in the 5000 meters, running a time of 18:36.21 and earning two points.

Sophomore Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) received ten points for her first place finish in the high jump with a height of 1.62 meters. Senior Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also finished in first, this time in the pole vault, when she vaulted 3.80 meters. She is now ranked second in the country for Division III. Freshman Isabella Stuopis (Amherst, N.H.) set yet another freshman record, this one an improvement on her weight throw record, moving the new mark to 45-1.

Another strong event for the Engineers, the triple jump, saw three MIT athletes finish in the top five. Sophomore Michelle Johnson (Glendora, Calif.) came in third place after jumping 10.82 meters and was followed by junior Stephanie Birkhimer (Oneonta, N.Y.) and freshman Katharina Ross (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) in fourth and fifth place after jumps of 10.70 and 10.62 meters respectively.

The 4x800 meter A relay, which was composed of Huang, Hallock, Burkland and van den Heuvel, came in first place with a time of 9:35.93. They finished more than ten seconds ahead of Tufts' A relay that came in second place.

MIT will return to action next weekend, Feb. 8-9, when they return to Boston University for the Valentine's Invitational. Half of the team will, once again, remain at home to compete in the second MIT Coed Invite on the 9th.