Women’s Track Eighth at Championship MeetBy Adeline Kuo
This past Saturday, the MIT Women’s Indoor Track team took eighth place in the New England Division III Championships at the University of Southern Maine.
Seeded to take 10th place with 23.5 points, the MIT women performed significantly better to earn an additional 10.5 points. Moreover, many records were broken as a result of this meet.
Getting MIT off to a head start were the veteran 20lb weight throwers, Princess Imoukhuede ’02 and Akua A. Asa-Awuku ’03. Imoukhuede showed the nation that she is a force to be reckoned with as she dominated the event with a victorious NCAA automatic qualifying throw of 53'9.75".
Asa-Awuku showed herself to be a rising star in the event as she finished in sixth place, set a new personal record of 47'8", which betters her previous NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Later in the shot put, Imoukhuede exemplified her consistency in the event as she put out yet another NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 41'2.25", which was good enough for sixth place. Imoukhuede was MIT’s top scorer of the day, as she earned 13 of MIT’s 34 points.
Gupta close to NCAA mark
On the other end of the field was rookie superstar jumper Nalini Gupta ’05. After two decent attempts in the triple jump trials, Gupta, determined to make finals, broke out an eventual fifth place finishing jump of 36'2.75". This jump bettered her personal record, rookie record, and varsity record in the event and is less than four inches off the NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Returning in the long jump, Gupta was able to get her foot on the board and fly to an eighth place finish with a leap of 16'3.75".
Over in the other corner of the infield were the pole vaulters. Sick and injured, Vanessa Li ’02 and Catherine A. Tweedie ’04 had some difficulties in the event. Nevertheless, they both cleared another NCAA provisional qualifying height of 10'4", with Li finishing tied for fourth and Tweedie tied for sixth.
Rounding out the field events, Emily Schwartz ’05, having suffered from injuries all season, managed to jump a season best height of 5'0.25".
Buckley nears MIT record
On the track, the star of the day was Martha W. Buckley ’04. In the 3000m, Buckley took off with the top seeds and kept pace with them for the entire race. Buckley made a huge breakthrough with her third place finish, as she shattered her personal record by over 15 seconds to finish in 10:28.05, just missing the varsity record by 1.29 seconds.
Joining Buckley for the meet’s finale of the 4x800m relay were Meredith Silberstein ’05, Patricia M. McAndrew ’03, and Jennifer A. Gaugler ’05. Silberstein ran the first leg, sprinting off at the gun to take an early lead. Silberstein then passed off to Buckley, who determined to take over the lead, bolted with a 33 second first lap, making up ground with each lap to eventually pass off to Gaugler in the lead. Running a personal record split, Gaugler then passed the baton off to anchor leg McAndrew. McAndrew ran a steady race and also ran a personal record split, as she crossed the finish line in a season best time of 10:28.14.
This coming Friday and Saturday, the MIT women will head to Tufts University to compete at the All New England championships, hopefully qualifying more athletes for the NCAA championships.