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Women's Track Finishes Third in NEW 8 Meet

By Eugenia Hahn
team member

On Saturday, the women's varsity track and field team completed their regular season with a third-place finish at the New England Women's Eight Championship meet at Mount Holyoke College.

Smith College won the meet with 189 points, followed by Wheaton College with 185 points. MIT came in third with a total of 119 points, ahead of Mount Holyoke College's 103 and Worcester Polytechnic Institute's 13.

This gives the Engineers a final record of 84, their best season ever with a record number of athletes qualifying for New England Division III and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship meets.

The 1997 NEW 8 Track and Field Championship meet was a memorable meet with four conference meet records falling. For MIT, this was another meet that continued the successful trend of breaking school records.

School records were broken in the 200-meter dash, 800-meter run, javelin, and the 4 x 100 meter relay. Breaking her old record of 28.44 seconds in the 200, Elaine Chen '99 finished with a time of 27.58.

Leah Nichols '00 established a new varsity and freshman record in the 800 with a time of 2 minutes 28.57 seconds. This performance also enables Nichols to advance to the NE Division III meet.

In winning the javelin, Jennifer Elizondo '99 threw a personal best and knocked down an old record set in 1992. With a distance of 109 feet 1 inch, Elizondo qualified for the Division III and ECAC meets.

The 4 x 100 meter relay team came in third, ahead of Mount Holyoke and WPI. But more importantly, the combined efforts of Chen, Eugenia Hahn '97, Renee Bowen '00, and Natalie Smith '00 allowed them to break a school record with a time of 53.27 seconds.

Other stellar performances included solid finishes in the 1,500 meters by Janis Eisenberg '98, Michelle Hardiman '00, and Debbie Won '00 with times of 5:04.46, 5:08.45, and 5:12.85 respectively. Eisenberg, Hardiman, and Won finished within 10 seconds of each other and placed second, fourth, and fifth.

In the 3,000 meters, Eisenberg and Won scored 16 points with first- and third-place finishes. Eisenberg ran her season best with a time of 10:47.75. In her second attempt at the event, Won qualified for the Division III meet with an improved time of 11:18.05, a time that was 65 seconds faster than her first attempt.

In field events, noteworthy performances included the second- and fourth-place finishes in the high jump by Jill Eich '99 and Chen. Eich tied the current record of 5 feet 1 inch. Both Chen and Eich qualified for the Division III meet as well as the ECAC championship meet.

With a throw of 107 feet 11 inches in the hammer, Elizondo earned the opportunity to compete in the Division III meet.

This weekend, the women's track and field team will compete at the New England Division III championship meet at Tufts University. It will be an opportunity for the team to achieve more personal bests as well as a chance to break some more records in a competitive field.