MIDDLEBURY, VT- The Williams multi squad competed in their first full pentathlon of the season this afternoon at Virtue Field House. Over the four and a half hours of competition, the Ephs worked their way through the 5 events, setting season bests and lifetime PRs in almost every event.
The Ephs got out to a strong start in the hurdles, with all 4 athletes setting personal best. Junior Caitlin Ubl led the way with a first place finish in the event, crossing the line in 9.18 seconds and scoring 873 points. First-year Izabelle Ith took 2nd with a speedy 9.29, winning her heat and earning 850 points. Sophomores Summer-Solstice Thomas and Emma Egan finished 4th and 5th, respectively, with times of 9.59 and 9.66, both setting personal bests. They scored 791 and 777 points, racking up some valuable points in the opening event.
Next, in high jump, Thomas and Egan had standout performances, distancing themselves from the rest of the field with stellar jumps at 1.64 meters. The two finished 1st and 2nd in the event, scoring a whopping 783 points each. Despite getting off to a rocky start, Ubl clinched 4th place in the event, soaring over 1.52 meters, a jump worth 644 points. Ith jumped to a personal best, clearing 1.49 with ease for 610 points. The first-year had some excellent attempts at 1.52 meters and will look forward to reaching new heights later in the season.
The Ephs then transitioned to the circle for the shot put portion of the competition. Ubl led the Williams squad with a 3rd place finish, throwing the 4k shot put 9.28 meters. The personal best throw earned her 482 points. Ith threw a strong 9.23 meters for 5th and 479 points. Thomas and Egan took 8th and 9th in the event, as they threw personal best marks of 8.78 meters and 8.77 meters. So close in distance, the throws were worth 450 and 449 points.
The foursome got back up to speed for the long jump, blazing down the runway to take 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th places. Thomas led the field with a lifetime best 5.50 meter leap into the sand. In her breakthrough long jump performance, the sophomore perfected her hitch-kick technique to earn 700 points, putting herself in a good position going into the final event. Ith was next in 2nd with a leap of 5.16 meters, clinching 603 points. Egan was close behind with a 3rd place leap of 5.12 meters and a point gain of 592. Ubl placed 6th in the event after fouling a big last jump, leaping 4.66 meters and earning 469 points.
Most pentathletes dread the final event of the pentathlon: the 800 meter run. With most of the competition based on events heavily reliant upon speed and power output, many multis struggle with the final, mid-distance running event. Yet, the Ephs thrived. Ubl got out to a fast start, coming through the first 400 meters in 68.5 seconds. Thomas drew even with her at the 600 meter mark, and the two worked together to produce 1st and 2nd place finishes. Thomas, with her trademark kick over the last 100 meters, crossed the line in 1st with a time of 2:22.51, a personal best by over 3 seconds. Ubl followed closely, finishing in 2:23.51, her best 800 meter race since senior year of high school. Thomas scored 790 points and Ubl scored 776 points, capping off their incredible days. In a gutsy race, digging deep over the last 200 meters to cross the line in 2:37.50, Ith finished strong with 602 more points and a 4th place finish. Egan, spending most of the last 300 meters on Ith's hip ran 2:40.01 for 5th in the event.
The day rewrote the Williams College pentathlon leaderboard. Thomas eclipsed a 12-year school record of 3,461 points, formerly held by Maddy Outman. Her total on the day was 3,514 points and ranks her 1st in Division III. Her performance marked a 311 point lifetime best. Ubl, with her total of 3,244 points, earned the 3rd place on the Williams College all-time list and is currently 3rd place in the national rankings. Ubl's mark is also a 446 point personal record. Egan came next, finishing 4th overall with a total of 3,174 points, placing her 5th on Williams' all-time list and currently ranking her 6th in the nation. Ith's point total of 3,144 placed her 5th on the day and ranks her 7th on Williams' all-time list and 8th in the country thus far.
The Ephs averaged 3,269 points and turned in impressive performances on day 1 of the Middlebury Invitational. They scored 27 total team points, as Williams leads the competition by 21 points going into Day 2.