Women’s Track and Field Sprints into Winter Season with High Hopes
Issue   |   Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:41

The Amherst women’s indoor track and field team will look to build on the momentum of the fall cross-country season, which concluded with a fifth-place finish at the NESCAC championships and an individual championship from Nicky Roberts ’18. While the Mammoths will miss the presence of since graduated Kiana Herold, who finished ninth in the high jump at the Division III Indoor Championships, the team will return several standouts, including Abbey Asare-Bediako ’18 in the triple jump.

The Mammoths competed well last winter, notching a second-place finish at the Benyon invitational, an 11th place finish at the NCAA Division III New England championship meet and a 16th place finish at the New England Inter-Collegiate Amateur Athletics Association Championship.

Seniors Helen Clapp (distance), Becki Golia (jumps), Danielle Griffin (hurdles and sprints), Adele Loomis (mid-distance), Kaeli Mathias (mid-distance), Leonie Rauls (mid-distance) and Asare-Bediako (jumps and sprints) will lead the Mammoths this season. Amherst also boasts 13 juniors and sophomores, a number that will surely give the team a shot of experience
With new head coach Steve Rubin at the helm, Amherst will shift from a distance-based team under previous coach Cassie Funke-Harris to a more speed-oriented squad in the sprints. Funke-Harris will remain on the team as an assistant coach, but Rubin brings years of experience to the group, having been the head coach at both Washington University in St. Louis and Florida International University before taking a job as assistant coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, his most recent coaching position.

Under Rubin’s tutelage, the Tar Heels produced numerous All-ACC and All-American runners throughout his five years in Chapel Hill. “I think that Coach Rubin has added a sense of intensity and purpose to our team that fosters community and unity,” Ella Rossa ’21 said. “I’m excited to see where this season takes us.” In addition to the team’s wealth of experience, the Mammoths boast a class of 16 first-years, each eager to make an impact in their first season of collegiate racing.
“I’m really excited for the upcoming season,” Dana Frishman ’21 said. “Coach Rubin and the rest of the coaching staff have a strong game plan for the team and while practices have only just started, it’s clear that everyone is ready to make the investment and work hard.”

With loads of confidence and talent, the Mammoths will look to improve upon last year’s place in the NESCAC championship.