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MIT Women’s Track Team Starts Season With Four Straight Wins

By Helen Lee and Elizabeth Maxwell

The women’s track team competed at home on April 10 in a very close meet against rivals Colby College and Bowdoin College. The team pulled together to score 140 points, edging out Colby’s 139 points and Bowdoin’s 127 points. With this victory, the team remains undefeated with a season record of 4-0.

During the meet, competitors faced winds blowing from all directions, making many events more difficult. With a variable head wind on the home stretch, it was especially difficult for runners in some heats to post good times.

Despite the adverse conditions, MIT was able to compete well in the sprinting events. Elaine Chen ’99 took 1st place in the 200 meter dash in a time of 26.53 seconds, setting a new school record in the event. Chen broke the school record in the 100 meter dash as well, with a second place finish in 12.72 seconds. Regina Sam ’02 won the 400 meter dash in a New England qualifying time of 61.85 seconds. Also placing in the sprints were Adeline Kuo ’02 taking fourth in the 100 and Kay Sullivan ’02 finishing third in the 400.

Alyssa Thorvaldsen ’00 continued to dominate the hurdling events, taking first place in both the 100 meter high hurdles and the 400 meter intermediate hurdles. Lila French ’99 also finished strongly, placing third in both hurdling events.

In the distance races, Debbie Won ’00 finished first in the 1500 meter and second in the 3000 meter to maximize the team’s possible point scoring. Won completed the 1500 meter run in a time of 5:00.95. Also scoring in the distance events were Melanie Harris ’01 finishing fourth in the 1500, Chi-An Wang ’01 taking fourth in the 800 meter run, and Jantrue Ting ’00 placing fifth in the 5000.

MIT’s pole vaulters continued to outjump their competitors, with French and Stephanie Norris ’02 easily taking the top two spots with vaults of 10’0" and 9’6" respectively.

The team also performed well in the jumping events, as Chen won the long jump with a New England qualifying leap of 4.83 meters. Theresa Burianek ’99 also placed in the long jump, taking sixth place. In the triple jump, fellow freshman Helen Lee and Vanessa Li took fourth and fifth, respectively. Lee also scored in the high jump, where her 4’10” clearance earned fourth place. Also placing in high jump was Sullivan, who finished fifth.

In the throwing events, Princess Imoukhuede ’02 had an amazing debut in the hammer. Her throw of 116’2” set a new rookie record and took fourth place. Janine Buseman-Williams ’01 also placed in the hammer, finishing fifth. Imoukhuede and Rena Nassr ’01 finished third and fifth in the discus, respectively, and French and Nassr took third and fifth place in the javelin throw.

Although the 4x100 team was disqualified for a baton pass outside the zone, Tech’s other relay teams did well. The 4x400 team of Chen, French, Sam, and Thorvaldsen ran a very competitive race, finishing behind Colby by only .02 seconds in a time of 4:15.53. The 4x800 team of Harris, Wang, Sullivan, and Won also took second place with a time of 10:23.94.

With all the track events over, the focus turned to the sole event still being contested: the shotput. With just that event remaining, MIT was a mere five points ahead of Colby, and Colby had two very strong shotputters. But Imoukhuede and Nassr were able to take fourth and fifth place, scoring enough points to keep MIT ahead of Colby by one point.

MIT reclaims Engineer’s Cup

The previous week, MIT blazed to their first two victories of the outdoor season in a tri-meet versus Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Worcester Polytechic Institute. In last year’s Engineer’s Cup, RPI unexpectedly edged out MIT. This year the Engineers ensured that would not happen again by claiming first place in 13 of the 19 events contested. The final score was MIT 175, RPI 115, and WPI 79.

French, who scored in each of the nine events she competed in, took first in three individual events. She won the pole vault, the 400 meter hurdles, and the javelin with a school record-breaking throw of 112’8”. Chen also won three individual events - the 100 meter, the 200 meter and the long jump.

Thorvaldsen and Won won each of their two individual events. Thorvaldsen easily won the 100 meter hurdles in a school record-breaking 15.62 seconds, qualifying her for the All New England Championships. She also won the 400 meter dash with a time of 62.49 seconds. Won dominated the long distance races, pacing herself with the top opposing runners, and then passing them with a few laps to go. She easily won both the 3k and the 5k races.

The talented frosh class made excellent contributions to the team. In the high jump, Sullivan won with 5’0”, while in the pole vault, Li took second with 9’0”. In the 400 meter, Regina Sam took second to teammate Thorvaldsen, while Kuo took third in both the 100m and 200m dashes.