Women's Indoor Track Races at Smith MeetBy Adeline Kuo and Elaine Chen
On Saturday, members of the women's indoor track team traveled to compete at the Smith College "Last Chance" Invitational meet. Some athletes took the meet off to rest up for the New England Division III Championships, while others went into the non-scoring meet hoping for a few more qualifying marks and some personal records.
The meet was the final competition of the regular season, making it the last opportunity for athletes to qualify for Division III's.
The highlight of the meet was in the pole vault, where the whole fieldhouse watched while Lila French '99 win with a vault of 10'6". The height not only tied French's personal best, it also set the Smith College Fieldhouse facility record. In second place was teammate Stephanie Norris '02 who cleared 10'0". Championship expectations for these two vaulters are high, as they enter the New England Division III Championships ranked second and third. Princess Imoukhuede '02, MIT's top thrower, was somewhat disappointing with her 38'6 1/4" performance in the weight throw. But she put that behind her and came back in the shot put with an outstanding 37'3 1/2" toss. Fellow thrower Rebecca Mays '02 set personal records with a 29'1 3/4" in the weight throw and a 24'2 1/2" in the shot put.
Elaine Chen '99 broke the varsity record with a 15'3 1/2" long jump. Theresa Burianek '99 was not far behind, jumping a personal record of 15'2 1/4". Following in the triple, Burianek came heartbreakingly close to qualifying for the second week in a row. Her 30'11" jump tied her personal best, but was just one inch short of the Division III qualifying mark.
Mealanie Nakamura '00 finished her indoor season on a high note by getting a personal high jump record, surpassing expectations by clearing 4'1 3/4".
On the track, Alyssa Thorvaldsen '00 ran a superb race in the 55m hurdles to finish in 9.04. Thorvaldsen is ranked sixth going into Division III's.
Instead of competing in the 4x200m, the four legs of MIT's relay opted to run the open 200m. Each member ended up running a personal best, raising expectations for the relay's performance at Division III's. French and Kay Sullivan '02 both easily won their heats with times of 28.88 and 29.15, respectively. Chen broke the varsity record with an ECAC-qualifying time of 27.61. Adeline Kuo '02 broke the rookie record with 27.67, just 0.03s short of qualifying for ECACs.
The only athlete representing MIT in the 400m, Stephanie Hong G ran a personal best of 68.59 to comfortably win her heat. Yety Oke '02 ran well in the 55m, finishing in 8.84.
In the last individual event of the day, Patry Diaz '00 defined the meaning of a "last chance" meet by qualifying for Division III's in the 3000m. With teammates cheering her on and calling out split times, Diaz kicked in with a 40 second final lap to finish in 11:27.92.
On Saturday the team will again be at Smith, this time competing in the New England Division III's. With a record number of athletes competing, Tech looks forward to placing well in its first appearance at the indoor championships.