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‘Smallest Indoor Team’ Garners Most Wins Ever

By Martha Buckley

TEAM MEMBER

Last Saturday, in the final regular season meet of the year, the MIT women’s indoor track team defeated the California Institute of Technology 104-45, improving their season record to 19 wins and 3 losses.

Head Coach Paul Slovenski expressed his amazement with the team’s final record, saying, “the smallest indoor team ever garnered the most wins in the history of Tech track.”

The easy victory over Caltech this past weekend was preceded by the MIT women’s victory over all six schools in the Coast Guard Quad Cup on Feb. 1 and MIT’s third place finish in the Greater Boston Championship on Feb. 8, behind only NCAA Division I schools Northeastern and Harvard.

Although the numbers on the MIT women’s team are smaller than last year, their competitive drive more than makes up for it. Many of the MIT women have been asked to run, jump, or throw in as many as five events in a single meet, sometimes even competing in events that are not their specialties.

Last meet, middle distance runner Alisa P. Lehman ’05 stepped in for an injured teammate and anchored the 4x200 meter relay, running an amazing 29-second leg, helping to narrowly defeat Caltech.

In addition to the strong team dynamic, the indoor season has been marked by a number of individual accomplishments. MIT women have qualified to compete in the New England Division III Championships in every arena of track and field, from sprints and jumps to throws and distance events.

Records broken

Several MIT varsity records were broken this season. Nalini Gupta ’05 became the highest scorer in a single meet in Tech Track history, earning a total of 36 1/2 points at the Coast Guard Invite on Feb. 1. Julia C. Espel ’05 shattered the previous varsity record in the one mile run by four seconds, running a 5:14.81. Despite a nagging injury, Clarissa Y. Smith ’04 broke the varsity record in the long-jump with a leap of 17' 3". Emily Schwartz ’05 broke the varsity record in the high jump, clearing 5' 1.75".

MIT women’s track also boasts three provisional national qualifiers. Co-Captain Catherine A. Tweedie ’04 qualified for nationals in the pole vault, clearing 11' 3.75", which is currently the ninth best mark in the nation. Co-Captain Akua Asa-Awuku ’03 and Adrienne M. Irmer ’04 both qualified provisionally for nationals in the weight throw with throws of 48' 0.75" and 48' 9.75" respectively.

This Saturday the MIT women will be traveling to Maine for the New England Division III Championships at Bowdoin College.