The women’s track and field team continues to steamroll through the regular season. Although the results don’t show up on paper, as both the Cornell and Boston University meets were non-scoring, the team broke a school record, met two NCAA qualifying marks and several Eastern College Athletic Conference qualifying standards on Saturday.After last year’s victory in the 800-meter dash at BU, junior Katie O’Brien once again made her mark, as she provisionally qualified for NCAAs. “She has a real good chance to qualify with that particular time, but I think she’s got a faster race in her,” Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said. “She’s still relatively inexperienced in that event.” The other high point of the weekend came about 325 miles further west, where Anne Baker also provisionally qualified for NCAAs in the 20-pound weight throw. Baker’s mark of 15.03 meters smashed the school record of 14.77 meters, previously held by Leslie Wilmert. Despite the outstanding mark, Hartwig said “she will probably have to throw a little further to have a good shot at actually making NCAAs. Anne is a great example of what determination and hard work can do for someone. She has worked so hard and has consistently continued to improve.” Also having a great weekend, senior Elizabeth Canfield qualified for the state championship meet and is close to meeting the ECAC qualifying standard. “She ran a very smart race, and met every challenge that came up,” Hartwig said. Canfield was also a major contributor to the distance medley relay team, which also included sophomore Kate Pohlman, junior Michelle Gabriele and O’Brien. The distance medley relay team ran their fastest time of the season, qualifying for ECAC’s and placing them second in the conference. Although it will be a challenge, “qualifying for nationals is certainly a possibility,” Hartwig said.The 4 x 400-meter relay team of freshman Whitney Silkworth, junior Annie Barbi, Gabriele and O’Brien ran 4:07, their best time of the season. “They have a very good chance at the state meet,” Hartwig said. “I don’t think they’ve reached their potential yet.” The 3,000-meter race saw two UR women set personal records, as senior Erika Wasserstein and sophomore Jessica Van Binsbergen both ran their best times in the event, with Van Binsbergen beating her previous best by more than 30 seconds. In the 800-meter dash, senior Katrina Nowak set a new personal best. Sophomore Laura Porterfield accomplished personal records in both the 20-pound weight throw and the triple jump.Junior Grace Kraay marked 11.61 meters in the shot put, her best mark of the season. “She’s getting closer to qualifying for ECAC’s, it’s just a matter of time,” Hartwig said.”There were a lot of good performances,” Hartwig added. “It was a very good and successful Valentine’s weekend.”The whole team returns to action at Cornell this weekend. For Nowak and Barbi, the postseason starts soon, as they will compete in the New York State Pentathlon Championships on Sunday at Hamilton College. “They are both looking good going into the meet,” Hartwig said. “We’re looking for good results from both of them.” Swidler can be reached at email@example.com.
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