Unable to get in much quality practice time outdoors in the days leading up to Saturday’s UR Alumni Invitational, the women’s track and field team nevertheless put on a heck of a show for the home crowd, finishing in third place with 116 points, behind only SUNY Geneseo with 186 points and Roberts Wesleyan College with 126 points. “I was pleased to see that [outcome]. I was excited that we finished third, since our focus was all about the events that I felt they needed for our training – maybe that’s a good sign,” Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said. The scoring started right off the bat, as junior Effuah Alleyne finished eighth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.43 seconds, contributing the first point of the day for the women. They would add up even more quickly starting in the 200-meter dash, which junior Katie O’Brien won with a time of 26.0 seconds as she qualified for Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships in the event. In the 400-meter dash, junior Michelle Gabriele ran 1:03.75 to finish third. O’Brien overshadowed her victory in the 200-meter dash with a dominating performance in the 800-meter run. In that event, she ran 2:15.52 to finish first once again, this time meeting the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. “I felt that she ran strong from start to finish,” Hartwig said. “She was able to stay strong and finish strong.” Also in the 800, senior Elizabeth Canfield ran 2:23.16, a personal record, to finish in fourth place and sophomore Kate Pohlman ran 2:26.67, finishing eighth.Sophomore Jessica VanBinsbergen ran a very solid 5,000-meter run, completing the event in 19:15.37 to finish second. “That’s the second week in a row she set a personal record in that event,” Hartwig said. “I’m excited for her.” In the 100-meter high hurdles, freshman Whitney Silkworth ran 16.35 seconds to finish fourth and qualify for ECACs. She topped that performance in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, which she finished in second place with a time of 1:09.56, qualifying for States. Also in the 400-meter hurdles, senior Katrina Nowak ran 1:15.97 to finish seventh. “I was very pleased with our hurdlers,” Hartwig said. “Whitney is quickly becoming one of the top hurdlers in the conference.” Senior Erika Wasserstein ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 12:00.59, finishing fourth. The 4×100-meter relay team posted a second-place finish, running 53.19 seconds. The 4×400-meter relay team added to the scoring, running 4:17.65 to finish fourth. The 4×800-meter relay team closed out the relays with a time of 10:29.06, good for second place.With marks of 1.49 meters, junior Annie Barbi and freshman Melinda Huang finished seventh and eighth respectively. In the shot put, freshman Maraea Toomalatai marked 10.72 meters to finish in third place and qualify for States. Also in the shot put, sophomore Grace Kraay marked 10.65 meters, finishing fifth. She added a sixth-place finish in the discus throw, as she marked 33.68 meters. Her best event of the day, however, came in the javelin throw, which she won with a mark of 30.88 meters to become the only competitor of the day to clear the 100-foot plateau. “[The javelin throw] is a relatively new event for her,” Hartwig said. “I think she’s making really good progress in that. Overall, she’s been the rock of consistency in our throwing crew. She’s consistently been a scorer for us, and has really been a standout for the throwers. She had an outstanding day.” In the hammer throw, sophomore Lorena Suarez-Delgado marked 36.52 meters, finishing fourth. Sophomore Cynthia Gurecki added a sixth-place finish, as she marked 33.94 meters. “I’m extremely pleased with our throws, especially given the fact that they’ve had such poor training conditions,” Hartwig said. “The thing that has most pleased me is that given the conditions of our training facilities, people have still stepped up and made the most of meet days,” Hartwig said. “I’m very pleased with the overall attitude of the team – I think this is a good sign.” Swidler can be reached at email@example.com.
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