Women’s Track Finishes Eighth at Division III New England
Issue   |   Wed, 05/06/2015 - 00:28
Megan Robertson '15
Senior Itai Brand-Thomas continues to perform well for the Jeffs.

The Amherst women continued their championship season with gusto on Saturday, placing eighth as a team at the Division III New England championships, hosted by MIT. The team improved upon their 11th-place team finish at this meet last season thanks to strong contributions from some key team leaders. The required time standards to qualify for the meet were the fastest of the season to date, so only a small crew of Amherst runners competed. But Amherst was still well represented across the board in the sprints, distances and jumps.

The meet was split between two days, with a few events on Friday and the remainder of the competition on Saturday. In Friday action, Savanna Gornisiewicz ’17, after a brief concern last week about a possible toe injury, wasted no time in starting where she left off before the injury scare. She just barely missed the 37-minute barrier in the 10K, running 37:00.41. In addition to nabbing a runner-up finish, she also set a four-second PR and now sits 27th in the country in the event.

On Saturday, Karen Blake ’17 put on another display of sprinting prowess, nearly taking the double win in the 100 and 200.

She just barely missed the victory in the 100, bolting to a runner-up 12.28 to lose by a mere 0.01 seconds. But she came back in the 200, an event she has dominated in the last couple weeks, racing to a winning time of 24.95. Though it wasn’t a PR, her 24.61 from the NESCAC championship meet last weekend has kept her in the top 10 in the national list.

Victoria Hensley ’16 was the second Amherst sprint representative, and in a strong race she squeezed under the 60-second barrier in the 400 meters to run 59.96 and place sixth in her heat and 13th overall.

In the middle distance races, Leonie Rauls ’18 paced the squad in the 800 meters with her 2:20.52 time, good for 14th overall. This was also a big career PR for Rauls. Kelli Ellingson ’15 finished a few seconds behind in 2:23.80 in the race.

In the 3K steeplechase, Cat Lowdon ’17 continued her recent success at the event, racing to a huge 12-second PR of 12:11.00.

“It was a beautiful day at MIT, and the team pulled out some solid races,” Lowdon said. “Even though my steeple barriers weren’t what I would have liked, I was able to speed up over the hurdles and make up for lost time. I felt much more confident after completing my first steeple at NESCAC’s.”

The team was represented in the jumps by their season-long high jump duo, with Kiana Herold ’17 and Becki Golia ’18 grabbing fourth and fifth-place finishes after clearing 1.64 meters (5’ 4.5”) and 1.5 meters (5’, 2.5”), respectively. Golia’s jump was just half an inch off of her career best.

The team continues its season this weekend with a return to MIT for the NEICAAA Open New England championships.
“We’ve trained hard all season and now get to reap the results,” Lowdon said.