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Track Women Narrowly Beat Guard

By Martha Buckley

TEAM CAPTAIN

The MIT women’s outdoor track team narrowly edged out Coast Guard 108.5 to 103.5 to capture third place in NEWMACS last Sunday. Third place was still up for grabs coming into the final event of the day, the 4x400m relay.

The MIT 4x400m team of Andrea J. Dooley ’06, Valerie Y. Kuo ’06, Catherine A. Tweedie ’04, and Elizabeth R. Walker ’06 rose to the occasion to finish sixth place with a season’s best time of 4:21.55, clinching MIT’s victory over Coast Guard. Wheaton College won the meet with 181.5 points, followed by Springfield College with 135 points.

The MIT distance squad gave the team a strong start with incredible performances in the 10,000m run and the 3,000m steeplechase. MIT earned an amazing 38 points in these two races. In her first 10K ever, Nancy J. Benedetti ’05 ran a smart race to place second in a New England Division III qualifying time of 43:12.66.

The MIT 10K pack of Betsy R. Eames ’06, Jordan E. Wirfs-Brock ’06, and Marissa L Yates ’03 ran together throughout the majority of the race in their famous pack attack to place fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively.

Julia C. Espel ’05 easily won the 3,000m steeplechase in 11:24.59. She was followed by frosh steeple superstar Karen A. Kinnaman ’06, who placed 4th with a New England Division III qualifying time of 12:11.20, and Jennifer A. Gaugler ’05 and Stephanie A Claussen ’05 who placed 7th and 8th respectively.

MIT’s strength in the distance events continued as Valerie Y. Kuo ’06 easily won her heat to place eighth in the 800m with a time of 2:28.39. In the 1500 m run, Martha W. Buckley ’04 placed second in the with a time of 4:50.38 and Kinnaman returned from the steeple to place fourth with a time of 5:11.95. MIT also picked up points in the 5000m run, as Buckley and Espel returned to the track to place second and third in the 5000m, respectively.

Despite facing tough competition from sprinting powerhouse Wheaton College, the MIT sprinters made their mark. Meredith N. Silberstein ’05 ran a 13.54 in the 100 m to qualify her for New England Division III Championships. Chinwe P. Nyenke ’04 and Elizabeth A. Walker ’06 ran 17.09 and 17.36 in the 100m hurdles to place sixth and seventh respectively. Liz Walker returned in the 400m hurdles to place seventh with a time of 70.10.

In the field portion of the meet, the star of the day was Catherine A Tweedie ’04, who won the pole vault with a new MIT varsity record and a NEWMAC meet record vault of 11’8”. Tweedie’s vault currently ranks her sixth in the nation. Rather than resting between her record shattering vaults, Tweedie took the opportunity to compete in the high jump and the long jump, placing seventh and eighth respectively.

Multi-eventer Chinwe P. Nyenke ’04 returned form the hurdles to place third in the triple jump with a jump of 35’10.75” and fifth in the long jump with a distance of 15’10”.

Despite tough competition in the throwing events, the MIT women launched personal records to earn points for the team. Adrienne M. Irmer ’04 improved her personal record in the hammer throw by over 15’ to place second in the event with a mark of 140’9” and placed eighth in the shot put with another personal record throw of 35’4”. Akua A. Asa-Awuku ’03 placed eighth in the hammer with a throw of 123’1”. Cara L. Toretta ’04 placed eighth in javelin with a throw of 86’4”.

With a record number of people qualified to compete in post-season championships, the MIT women’s team will be traveling to Williams to compete in the New England Division III championships this Saturday.