WILLIAMSTOWN, MA- The Ephs go into this weekend's championships ranked 1st in the NESCAC conference. Last year, they won their fourth straight title at the NESCAC championship and look to earn a fifth consecuitve crown. Kennedy Green '19 is the defending champion and will hope to win the 100 meter dash. She will also represent the Ephs in the 200, along with long-sprinter Megan Powell '20, the defending 400 meter dash champion. Anna Passannante '20 is the Ephs' highest ranked athlete going into the 800 meter dash, with a 3rd place seed. She will face off against All-American athletes Sarah Kelly of Bowdoin and Anna Willig of Middlebury in what will perhaps be one of the most competitive races of the day.
Audrey Rustad '20 leads the Ephs in the 1500 meter dash, ranked 3rd in the NESCAC in the event. Not to be overlooked, though, is 3-time defending champion and senior co-captain Anna Harleen '18 who hopes to repeat the feat in her final NESCACs. The duo of Victoria Kingham '18 and Emily Sundquist '18 own the top two marks in the NESCAC 3000 meter steeplechase by almost 30 seconds. With a 25-second personal best last week, Kingham is also ranked 3rd in the 5000 meter run with a stellar time of 17:06. As the top 3 athletes in that event are all ranked at least 20 seconds faster than last year's champion, and the top 2 have run sub-16:50, this event will be one to watch.
In the hurdle events, the Ephs will hope to flex their muscles and show their depth. Izabelle Ith '21, Kate Kennedy '18, and Caitlin Ubl '19 are ranked 3-4-5 in the 100 meter hurdles and Kennedy, Kayley McGonagle '18, and Sierra Loomis '20 are ranked 1-2-5. Helene Hall '18 is the 2-time defending champion in the high jump, but will contend with sophomore Emma Egan, who goes into the meet with a jump 9 centimeters higher than her next closest competitor. With the absence of defending pole vault champion Katie Loftus due to her yearlong sojourn with the Oxford program, junior Maggie Murphy and first-year Kelsie Hao will step into her place, as the two are ranked 1-2 in the conference. They will contend with 2016 champion Kreager Traber.
The story is similar in the long jump. Since 2017 champion, Candice Dyce graduated last spring, the Ephs are ranked 1-2-3-6-8 in the event, led by Ith, Egan, and Hao. In the triple jump, the Ephs own four of the top 5 spots, ranked 1-2-3-5 and led by Ith, sophomore Sierra Diaz, and junior Kene Odenigbo. In the throws, Lauren Crist will enter the meet ranked 6th in the discus with a huge personal best and first collegiate win last weekend and the Williams Quad Meet. She is also seeded 11th in the hammer. First-year Morgan Dauk will take to the runway in 11th position in the javelin.
Williams is ranked in the top 3 in each of the relays, seeded 3rd in the 4x100 meter relay with a seed of 48.65. The squad of four has ironed out the kinks in their handoffs and are excited to take to the track against some talented Trinity and Colby squads. The All-American Ephs own the top time in the 4x400 meter relay by over 7 seconds. The 4x800 meter relay is an open event and many teams have not run their A-squads, but nonetheless, the Ephs are seeded 1st over quick Colby and Tufts squads. Head Coach Nate Hoey said, "We are very excited for the 2018 NESCAC Championship meet. The NESCAC is arguably the best T&F conference in the country with outstanding student-athletes across all event areas. We are looking forward to the challenge and opportunity ahead this weekend."
The action will commence at 9am Jesse Miller Field in Hartford, Connecticut.