The women’s track and field team moved closer to the postseason at Saturday’s Syracuse University Invitational. Facing some of their toughest competition of the season on a very fast track, the team posted a strong performance in the non-scoring meet.

“We had a lot of quality performances,” Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said. “It was a fast track, good competition and the time of the season when people are starting to see the benefits of their training.”

With a time of 1:00.20 in the 400-meter dash, senior Katie O’Brien finished ninth and qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships. Freshman Kellie Hasselwander ran 5:23.32 in the one-mile run to finish sixth and set a personal record.

Junior Jessica Van Binsbergen finished the 5,000-meter run in 18:43.90, earning fifth place, qualifying for the ECAC’s and setting a personal best.

Also setting personal best times in the 5,000-meter run were sophomore Rebecca Hayes, who ran 19:56.23 to finish tenth and freshman Alena Janda, who ran 20:10.55, finishing 11th. In the 60-meter hurdles, freshman Michelle Andrews ran 00:09.82 to finish eighth.

With a time of 4:13.95, the 1,600-meter relay team finished in second place. The distance medley team was seventh with a time of 13:33.77. The high jump saw three women finish in the top 10. Sophomore Melinda Huang jumped 1.55 meters to earn seventh place. With a mark of 1.50 meters, senior Anna Barbi was tied for eighth. Also marking 1.50 meters was freshman Vanessa Bergman. Her mark was a personal record. In the triple jump, freshman Kathryn Knowles marked 9.66 meters, finishing eighth.

Senior Grace Kraay took eighth in the shot put with a mark of 11.95 meters, qualifying her for the ECAC’s as the top Division III finisher. Senior Anne Baker marked 15.61 meters in the weight throw to finish seventh. Her mark improved on her own school record and bumped up her standing on the national rankings.

With all of the success so far this season, the team has certainly lived up to Coach Hartwig’s expectations.

“We’re about where I expected us to be,” Hartwig said. “We’re a little ahead of where we were last year.”

This weekend, some of the Yellowjackets will travel to Boston University as they attempt to qualify for postseason meets.

“BU has a banked track that’s extremely fast,” Hartwig said. “If you run it correctly, it will be faster than a flat track.”

With tough teams from all three divisions, the upcoming competition looks to be outstanding.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to take a crack at an ECAC qualifier, a personal record or NCAA qualifier,” Hartwig said.

Those members of the team not going to BU will go to Cornell University, where they too will have the opportunity to qualify for postseason events.

“Cornell will have very good competition,” Hartwig said. “We’ll see some familiar teams there.”

In both locations, look for the team to post strong showings as the end of the season rapidly approaches.

Swidler can be reached at

as the end of the season rapidly approaches.

Swidler can be reached at

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