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Women's Track Finishes Third at Colby College Competition

By Janis Eisenberg
Team Member

The MIT women's track team placed third in a meet at Colby College in Maine on Saturday. With 102 points, MITfinished comfortably ahead of Bates College with 80 points and the University of Southern Maine with 72 points. Colby and Bowdoin College, both track powerhouses, led the field with 253 and 155 points, respectively.

The competitive meet led to many outstanding performances. While a few key team members were missing because of injuries, the rest of the team performed brilliantly in all the events of the meet.

In the 4x100m, newcomers Deepa Patel '01 and Sapphire Jillian '99 teamed up with more experienced runners Elaine Chen '99 and Mia Heavener '00 to place third. Alyssa Thorvalsen '00 showed her strength and speed in the 100m high hurdles as she three-stepped her way to victory in 16.53, breaking her own school record. In the same race, Lila French '99 set a personal record with a time of 18.59.

Co-captain Elaine Chen outdid herself both in scoring points for the team and improving her personal record. Besides running the 4x100m relay, she placed fourth in the 100m with a time of 13.34. She also came in fourth in the 200m, breaking her school record, and qualifying for several post season competitions. Chen added even more points to her days total in the jumps, taking sixth in the long, with a mark of 14'11.5" and third in the high jump, clearing 4'10".

Natalie Smith '00 scored in the 200m, placing eighth with a time of 28.31. Patel ran her best time ever in both the 100m and 200m. In the 200m, she broke her season record by running a 29.90.

In the distance events, Debbie Won '00 was the leading point scorer. She won the 1,500m by a sizable margin with a 4:57. Won also placed a close second in the 3,000m race. Robin Evans '99 joined Won in the 1,500m. In her first attempt at this distance, she ran an excellent time of 5:12, missing qualifying for the New England Championships by only one second.

In the day's longest event, the 5,000m, co-captain Janis Eisenberg '98 placed third with a time of 19:40. Jantrue Ting '00 ran 20:53, almost a 30 second improvement over her best time.

MIT's deep field of 800m runners led by speedster Leah Nichols '00, racked up points in their event. Nichols placed fourth with a time of 2:30.26. She was followed by Evans in eighth.

In the throws, Crystal Harris '00 was the leading point scorer for MIT, placing third in the discus (31.24m) and eighth in the javelin (93'). Though hampered by injuries, Jen Elizondo '99 placed 7th in the hammer, throwing 34.20m. Harris, Janine Buseman-Williams '01, and Nicole Justis '00 all competed in the shot put, scoring enough points to put MIT comfortably ahead of Bates.

In the 4x400m, Chen, Smith and Thorvaldsen joined mid-distance standout Nichols to run one of the fastest relays in MIT history. Chen took the lead from the beginning and Nichols and Smith maintained it. In the last 200m of the, the speedy anchor from Colby challenged the lead held by the lady Engineers. However, Thorvaldsen was able to hold off the competitors as she helped MIT to a first-place finish. Though placing fourth, the 4x800m team of Cosman, Wilbert, Won and Evans, ran an MIT team best time of 10:42.96, ending the running events on a high note.

The previous week, MIT competed in the Engineer's Cup at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. RPI won the competition with 92.5 points, while MIT was easily second with 73 points, followed by WPI with 24.5.

At the meet, several members of the MITteam competed in events other than their usual ones. French won the javelin throw with a personal best 95'1". Won had a very busy day, starting off by coasting through the 5,000m. Immediately afterwards she competed in the 1,500m, placing third with a 5:07.0. She then ran the 400m intermediate hurdles for the first time and finished the day with a fourth-place finish in the 800m.

Evans also scored in the 800m, finishing in 2:34 for third place. Chen placed second in the 100m with an excellent time of 12.9 and Thorvaldsen won the 100m high hurdles in 17.3. Harris qualified for New England Championships in the shot put with a throw of 34' 1/2" and threw a personal best of 99'1" in the discus.

The team's final meet before the NEW 8 championships is the Fitchburg Invitational on Saturday.