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MIT Finishes Last in NEW-8 Despite Individdual Records

By Daniel Wang
Associate Sports Editor

Last Saturday, on a sunny but windy day, MIT's Henry G. Steinbrenner '27 Stadium hosted the inaugural New England Women's Eight Conference Track and Field Championships. The variety of events gave the teams a chance to show off their different strengths.

At the conclusion, MIT finished last out of the six teams (Babson and Wellesley Colleges do not have track and field teams), behind Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Mount Holyoke College, Brandeis University, Smith College, and Wheaton College. Despite the result, there were a number of remarkable individual performances.

The most successful Engineer efforts took place in the field events. At a site removed from the main stadium, Kristin Ratliff '95 broke the Institute record for the discus throw to allow her to score a victory. Her hurl of 128'3" inches bested the her own previous record of 127' 7". Her feat allowed her a comfortable 11-foot margin of victory.

Prior to her record-breaking effort, Ratliff also placed fifth in the hammer throw, tossing the hammer 87'1". In this event, Worcester Polytechnic Institute showed dominance by sweeping the top three places. In doing so, WPI had the only three athletes at the meet to throw over 100 feet.

"I was very happy with my performance," Ratliff said. About her form and technique on the discuss, she also said, "I have had some problems, but I managed to get everything together."

Later in the day, Jen Boyle '96 almost equaled Ratliff's feat as she won the shot put competition. Her heave of 37'1/2" tied her own existing MIT record. Ratliff became the top MIT performer of the day by taking second place behind Boyle, launching the iron ball 34'9-1/4".

At the high jump pit, Kristen Dalzell '97 and Heather Noyes '97 added points by finishing third and fourth. Dalzell delivered a nearly flawless performance before failing to clear a height of 4'8" and ended up with a final result of 4'6", not far behind the top two finishers. Noyes finished with a height of 4'4".

In the long jump area a few yards away, Noyes also placed sixth, leaping a distance of 13'6".

The Engineers did not have quite as many placings on the track as they did on the field. Agnieszka Reiss '95 earned the lone MIT victory, easily winning the 1,500-meter run. With the top two seeds not in attendance, Reiss led the whole way, leading by about 50 meters at the halfway point, then gradually increasing the lead. Her winning time of 5 minutes 8.3 seconds separated her from the second-place runner by more than 16 seconds.

In the 3,000-meter run, Marjorie Delo '95 also had chances to win. Throughout most of the race, she drafted behind Sharon Connelly of Mount Holyoke College, who had the fastest time of the season among the entrants. Delo stayed close behind, but on the final lap, Connelly increased her speed and managed to stay ahead until the finish line. Delo came in with a time of 11:0.9, a little more than a second behind Connelly.

Lauren Klatsky '97 also scored for the Engineers with a fifth place finish in the 800-meter run, with a time of 2:38.7. From the starting line, the positions of the runners did not change much.

Head coach Joe Sousa had positive things to say about the his team's performance. "Our athletes performed very well," Sousa commented. "There were many personal records."

Co-captain Ratliff agreed, pointing out her team's three wins. "We're not a very big team," Ratliff added, providing some explanation to the final result.

Ratliff also said, "People did their best and came through," to describe an aspect of the competition that the standings could not reveal.

The NEW 8 event begins a series of championship events for the team. This weekend, some members of the team will compete at the New England Division III Championships, held at Tufts University. The following weekend, a select few will travel to Williams College for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Division III Championships. A week after the ECAC Championships, the Engineers hope to qualify at least one athlete to contend for national glory at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Championships, held at North Central College.