Tech Sets Two Records at Westmont Collegiate Classic

Junior Preethi Vaidyanathan
Junior Preethi Vaidyanathan

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - MIT's women's track and field opened the outdoor season on Saturday in sunny California at the Westmont Collegiate Classic. Freshman Jackie Vahey (Winchester, Mass.) and junior Preethi Vaidyanathan (South Windsor, Conn.) each set a school record in their respective events. 

Vahey took fourth in the Hammer Throw, setting a new MIT freshman record with her throw of 131-06. Later on in the day, Vaidyanathan took down the school's varsity record in the Long Jump with a 5-05, which earned her a third place finish.

Freshman Christina Wicker (Oak Harbor, Wash.) was the lone runner entered in the 3000m Steeplechase, finishing with a time of 11:53.22. In the 1500m, senior Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) came second with a 4:39.38 and, in the 400m, freshman Kendra Knittel (Tucson, Ariz.) was also second in 58.93.

Tech's 4x100 relay, which was seeded third, came in first place in 48.59. The relay, which was made up of senior Jackie Brew (Amherst, N.H.), junior Veronica Szklarzewski (Chicago, Ill.), Knittel and junior Michelle Johnson (Glendora, Calif.), left a three second gap between it and host Westmont's relay. In the 100m Hurdles, Brew was first with a time of 14.87, and fellow senior Stephanie Birkhimer (Oneonta, N.Y.) came in sixth place in 16.77.

In the 100m, Brew and Szklarzewski were second and third with times of 12.41 and 12.66, while, in the 800m, Taylor was third in 2:20.09 and Wicker was 12th with a time of 2:27.93. In the 200m, Brew was second in 25.94, Knittel was third with a time of 26.52, Szklarzewski took seventh in 27.12 and Birkhimer was 10th with a 27.41. Sophomore Cimran Virdi (Walnut Creek, Calif.), fresh off her first place finish at the indoor NCAA championships, won the Pole Vault when she cleared the bar in 12-00.00.

Four Engineers finished in second through fifth in the Hammer Throw, with junior Ellen Liverpool (Washington, D.C.) leading the way with a throw of 146-07.00. Classmate Ashley Wheeler (Milford, N.H.) was third in 137-07.00, Vahey was fourth and sophomore Isabella Stuopis (Amherst, N.H.) was fifth with a 122-10.00. A few events later, Stuopis took sixth in the Shot Put with a 41-08.50, while Wheeler was 13th with a 28-00.25.

Birkhimer was 10th in the Long Jump with a 16-05.75 and Johnson was 13th with a 15-07.00. In the High Jump, Vaidyanathan was third and freshman Natalie Alper (Columbia, Md.) tied for sixth with a jump of 5-01.00. In the Discus, Vahey was second with a throw of 126-04, Stuopis was fourth with a 106-07 and Liverpool came in ninth place with a throw of 91-11. In the final event of the weekend, the Triple Jump, Johnson led the way with her second place finishing jump of 35-11.25. Birkhimer followed in third with a 35-06.50 and Szklarzewski came fourth with a 34-08.50.

Next Saturday, April 5, Tech will take part in the Engineer's Cup, which will be between MIT, WPI and host RPI.