BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA- Williams closes out day 1 of DIII NCAA Nationals with 8 points. They sit in a 4-way time for 11th, 11 points behind Washington University. Most of the day 1 schedule was comprised of preliminary heats, and only a few events awarded All-American honors and team points. But, many Ephs ran well and jumped far, some earning top 8 finishes and others competing well enough to make the finals tomorrow.
Junior Kennedy Green sprinted to a 60 meter lifetime best and re-broke her own school record with a time of 7.73 seconds. She crossed the line in 7th place to earn her spot in the 8-woman final tomorrow, ensuring she will score team points and earn All-American distinction. 3rd through 8th place were tightly packed, finishing within a few hundredths of each other, behind leader Wadeline Jonathas from UMass Boston.
Also earning the 7th spot in her event and a place in tomorrow's final was Anna Passannante, who ran a controlled and tactical race. The sophomore looked smooth and relaxed, as she sped up over the last straightaway to hunt down competitors in her heat and cross the line in 2:14.27. She will face leader Danielle Griffin (2:11.82) and favorite Emily Richards (2:13.64) in the final tomorrow.
The 4x400 meter relay team also earned a finals berth with a 4th place preliminary finish, clocking 3:51.97. Kayley McGonagle '18 came out quickly out of the blocks and closed on the field over the final straightaway. She handed off to Kate Kennedy '18, who powered down the backstretch and passed a competitor before handing off to Davis Collison '21. Collison ran a strong first lap and never slowed down, and Megan Powell '20 finished with a stellar anchor leg for the Ephs. They will chase top-seed Emory, who enter the final with a seed of 3:49.63.
Points were awarded in the women's long jump, and first-year Izabelle Ith rose to the challenge of her first national championship meet. On her 3rd jump, Ith leaped 5.61 meters into the sand. She placed 6th, earning All-American honors, 3 team points, and a place on the podium at her first national meet. The versatile first-year will take her talents outdoors and looks forward to competing in hurdles, triple jump, long jump, and the heptathlon.
As a testament to the depth and well-rounded nature of the Williams' jump squad, 2 Ephs claimed spots in the top 8 of the pentathlon. Both Summer-Solstice Thomas '20 and Emma Egan '20 began the day with personal best times in the hurdles, crossing the line in 9.47 and 9.30 seconds respectively. Next, they tied for 1st place finishes in the high jump, both soaring over 1.74 meters. It was a personal best for Thomas and raises their nation-leading mark and got a great warm up in for the open high jump tomorrow. In shot put, the Thomas threw 8.59 meters, and Egan launched the 4 kilogram weight 8.97 meters. The duo proceeded to the long jump runway, where Thomas jumped a stellar 5.34 meter mark, raising her in the overall standings. Egan jumped 5.00 meters, short of her personal best, but far enough to earn her a spot in the fast heat of the 800 meter run, the final event. In an exciting final event, personal best finishes and gutsy runs shook up the points standings, and both Ephs came away with All-American finishes. Thomas ran a 2:26.93 to earn 732 points and Egan had a 5-second personal best of 2:32.76 to earn 661. The two stood on the podium in 5th place (Thomas) and 8th place (Egan), scoring 5 cumulative team points. Both look to continue their national meet tomorrow in the high jump, in which they will be joined by senior Helene Hall.
The action will continue tomorrow in Birmingham, with the Ephs looking to move forward in the standings.