Women's Track and Field Wins NCAA Championship

Emma Egan - Photo courtesy of Frank Poulin
Emma Egan - Photo courtesy of Frank Poulin

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Final Day Highlights Part 1

BOSTON, MA—For the first time since 2007, the women's track and field team has won the NCAA Championship. The Ephs competed with heart and strength to come out on top with 42 points. Second place Washington University finished with 40 points and George Fox came in third with 29 points. Not only did the women win, but also multiple school records were broken as well as personal bests set.

The day began with the high jump. Representing Williams was Emma Egan '20 and Kene Odenigbo '19. Odenigbo performed well, jumping the second best she has all season. She finished in 14th place, breaking her seed. Egan had an outstanding day in the event. Until the final height, Egan had no misses marking a perfect high jump performance. The highest jump she cleared was 1.77 meters, a new personal best and allowed Egan to break her own school record. This jump was good enough to win the national championship, and gain the team 10 points.

Next on the track was Caitlin Ubl '19 in the 60 meter hurdles. Coming into the meet seeded in 7th place, Ubl ran her heart out and finished the race in 8.84 seconds. This time was good enough for Ubl to break her seed and place in 6th, winning the team 3 points.

Anna Passannante '20 had the meet of her lifetime. Before Passannante's races began, the Ephs were behind the leader, Washington University, by 19 points. Starting with the mile race, Passannante broke seed. Coming into the race in 4th place, she pushed herself to finish the mile in 4:46.81. This effort won her second place, and marks a new lifetime best and school record and won the team 8 points. Less than an hour later, Passannante had to come back to race in the 800 meters. Once again, Passannante left it all on the track. Taking the beginning of the race easy and sitting in 7th place, she kicked into a second gear, exploding in her last lap. Passannante finished the 800 in 2:11.03, a new personal best and another school record. Repeating her success in the mile, Passannante finished in second place, winning another 8 points for the team.

Going into the final event with Ephs contending, the women were behind by 3 points. In order to win the NCAA title, the women's 4x400 meter relay team needed to come in 5th place to win (6th place to tie). The team, composed of Davis Collison '21, Ella Dunn '21, Ubl, and Megan Powell '20, did what they needed to do and more. With Collison coming out quickly in the first leg, taking the lead and the rest of the team maintained that lead thorughout the race. With each leg of the relay, the women created more and more distance between the rest of the field to finish in a time of 3:50.59. This won the women 4th place overall in the two finals races and 5 points. Williams came from a 24-8 deficit on day one to tally 42 points and overtake Washington University (St. Louis).

2019 NCAA DIII Indoor Champions

This championship wraps up an incredible season for the Ephs, with numerous school records, personal bests, and finish. This season, the women finished as National Champions, New England Division III Champions, and Little 3 Champions. On the very successful season, head coach Nate Hoey remarks, "It's a great day to be an Eph. This was a total team effort. The energy and support for and from everyone was awesome. The teammates and alumni in the stands were incredible! This team has faced so much adversity all season and never once have they held their heads down. They consistently look forward to what's in front and what they can do to maximize where they are. I'm so proud of this entire team and what they have done."

This winter the Eph team was forced to adjust its training and be creative with finding practice space and time due to issues with the renovation of their home track inside Towne Field House.

Eph head coach Nate Hoey was named the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA DIII Coach of the Year.

With a great end to the season, the Ephs look forward to continuing their success in the outdoor season. In two weeks, the Ephs will return to competing with their first meet of the outdoor season at University of California–Riverside.

That Championship Feeling