Women’s Track and Field Shines in Interterm Tournaments
Issue   |   Tue, 01/23/2018 - 22:51

The Amherst women’s track and field team enjoyed a successful interterm, posting two impressive finishes to start the 2018 indoor season. The Mammoths set the tone in their first meet of the year with a second-place finish at Little III Championships, the team’s best showing since the 2011 season. Amherst scraped by Wesleyan with a five-point gap, but ultimately fell to Williams, who posted a score of 152 to the Mammoth’s 105.

The women posted consistently strong performances across the board, earning points in sprints, hurdles, mid-distance, and distance races, as well as in field events. In the 60-meter sprint, first-years Sarah Tam and Sophia Friedman finished with times of 8.35 and 8.45 to secure the fourth and fifth spots and earn seven total points. Friedman continued her impressive day with a second-place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 27.47. The first-years continued to shine for Amherst, as Ella Rossa ’21 claimed the top spot in her first ever 60-meter hurdles event with a time of 9.24, adding another seven points to the Mammoths’ total.

The upperclassmen cleaned up for Amherst in the mid-distance events, with Leonie Rauls ’18 and Molly Carleton ’19 recording times of 1:38.54 and 1:42.20, respectively, to earn second and third place in the 600-meters. In the 800 meters, senior standout Danielle Griffin beat her next-closest opponent by seven seconds to take the gold with a time of 2:22.98

In the distance races, Jenny Mazzella ’20 claimed third for the Mammoths in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 3:08.33, while Lela Walter ’19 took eight seconds off her seed time of 5:25.00 to cross the finish line in 5:16.96 and place second in the mile run. Amherst swept second through fourth in the 3,000-meters, with first-years Hayley Greene and Olivia Polischeck and sophomore Kristin Ratliff running to times of 10:49.49, 10:49.84 and 10:57.56, respectively.

Finally, in the field events, Becki Golia ’18 and Kaitlyn Siegel ’20 claimed third and fourth in the high jump with heights of 1.59 and 1.54 meters.

The women were back in action only a week later, placing fourth at the local Smith Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Tam impressed once again, placing sixth in a competitive 60-meter dash with a time of 8.25, the top Amherst finish. Friedman held her own in the 200-meter race to finish in third-place with a time of 27.15 seconds, while Kristen Ratliffe ’20 and Haley Green ’21 both made the podium in the mile run, placing second and third, respectively.

Rossa gave the undisputed standout performance of the weekend, however, finishing the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 8.25, securing first overall and setting a new Amherst record. “I didn’t feel like my prelims race was super strong, so I went into the finals wanting to get out of blocks fast and to attack the hurdles,” said Rossa. “I am very excited for the rest of the indoor season and to continue to improve my time.”

Rossa, whose record-breaking finish at Smith is also currently the third-fastest time in Division III women’s track, also paced the Mammoths in the long jump, finishing fourth with a distance of 5.02 meters. Rounding out the field events and the day was Golia, who put forth another third-place showing in the high jump with a leap of 1.53 meters.

The Mammoths return to the track on Jan. 27 when the team will compete at Tufts University in the first annual Branwen Smith-King Invitational.