MIT Women Set Records At Track ChampionshipsBy Adeline Kuo
The MIT Women’s track team set new varsity, rookie, and personal records at the All-New England Championships last weekend at Tufts University.
Starting off the meet on Friday afternoon were field event specialists Princess Imoukhuede ’02, Akua A. Asa-Awuku, and Nalini Gupta ’05. From the throwing cage, Imoukhuede exhibited her dominance in the weight throw by placing third and throwing a distance of 56'2", which betters her previous NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Also finishing with a stellar performance was Asa-Awuku, who threw the 20lb weight 48'3.25", which, in addition to being a personal record, betters her previous NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
Over in the jumping pit, Gupta leaped to a personal record long jump of 16'8.75", just missing both the rookie and varsity records by 0.25".
Freshman close to varsity record
On the track Friday evening was distance superstar Martha W. Buckley ’04 in the 5K. Having raced at this distance only once before, Martha showed a lot of potential for success in this event as she set a personal record by over 36 seconds to finish in 18:10.79. This time is less than 7 seconds off the varsity record and the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. In addition, en route to her incredible finish, Buckley crossed the two-mile mark in varsity record time.
Day one of the championship finished with the distance medley relay consisting of Meredith N. Silberstein ’05, Gupta, Jennifer A. Gaugler ’05, and Mealani K. Nakamura G. Silberstein got MIT off to a strong start, as she ran the 1200m leg for the first time ever. Then, Gupta took over for the 400m leg, clocking the fastest split for an MIT women in the 400m this indoor season. Gaugler ran a steady 800m leg before passing off to Nakamura, who ran a personal best split time in the 1600m leg. MIT finished in 13:53.10, which is a team best for the indoor 2002 season.
Three break varsity records
Day two of the meet began with five athletes in four different field events for MIT, three of whom broke a varsity record. Rookie Emily Schwartz ’05 cleared an opening height of 5'1", the highest she has cleared all season. This height gives Schwartz a two-way tie for the rookie record and a three-way tie for the varsity record and qualifies her for ECACs where she will have one more opportunity to be the single owner of both records.
Returning for the shot put, Imoukhuede demonstrated her desire for the Division III All-American title in this event. Finishing in eighth place, Imoukhuede launched a throw of 42'2.25" to better her own varsity record and better her previous NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
Over at the pole vault pits, Vanessa Li ’02 and Catherine A. Tweedie ’04 proved MIT’s consistent domination in the pole vault. Li cleared a sixth place height of 11'4.5", which betters her own varsity record in the event and previous NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Tweedie showed her consistency as a ten-foot pole vaulter, as she cleared 10'0.75". In the triple jump, Gupta managed to jump a respectable 34'11".
Relay squad hits qualifying time
The two-day meet ended on the track with the 4x800m relay. Running for MIT were Silberstein, Buckley, Nakamura, and Gaugler. Despite taking off too fast, Silberstein was able to recover to run a consistent leg before passing off to Buckley. Wanting to make up ground fast, Buckley sprinted her first 200m in 33 seconds. Buckley ran an impressive sub-2:27 leg before passing the baton off to Nakamura. Having set some outstanding personal records in weeks past, Nakamura proved that she has not peaked in her performances yet, as she ran her 800m leg in a personal best time.
Anchoring for MIT was Gaugler, who having already run 800m the previous day, was able to run another consistent leg, crossing the finish line in 10:22.86, a team best for the MIT women this indoor season and ECAC qualifying time.
This coming Friday and Saturday, the MIT women will again travel to Tufts for the ECAC Championships.