MIT Women’s Track and Field once again demonstrated their characteristic competitiveness and tenacity as they competed in the New England Division III Indoor Championships held here at MIT over the weekend. Although rival Williams College was favored to win the event, the Engineers refused to allow Williams to simply walk into their house and take the title without an impressive fight.
While there were over 20 teams racing on the Shobrys and Aronson Track this weekend, the competition quickly turned into a dual meet between MIT and Williams, and remained so until the very end. Going into the last two events — the 4x400-meter relay and the 4x800 relay — MIT trailed Williams by 9 points. With relentless determination, the women mixed up the relay entries in an effort to maximize their chances of scoring crucial points. Kirsten H. Aarsvold ’11 and Megan E. Bumgarner ’14 were called upon to race in the 4x400 relay, while Hazel L. Briner ’11 and Jamie L. Simmons ’12 were placed in the 4x800 relay. Along with Portia M. Jones ’12 and Martha M. Gross ’12, Aarsvold and Bumgarner helped the 4x400 relay team take second place, putting them within 6 points of Williams. The 4x800 relay, consisting of Briner, Simmons, Olivia J. Papa ’14, and Louise E. van den Heuvel ’14, ran an impressive time of 9 minutes, 33.42 seconds, scoring second place and beating the Williams squad. However, the Engineers’ inspiring comeback effort fell just short. Williams was still able to claim the championship, scoring only four points more than MIT.
The women gave spectacular efforts throughout the entire competition, but “it required a near perfect meet to win and we just could not quite pull it off,” Head Coach Halston W. Taylor commented. The women started off strong on Friday afternoon with the indoor pentathlon, as Jaclyn A. Konopka ’14 went from unseeded in the competition to scoring an unexpected third for the Engineers. Tech began the competition on Saturday with an equally impressive effort, as the distance medley relay team of Aarsvold, Papa, Andrea D. Nickerson ’14, and Anna M. Holt-Gosselin ’11 were able to take first. Holt-Gosselin also captured another win in the 3000, running an outstanding personal record of 10:08.37, while Martina A. de Geus ’14 placed sixth in the event with a time of 10:15.29.
MIT also earned wins in the 4x200 relay, 200, and pole vault. The 4x200 relay team, consisting of Jacqueline A. Brew ’14, Jones, Gross, and Simmons, moved up from their third seed to take the event. Jones added on to this first place finish a second place in the 400 and a win in the 200 with a time of 25.43, setting a new program record. With these marks, along with her contribution to the second place finish by the 4x400 relay squad, Jones proved once again why she deserves the title of All-American.
The women’s pole vault remained consistent in their excellent performances this season by sweeping the event and accruing 24 points for MIT. Karin E. Fisher ’11 took the event with a vault of 3.80 meters, extending her record to five out of six first place finishes for the year. Briner placed second, and Lauren B. Kuntz ’13 placed third with a personal record of 3.65.
Along with her outstanding contribution to the 4x200 relay win, Brew captured third place in the long jump, fifth in the 55 hurdles, and eighth in the triple jump. Amy R. Magnuson G earned third in the 55 hurdles, followed by Briner, as she once again demonstrated the depth of her talent, scoring over 20 points for the Engineers.
Coach Taylor was “very proud of everyone’s effort,” and is looking forward to the Outdoor Track and Field season, in which the women hope to defend their NEWMAC Outdoor Championship title. The Indoor season, however, is far from over. The women will continue with the NEICAAA Championship this upcoming weekend at Boston University.