Northampton, MA––The Ephs began their season today at the Smith Winter Carnival. Contesting against schools like Smith College, American International College, and Trinity College, the Ephs had a great opener to the season. Because the Ephs have been away from a track since May, this meet was used as more as a practice and "rust-buster" for the power/sprint division to get their bodies back on track (pun intended).
Although many of the distance runners are still recovering from their season, Audrey Rustad '20 ran strategically in her 3,000 meter race. She blew away the competition, winning by over 30 seconds and finishing with a strong 10:20, a time that qualifies her for DIII New Englands.
In the short sprints, the Ephs soared. Ephs finished with four of the eight top finishes in the 60 meter dash, with Kiara Tan '22 winning the meet in a speedy 7.84 seconds. Davis Collison '21, Deja Cunningham '22, and Emma Egan '20 finished with 8.12, 8.15, and 8.20, respectively. All four women qualified for DIII New Englands. Caity Ubl '19 had an absolutely incredible race in the 60 meter hurdles. She got out of the blocks quickly, and hit every single hurdle. She ran 8.94 seconds, her first sub-9 second 60 meter hurdles race ever. This puts Ubl in good position for qualifying for the national championships in February that will be held at Reggie Lewis in Boston. In addition to having a great 60 meter hurdles race, Ubl anchored the 4x400 meter relay, also comprised of Collison, Ella Dunn '21, and Liza Jacoby '22. The Ephs defeated the other teams by almost 10 seconds, posting a great time of 4:04. They hope to better this time over the course of the season.
The Ephs also had a great opening day in the field events. In the long jump, Astia Innis '20 leaped far, posting a 5.06 meter jump. Cailin Stollar '21 also hit a strong long jump with 4.69 meters. The women placed in 4th and 6th place, respectively. Stollar continued her meet with the other horizontal jump, triple jump. She won triple jump with a 10.63 meter jump, a great opening distance. Ephs also stood out in the high jump, with Egan and Kene Odenigbo '19 clinching the top two places. Egan flew to first with an incredible height of 1.66 meters. Odenigbo hit a great PR of 1.61 meters, pushing her to second place.
The Ephs pole vaulters had a great day. Kelsie Hao '21 and Maggie Murphy '19 took first and second place, respectively, making for a great opening meet. Hao jumped high for a mark of 3.50 meters and Murphy 3.20 meters. Not only did the pole vaulters have a great day in their normal realm, but they all ran the 200 meters and had great races. Out of their comfort zones, the 200 meter race is longer than they're used to. But, while having fun, they competed well.
The throwers continued the trend of a good day for the Ephs, with a first collegiate meet for many in the young event group. Mazie Alexander '21 had an incredible meet in weight throw, throwing a long distance of 13.72 meters, tying for the first place spot. Thandi Steele '22 also did well in weight throw with a distance of 11.12 meters placing her in 7th.
After many wonderful performances and numerous DIII New Englands qualifications, the Ephs had an extremely strong day. On the first meet of the season, Coach Hoey remarks, "Today was a fun start to the season. The team brought great energy and support for each other. We are looking forward to getting back to work on Monday." The Ephs will compete next at Little Threes at Wesleyan College on January 12th.