The women’s track and field team capped off a solid indoor season at the Eastern Collegitate Athletic Conference Championships on March 5 and 6, hosted by Bowdoin College. With 23 total points, the UR women finished in 14th place out of 39 competing teams. “Overall I was very pleased,” Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said. “I felt we competed very well.”The first of the points came in the 500-meter run, when Michelle Gabriele finished in eighth place, running 1:21.72, her best time of the season. Senior Erika Wasserstein also posted a personal best at ECACs, as she ran a time of 10:44.47 in the 3,000-meter run, finishing sixth. Senior Anne Baker finished up an impressive indoor season with a sixth-place finish in the weight throw. Her mark of 14.80 meters was her second best of the season, although it fell just shy of qualifying her for Nationals. “She was in a good position where she had to keep readjusting her goals [all season]…all in all that’s not a bad thing,” Hartwig said.Junior Anna Barbi followed up her strong showing at the State Pentathlon Championships with another solid performance at ECACs, where she finished third. Although she did not finish in the scoring, senior Katrina Nowak posted a very respectable 10th-place finish in the event.The highlight of the weekend for the women came in the 800-meter run, which junior Katie O’Brien won. Her time of 2:16.41 was her best of the season, and it earned the women 10 of their 23 overall points. Additionally, it qualified her for NCAA Championships in Whitewater, Wis. the following weekend. There, she once again ran 2:16.41, which placed her ninth, although she fell just short of qualifying for finals.”I’m happy with the way things turned out,” Hartwig said. “I felt that people competed hard. They wrapped up their indoor season in a good fashion.” With some time off before the Battleground Relays at Mary Washington College in Virginia, the women have begun to shift their focus to the outdoor season. The very brief season, in addition to the uncertainty regarding the weather, gives them little time to prepare and implies that they must be at the top of their games every weekend in order to fulfill their goals for the season. If they can pick up right where they left off at indoor ECAC Championships, it should once again be a very successful outdoor season for the women. Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.



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