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Women's Indoor Track Finishes Second In Quad Cup

Lucy Yang -- The Tech
Kay Sullivan '02 clears the bar in the women's track and field competition against six other local colleges Saturday. MIT placed third overall.
By Deborah Won
Team Member

On January 16 the women's indoor track team came in second place at the Quad Cup meet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. With a final score of 193.5, the Engineers crushed both Coast Guard (103 points) and Mount Holyoke (51.5 points); however, they fell short of Tufts University (249 points).

Right off the bat, Princess Imoukhuede '02 gave a stunning performance in the weight throw, breaking the her previous school record by over 8 feet and winning the event. The victory qualified her for the New England Division III competition. Imoukhuede also went on to outthrow all of her competitors in the shotput with a distance of 33'11.25". Mellissa Dullea '00 also helped MITgain points in the two competition by placing sixth and third, respectively.

Co-captains Elaine Chen '99 and Lila French '99 used their versatility to contribute significantly to the team's successes. There was hardly an event that neither of them competed in. French participated in the triple jump, placed third in the weight throw and second in the pole vault with 9'6". French also scored four points in the 55 meter high hurdles by finishing fifth, helped the 4x200m relay capture second place, and ran a leg in the 4x400m relay to help the team to a third place finish.

Chen ran the lead leg in the 4x200 relay, followed by Adeline Kuo '02, French and anchor Renee Bowen '00. Their time of 1:56.18 broke the old varsity record. In the 4x400 relay Stephanie Hong G, Kuo, Chen and anchor Kay Sullivan '02 also set a new school record with a 4:34.96. In the 55 meter dash, Chen blazed down the straightaway in a time of 7.88 to capture second place. She also placed sixth in the 200 meter with a time of 29.24 and tied for second in the high jump with a 4'8.75" jump. Chen capped off the day by taking sixth in the long jump with a mark of 14'8.5".

The Engineers loaded all the field events with quantity and quality. In the long jump were Helen Lee '02 placed eighth, Vanessa Li '02 ninth, Mia Heavener '00 and Stephanie Norris '02 tied for tenth, and Mealanie Nakamura '00 14th. In the triple jump, Lee finished fourth, Li fifth, Norris seventh, and Heavener ninth. Lee had an outstanding jump of 31'1" to break the varsity record and qualify her for the New England Division III meet.

The MIT pole vaulters dominated their event and have yet to be challenged by any one other than their own teammates. Norris won the event by matching French's 9'6" but with fewer attempts. French took second while Sullivan and Li took third and fourth, respectively. Norris' and French's vaults broke the previous varsity record by 3".

Sullivan won the high jump, as she used her amazing arch to clear 5'0.25". Not only did this set the varsity and rookie records, the jump also earned her a berth at the New England Division III meet. Chen's second place along with Heavener's and Lee's respective seventh and eighth place finishes gave the Engineers half of the 37 possible points in a single event.

In the 55 meter finals Kuo finished fourth with a time of 7.91 and Alyssa Thorvaldson '00 placed seventh with 8.29. Nakamura, Julie Ma '99, and Lily Cheng '00 gave good efforts as well in the trials. In the 55 meter high hurdle finals Thorvaldson graced spectators once again with her beautiful form and took second place in a time of 9.28. She was able to improve her time during the trials with a finish of 9.20. This set the varsity record and qualified her for the New England Division III meet. Li placed eighth in the event with a 10.50s, setting the rookie record.

Kuo placed second in the 200 meter race with a time of 28.92. Nakamura, Ma, Lani Rapp '01, and Cheng also added solid performances in the event.

In the 400 meter race, Bowen held onto third place against tough competition with a time of 1:04.0. Besides breaking the old record, she also qualified for the New England Division III meet. Sullivan, another one of several rookie standouts on the team, placed fifth with a time of 1:06.5.

Milena Yamaykina '02 went out strong in the 600 meter race and positioned herself very well. Her time of 1:50.5 earned her seventh place and also set the first MIT 600 meter varsity record for women's indoor track. Winning her heat, Hong placed eighth overall in 2:00.2, and Scoppettuolo raced aggressively and put up an impressive fight against her opponents to finish in 2:12.5.

Despite aggressive starts, Chi-An Wang '01 and Christina Cosman '01 found the tight curves on the indoor track particularly difficult to race on. Nonetheless they scored points by placing seventh and eighth respectively, while Debbie Won '00 placed first.

After coming off of an injury and taking months off from training, Tanya Zelevinsky '99 ran a gutsy race and placed fifth after taking the lead for the first leg of the race. Melanie Harris '01 ran a well-paced, confident race to finish fourth with a time of 3:24.3 and established MIT's first 1000 meter varsity record. Marja-Louisa Izamis '02 also gave a strong performance, finishing seventh in 3:36.7. Harris and Rose Radin '02 ran an excellent 1500 meter, placing fifth and sixth. Radin cut six seconds off last week's time giving her a time of 5:27.8 while Harris shaved an astonishing 17 seconds off in one week and finish ed the race in 5:24.3. Won again placed first in the event.

Unfortunately, MIT's sole entrant in the 5000 meter race was unable to run, and without any MIT competitors, Tufts was able to secure 22 points in the event.

In the last event of the day, the MIT 4x800 meter relay team lost to Tufts by one second. Wang hung right on the shoulder of Tuft's first leg and drafted off her opponent. However, Wang was cheated out of her usual powerful kick in the last 100m due to a premature handoff. Unaware that the first leg runners still had one lap to go, the officials allowed the second runners to take the baton after approximately 600 meters. The officials did not learn from the first mistake and the second leg was also cut short. Radin was still able to make an impressive move on Tufts and handed off to Cosman, who ended up running slightly longer than 800 meter but ran a strong leg, putting MIT's anchor in close enough position to catch Tufts. The race came down to the wire as Won passed the Tuft's anchor. Unfortunately, Won wasn't able to outkick her opponent as the Tufts runner took the lead for good with 50 meters left.