This past weekend, only one member of the Amherst women’s track and field team participated in competition. Senior Kiana Herold traveled to the Tufts Last Chance Invitational with the hope of qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships in high jump.
With Katherine Treanor ’20 and Abbey Asare-Bediako ’18 already qualified for NCAA Division III Championships in the 5,000-meter run and triple jump, respectively, Herold sought to become the third member of the purple and white’s squad to make the trip to Illinois.
Although high jump usually lacks the close photo-finishes that occur in the sprint or distance events, Herold found herself in a rare and exciting situation at Tufts. After the regulation number of leaps, Herold and MIT’s Natalie Alper finished tied for first.
According to collegiate rule, if two competitors are tied for first, the jumper with fewest misses at the tying height wins. If still tied, the tiebreaker then becomes fewest total misses in the competition. However, Herold and Alper had the same number of misses both at the tying height and throughout the competition. In other, non-first place, circumstances, jumpers simply finish tied. However, since this tie was for first place a further measure was needed.
The last resort is called a jump-off and is similar to a penalty shoot-out in soccer or hockey. The jump-off begins with a single, sudden death jump for each competitor at the next height in the original progression. If no winner is determined, the bar is then raised or lowered depending on whether or not the competitors cleared the previous height.
Eventually, Herold won the competition, clearing the bar at a mark of 1.60 meters while Alper did not. With this jump, Herold became the third member of the Amherst women’s track and field team to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships.
The trio of athletes, Herold, Treanor and Asare-Bediako, will represent the purple and white will travel to North Central, Ill. this week to compete in the NCAA Division III Championships on Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11.