Eight Engineers Prepare for 2013 NCAA Championships

Senior Brooke Johnson, Freshman Sarah Quinn
Senior Brooke Johnson, Freshman Sarah Quinn

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – It was announced on Sunday that eight members of the MIT women's track and field team have qualified for the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Engineers will be making the trip to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for the Championships that will take place from Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25.

The final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll for the season was released at the same time as the NCAA qualifying list, revealing that the Engineers had not only made it back into the top 25, but had cracked the top 20. MIT ends the season 17th in the nation.

Tech is led by seniors Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.) and Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who will be making their final trip to nationals. Johnson is the only MIT athlete that will compete in more than one event, being seeded 21st in the 5000m and eighth in the 1500m. Kuntz is seeded fifth in her signature event, the Pole Vault. At indoor nationals in March, Kuntz improved on both her seeding and her personal record to take second place in the event.

As she always does, junior Jaclyn Konopka (Novi, Mich.) will start things off for the Engineers in the Heptathlon. With the 4,625 points that she scored at ECACs this past weekend, which broke the previous MIT varsity record by almost 200 points, Konopka landed in ninth place in the seedings. Junior Martina de Geus (Los Altos, Calif.) will be running at nationals for the first time in her career, competing in the 3000m Steeplechase on the first day.

Entered alongside Johnson in the 1500m is freshman Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.), who is seeded in 14th place with her time from ECACs that broke her own MIT freshman record by over four seconds. Sophomore Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) will compete in the 10,000m with her eighth place seeding. The last of the Cardinal and Gray to make it to NCAAs is freshman Cimran Virdi (Walnut Creek, Calif.), who will be making her collegiate national debut in the Pole Vault with her 18th place seeding.

The Championships will commence on Thursday, May 23 at 2:00 p.m. with the Heptathlon. MIT will be looking to improve on its performance from the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, where it tied for 26th place with McMurry University.

Host website - http://www.uwlathletics.com/sports/2012/12/13/MTRACK_1213120030.aspx?id=122