With the Championship meets rapidly approaching, the women’s track and field team had “three objectives for last Saturday’s meet at Cornell,” head coach Barbara Hartwig said. “It was the last chance for people to better their qualifying marks, it gave those who were already in a chance to sharpen up, and we had a chance for some people who weren’t feeling well to rest up.”

She said that the team was able to achieve their three main objectives for the meet. “I think we were fairly successful with that,” she said. “Hopefully we got some people healthy.”

“Overall, it was a good meet for us,” Hartwig said.

Once again, a number of athletes put together excellent performances. Competing in section two of the 800-meter run, sophomore Elizabeth Boerman ran what Hartwig referred to as “what I think would be her best race of the season so far.” In the 3,000, junior Kate McKenzie and freshman Abbie Archibald finished 11th and 21st respectively, as both set personal records.

Hartwig commended both, saying they “ran very fine races and dropped their times considerably.”

Rounding out a trio of solid shot put performances, junior Laura Steiner set a new personal best with a mark of 10.12 meters, good enough for fourth place in flight two. Finishing just ahead of her was freshman Cynthia Gurecki, who marked 10.26, putting her in third place in the same flight.

Leading the way for the UR shot putters was sophomore Grace Kraay, who was seventh in flight one with a mark of 11.27 meters.

On Sunday, sophomore Anna Barbi and junior Katrina Nowak competed in the New York State Pentathlon Championships, the first portion of the State Championships that will be concluded this weekend at St. Lawrence University.

With 2,734 total points, Barbi was fourth overall, and Nowak’s 2,228 points gave her 12th place. Hartwig expressed her appreciation of the efforts given by her athletes, saying “I’m very proud of both of the pentathlon competitors, they really had to earn their way into this.” She continued, “both improved their point totals from last year in what was a much tougher competition. I thought they performed really well.”

The team’s focus was clearly already past last weekend’s solid performances and onto this weekend’s State Championships, for which Hartwig said the team is “training a little bit lighter and sharper this week.” She said that all week there has been “an emphasis just on sharpening right now, since we want people refreshed and ready to go.”

Unlike many previous meets where the focus was simply on a strong throw or a fast time, this weekend Hartwig said the team is “looking for places and points, without as much emphasis on times and distances.” She continued, “it’s far more important to get the points.”

After a strong showing in last year’s State Championships, Hartwig said “I think we’ve said all along that we want to finish ahead of our sixth place finish from last year.”

She added, “I think the big thing is that we want to be able to stand up against what will be our toughest competition of the year.” Another solid outcome will result from an all around team effort, as Hartwig said “if we’re going to do well, we need help from our freshmen all the way through our seniors.”

“We can’t afford to rely on one or two people, we really need everybody to pitch in.” She said that “I have a lot of confidence in them, now we need to prove we can do it.” “Hopefully all the good stuff will be this weekend and next weekend.”

Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org

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