Women’s Track and Field Claims MIT Quad Title With 206.5 Points

Junior Kendra Knittel
Junior Kendra Knittel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Hosting its first outdoor meet of the 2016 season, the MIT women's track and field team finished first out of four teams with 206.5 points on Saturday afternoon at Steinbrenner Stadium. Behind MIT was RPI (155 points), Bates College (147) and Tufts University (146.5).

The Engineers started the day off with five great performances on the track. Sophomore Nneoma Okonkwo (Lagos, Nigeria) came in second in the 100-meter dash in a time of 12.95, while junior Kendra Knittel (Tucson, Ariz.) was first in the 400-meter dash in 59.64 and second in a time of 25.46-seconds.

Knittel's sprints were followed by a second place finish by freshman Bailey Tregoning (Frederick, Md.) in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:18.35, while sophomore Mary Eccles (Wahiawa, Hawaii) won the 5000-meter run in 17:47.85.

Sophomore Hannah Chen (Los Gatos, Calif.) rounded out the top times on the track for MIT as she won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:03.49 and came in third place in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.73-seconds. The 4x100-meter relay team came in second place with a time of 49.25-seconds.

As a team, MIT won seven of the eight field events in which the Engineers competed in - the only one not being the triple jump.

Junior Jackie Vahey (Winchester, Mass.) won each of the throwing events she was entered into: the shot put, the discus, and the hammer. The junior had a best distance of 39-feet, 10.5-inches (12.15m) in the shot put, a throw of 137-feet, 10.25-inches (42.01m) in the discus and 159-feet, 4.75-inches (48.58m) in the hammer throw.

Classmate Natalie Alper (Columbia, Md.) claimed the high jump crown with a best leap of 5-feet, 4.25-inches (1.63m), while freshman Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) and sophomore Katherine Prutz (Baton Rouge, La.) tied for second in the event with a height of 5-feet, 0.25-inches (1.53m).

The Engineers took the top-four spots in the pole vault highlighted by a first place finish by senior Sherry Wan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) at 11-feet, 7.75-inches (3.55m). Behind Wan was junior Jennifer Tylock (Shrewsbury, Mass.) at 11-feet, 1.75-inches (3.40m), freshman Makenzie Patarino (Lakewood, Colo.) at the same height as Tylock and junior Madeleine Waller (Pasadena, Calif.) at 10-feet, 8-inches (3.25m).

On top of her performance on the track, Okonkwo won the long jump with a best leap of 17-feet, 11.25-inches (5.47m), while sophomore Dana Balek (Boxford, Mass.) took first in the javelin throw with a distance of 120-feet, 1.5-inches (36.61m). Classmate Ariela Slutsky (Weston, Fla.) also had a strong day with her throws in three events. The sophomore took second in the discus (127-feet, 8.25-inches – 38.91m), third in the shot put (37-feet, 8.75-inches – 11.49m) and fifth in the hammer (137-feet, 2.75-inches – 41.82m).

MIT is back in action next Saturday, April 16 when the Engineers travel to Williams College for a dual meet with one of the top Division III teams in New England. Action is expected to get underway at 12:00 p.m.

Current NCAA Qualifiers (Top 16 (Relay), 22 (Individual) in Nation in Each Event) - As of Apr. 10th, 2016 

 Maryann Gong  1st  10,000m   35:31.22   BSU Bears Invitational   3/26/16
 Mary Eccles  12th  10,000m  37:10.30  BSU Bears Invitational  3/26/16
 Nicole Zeinstra  14th  10,000m  37:20.33  BSU Bears Invitational  3/26/16
 Jenny Xu  18th  10,000m  37:54.59  BSU Bears Invitational  3/26/16
 Hannah Chen  3rd  400HH  1:02.80  PLNU Invitational  3/26/16
 Natalie Alper
 17th  High Jump   1.63m  MIT Quad
 Cimran Virdi  1st  Pole Vault  4.17m  Aztec Invitational  3/24/16
 Jennifer Tylock   15th  Pole Vault  3.57m  Aztec Invitational  3/24/16
 Sherry Wan  16th  Pole Vault  3.55m  MIT Quad
 Hannah Chen  5th  Long Jump   5.52m  PLNU Invitational  3/26/16
 Nneoma Okonkwo  14th   Long Jump  5.47m  MIT Quad  4/9/16
 Jackie Vahey  12th  Shot Put  13.07m  Aztec Invitational  3/24/16
 Isabella Stuopis   17th  Shot Put  12.76m  PLNU Invitational  3/26/16
 Isabella Stuopis  8th  Discus  44.09m  PLNU Invitational  3/26/16
 Jackie Vahey  13th  Discus  42.92m  PLNU Invitational  3/26/16
 Jackie Vahey  7th  Hammer  51.28  Yale Invitational  4/2/16