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Women's Track Starts Season By Smashing Many Records


Jiri Schindler--The Tech
Alyssa Thorvaldsen '00 soars at the women's track meet on April 5.

By Lauren Klatsky
team member

The women's varsity track and field team kicked off their season with a a third-place finish on Saturday at Steinbrenner Stadium and a definitive victory over Simmons and Bentley Colleges.

MIT hosted the Saturday meet which featured Colby College, Bates College, and Bowdoin College. The Engineers finished third with a score of 50.5 behind Colby (91.5) and Bowdoin (63). Bates scored 12 points in the quadrangular meet.

Under the stiff competition, many school records fell. Five MIT athletes made the record books over the course of the day.

Lila French '99 beat the record she had set in the pole vault on Wednesday by three extra inches, clearing a height of 6 feet 9 inches. Alyssa Thorvaldsen '00 outdid herself in the 100-meter hurdles; she not only finished first, but her time of 16.71 seconds made her eligible to compete at the All-New England championship meet at the end of the season.

Smith established a new school record in the 400 meters by shaving 2.3 seconds off the previously record-breaking time she ran on Wednesday. Also her 61.41 second performance put her in first place in the race and qualified her for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship meet.

Both varsity and freshman records fell in the 200-meter dash. Elaine Chen '99 and Renee Bowen '00 finished neck-in-neck with times of 27.93 and 27.98, respectively. This stellar performance, also entitled Chen to compete in the New England Division III regional.

Other athletes may not have broken records, but they earned points for the Engineers. Jill Eich '99 and Chen performed strongly in the high jump to place second and fourth in the event, respectively. Robin Evans '99 showed her stuff in the 800-meter run, crossing the finish line fourth in 2:35.10. Thorvaldsen won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 74.24.

Janis Eisenberg '98 dominated the 3,000 meters by running the race 17 seconds faster (10 minutes 52.06 seconds) than in the previous meet. This superior time allows her to compete at the ECAC in this event.

While Chen and Bowen did not set school records in the 100-meter dash, they both ran phenomenally and placed second and third. Bowen's 13.49 performance sends her to the New England Division III while Chen's 13.24 second time qualifies her for the New England championship.

Team wins home season opener

In the April 9 meet, the Engineers scored a total of 137 points while Bentley and Simmons finished with 39 and 12, respectively.

Despite subfreezing temperatures, two MIT athletes broke school records and five qualified for post-season competition at the New England Division III and ECAC championship meets.

MIT swept the first event of the day, the hammer throw, claiming all four scoring spots. Jennifer Elizondo '99 took first place with a throw of 87 feet 1 inch.

In the discus competition, the home team placed first. However, the hosts earned all of the other three scoring places. Stacy O'Conner '00 excelled with a 90 feet 1 inch performance which put her in second.

Chen led the Engineers in the long jump landing 15 feet 2 inches into the pit. French broke the first school record of the day by pole vaulting a height of 6 feet 6 inches.

Chen and Eich also soared to impressive heights in the high jump. Both athletes qualified for New England Division III with jumps of 4 feet 10 inches and 5 feet, respectively. In addition, Eich's performance earned a right to compete at the ECAC meet.

MIT got off to a great start in the track events with both 4 x 100 meter relay teams running well. The "A" team took first place with a time of 53.8 seconds.

In the 1,500 meters, MIT runners finished first, third, and fourth. Eisenberg led the way with a time of 5:09.8, thereby qualifying for New England Division III.

Thorvaldsen won the most honors for the day. Not only did she qualify for both New England Division III and ECAC, but also broke a school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.0.

Natalie Smith '00 rocked the 400 in 63.7, earning herself a ticket to the New England Division III. Finally, Chen and Eisenberg held the unique distinction of qualifying for New England Division III in not one, but two events. Chen also qualified in the 100-meter dash (13.2) and Eisenberg in the 3,000 meters (11:09.2).

The women's track and field team this year is off to its strongest season ever. The Engineers look forward to tomorrow's invitational meet at Fitchburg State College.