WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. — This past winter, the Ephs had another strong season. Not only did they win DIII New England's for a consecutive year, but they were the 2019 Indoor NCAA Champions.
Coming off of a successful cross country season, the distance women look to continue their efforts. The Eph women were both NESCAC and NCAA Regional Champion, with their season concluding with a third place finish at NCAA Championships. The distance squad was relatively balanced, having multiple runners from each year assist the Ephs to their impressive NCAA third place finish. In her first national campaign, Eva Borton '23 was the top finisher for the Ephs coming in 22nd earning All-America honors, and she will continue her first year with the distance women. Teammate Sarah Tully '21 had a great finish to cross country, placing in 29th place, securing All-America recognition. In the 2019 outdoor season, Tully posted a breakout campaign, gaining All-New England honors in the 5K. Emma Hermann '20, an NCAA qualifier at the 10K in 2019, will continue her senior year. The distance events will be bolstered by Jaylan Fraser-Mines '20, Caroline Galo '21, Janelle Gowgiel '20 and Sarah Jane O'Connor '22.
The mid-distance group is strong as ever, having multiple athletes with impressive titles. Co-captain Anna Passannante '20 is ready for a great final indoor season after her 54th place finish at the NCAA cross country championship. Passannante is a two-time NCAA runner-up, with numerous All-American titles in the 800m, Mile and 1,500m. Teammate Abby Scott '22 is also coming off a great cross country season and going into her second indoor season with an impressive list of achievements already under her belt. In the winter of 2019, Scott was both an NCAA qualifier and New England Champion as a member of the distance medley relay. Brianna Bourne '21 will also be sure to compete well for the Ephs in the indoor season, as she is a two-time NCAA qualifier, one being the same distance medley relay as Scott. These Ephs, along with their teammates, Grace Dailey '22, co-captain Leah Rosenfeld '20, Audrey Rustad '20, and Lilly Wells '22 are sure to be key performers for the Ephs' middle distance events and make a significant impact this winter.
While the distance squad was running through the elements and focusing on cross country, the sprint squad was hard at work preparing for the upcoming season. Led by sprint co-captains Megan Powell '20 and Ally Isley '20, sprinters returned determined. Last year, the 4x400 relay saw much success, including an NCAA runner-up title, and they look to continue their accomplishments. The team hopes to remain strong as three of the four legs; Powell, Ella Dunn '21, and Davis Collison '21; will continue as members of the relay. Liz Girvan '22, Liza Jacoby, '22 and Nicole Wilkinson '22 return to contribute in the long sprints as well. On the shorter side of the sprints, the young force will continue to impress. Isley, Deja Cunningham '22, and Kiara Tan '22 return to the 60 meter dash, which they all placed in the top 8 at New Englands. Tan continued her season, as a first year, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the same event.
The Ephs will look to excel in the field events, showcasing the depth of their squad. Power high jump duo Emma Egan '20 and co-captain Summer-Solstice Thomas '20 will be out to continue their consistency in the event. Egan, two-time NCAA champion, and Thomas, a 5- time All-American, will also contribute to the team in additional events. Egan will also show off her talents in the long jump, where she earned All-New England this most recent outdoor season.
Izabelle Ith '21 with an All-American title in the long jump will join Egan, along with Kelsie Hao '21, Astia Innis '20 and Tan. In addition to the jumps, Egan, Ith, co-captain Sierra Loomis '20 and Thomas will also compete in the pentathlon. With the graduation of Kene Odenigbo, Cailin Stollar '21 and Sierra Diaz '20 will step up in the triple jump, both in possession of All-New England honors and NESCAC titles in the event.
As one of the oldest members of the pole vault group, Hao will look to lead the squad to great heights. She had a breakout year as a sophomore, qualifying for NCAAs both seasons, earning All-American honors and breaking the school outdoor record. Cris Young '22, and Heidi Leeds '22 look to improve their personal bests and join their teammate in the vertical jumping event.
After studying abroad for a year at Oxford University, Lauren Crist '20 will return to the throwing circle, where she will contribute heavily to the team in her senior season in the shot put, weight throw and discus. Mazie Alexander '21 looks to join her teammate in the circle again, and continue to better her distances. Morgan Dauk '21, Theresa Morley-McLaughlin '21, Thandi Steele '22, Kenzie Stoker '22 make this a deep throws crew looking to continue to improve.
While the Ephs graduated seniors that contributed heavily and they will be missed, the team is returning with an incredibly strong and balanced group. On the approaching season, head coach Nate Hoey says, "This is always such a fun and exciting time of the year. The energy level of the team is on another level this fall, there is a joy and excitement each day at practice to work hard with the team. While we have big aspirations, our goal remains journey and relationship driven. To be present, engaged, and work to the best of our ability in that moment and to support our teammates. To positively push each other and to consistently be present for each other. We want to enjoy each aspect of this 2020 journey and dance with it."
The Ephs will begin their season at the Boston University Season Opener on December 7th. The Ephs will seek to get their competing legs back under them and start the season off with a strong opener. The meet begins at 11AM.