MEDFORD, MA- A contingent of Ephs traveled to the Tufts Last Chance Qualifier Meet in Medford to take advantage of the last weekend in which athletes can qualify for NCAA nationals.
Izabelle Ith '20 and Caitlin Ubl '19 finished 10th and 11th for the Ephs in the 60 meter hurdles against a loaded field. In adjacent lanes, the two sprinted to respective times of 9.16 and 9.17 seconds. Kene Odenigbo '19 turned in a pair of 6th place finishes in the high jump and the triple jump. She cleared 1.52 meters in high jump and leapt an impressive 11.04 meters in the triple jump. Cailin Stollar '21 also had a great day on the runway, reaching 10.66 meters into the sand for an 8th place finish and a college PR. In the long jump, Astia Innis took advantage of a bouncy runway to jump 5.29 meters for 5th. Having had a breakout season in the jumps, the sophomore looks forward to taking her talents outdoors.The pole vault duo of Kelsie Hao '21 and Maggie Murphy '19 represented Williams well, cleared 3.31 and 3.16 meters to take 5th and 8th places.
But perhaps the most impressive performances of the day were in the middle and long distance events. The Ephs battled adversity to post incredible performances in the latter half of the afternoon. Emma Herrmann '20 had a season best in the 5k, a 25 lap race with only one other entrant. She pushed herself to a 17:55.78, an admirable effort under such circumstances.
Seniors Eliza Matt and Stella Worters worked together to push the pace in the mile. Matt took the lead and strung out the pack over the course of the final lap to finish in a speedy 5:01.73. Worters ran a gutsy race from start to finish, holding on for a 5:06.0 and leaving everything she had in the final straightaway in her characteristically gritty racing style.
Earlier in the day, the distance medley relay had been disqualified. Some early contact in the race led to a dropped baton during the first leg. Anna Passannante '20, who had been slated to run the 800 meter leg in that event, instead entered the open 800 meters for one final race. Yet, the sophomore extended her season one more weekend and punched her ticket to Birmingham. After a relatively slow 600 meters, Passannante took the lead and laid down a blistering final 200 meters, in a kick that left all of her accomplished competitors behind. In her first open 800 of the season, she ran a 2:14.80 and qualified for nationals.
As the regular season draws to a close, the Ephs will send a large squad to contend for the NCAA Division III title in Birmingham, Alabama next Friday and Saturday. The DIII New England Champions look forward to contending with the rest of the country and capping off a successful indoor season.