It was a weekend of mixed feelings for the women’s track and field team.

Despite a number of solid individual performances, the women finished just seventh out of 16 teams at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Indoor Championship at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“I had mixed emotions,” Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said. “People did what they were capable of doing, and we pretty much met our expectations [on an individual level.] There weren’t too many places where I think we could have changed what happened.”

With 221.5 points, SUNY Geneseo ran away with first place. Ithaca College was second with 140 points.

There was a close battle for third place, with the host team from RIT emerging with 78.5 points. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute finished fourth with 77 points.

With 75 points, St. Lawrence University came in fifth. SUNY Brockport totaled 58 points, and the UR team earned 53.5 points, easily ahead of the nine other teams competing in the meet.

After solid performances at the State Pentathlon Championships last weekend at Ithaca, the team had six points going into the meet.

Sophomore Melinda Huang tacked on six more with a third place finish in the high jump.

Her mark of 1.63 meters provisionally qualified her for Nationals.

Freshman Laura Richenderfer easily won the 3,000-meter race walk with a time of 14:48.03, setting a new conference record, although the exhibition race did not factor in the scoring.

In the 20 pound weight throw, senior Anne Baker had what Hartwig called “one of the best performances of the weekend.”

With a mark of 16.20 meters, she finished first, set a new school record, tied the State Championship record and improved her provisional National qualifying mark.

“That should put her solidly in the top group for Nationals,” Hartwig said.

The distance medley relay team of freshman Louisa Slocum, freshman Stacie Woods, senior Katie O’Brien and freshman Kellie Hasselwander ran 12:48.88 to finish in fifth place.

With a time of 1:50.55, the 800-meter relay team earned seventh place, holding off the team from Fredonia State University by just three hundredths of a second.

Hasselwander ran 5:01.26 in the 1,500-meter run to finish eighth. In the 500-meter dash, Woods was fifth with a time of 1:20.66.

In the 800-meter run, O’Brien ran 2:18.15, winning the event, which gave her an indoor title to accompany her outdoor title.

“She put it away early and no one was able to keep up with her,” Hartwig said.

Senior Grace Kraay marked 11.52 meters in the shot put to finish sixth.

In the 1,200-meter relay, the team of sophomore Nora Craighead, sophomore Rebecca Hayes, Slocum and Hasselwander finished in seventh place with a time of 10:11.90.

The meet concluded with the team of Woods, senior Effuah Alleyne, sophomore Whitney Silkworth and O’Brien running 4:08.03 in the 1,600-meter relay to earn fourth place.

This weekend the 14 women who qualified for Eastern College Athletic Conference will go to St. Lawrence University. There, the goals will be vastly different than they were at States.

“We’re aiming to give individual qualifiers a clear shot to do well in their events,” Hartwig said. “We want everyone to go into their individual events fresh, so the relay teams will tend to be made up of younger athletes looking to gain some experience.”

Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.



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