The women’s indoor track and field team, though challenged by a large field of great runners at Boston University, had much to be happy about this weekend. They were recently ranked 13th in Division III in M-F Athletic Company’s winter power ratings. The ranking is based on point values assigned to top performances in all NCAA sponsored indoor events.
“What I think is more important than place is that our point total is much higher at this time than it was last year,” women’s head coach Barbara Hartwig said. “That tells me we are much stronger overall than a year ago, and I think we can do even better.”
With this new confidence booster, the women traveled to participate in the Valentine’s Meet at BU. They competed against schools from Divisions I and II, as well as independent teams, so the placing wasn’t impressive, but the times in each event were greatly improved. Between the events at BU and the rest of the team’s participation in the Kane Invitational at Cornell University, the team had 22 season’s best performances this weekend and Eastern College Athletic Conference championship qualifications in three events.
Sophomore Jamie Landry had an exceptional weekend, qualifying for ECACs in the 200-meter dash by finishing in 27.04 seconds. Despite this impressive time, she placed 82nd out of 153, showing the strength of the field. Landry was also part of the qualifying 4×400 relay team. Freshman Prashanthi Chodagari, junior Stacie Woods and senior Whitney Silkworth joined Landry to place 18th in the event with a time of 4:08.43.
“She doesn’t normally do the event, but she stepped forward and wanted to help out,” Hartwig said, referring to Landry’s part in the race. “She was pretty nervous about it, but she put us in contention with her leg and each successive leg after that moved up until we won the heat.”
Landry contributed her success to experience.
“As a freshman last year, competing at BU was extremely intimidating,” she said. “Being there for the second time really allowed me to rise to the occasion and appreciate how intense the competition was.”
The distance medley relay also had success, taking 20 seconds off their previous best time. Silkworth and freshmen Lisa Cole, Sadie Gollub and Hilary Haefner worked together to place 14th with a time of 12:46.90.
“Considering they are almost all freshmen, we can expect some really good things in the future,” Hartwig said.
Woods and Silkworth also did well as individuals. They both participated in the 400, placing 67th and 83rd with times of 1:01.17 and 1:01.91, respectively. In the one-mile run, Cole placed 47th of 98, clocking in at 5:16.15, and senior Kellie Hasselwander finished in 61st with a time of 5:21.61.
Freshman Heather Graham qualified for the ECACs in the 500, placing 31st with a time of 1:23.67.
“It was really inspiring to see my teammates excel,” Landry said. “BU is the most competitive meet we go to all year, and I am so proud of the UR girls for leaving it all on the track.”
Landry participated in one more event – she tied for 22nd in the high jump. Sophomore Anjuli Cherukuri also tied for 22nd in the high jump, both clearing the bar set at 2.86 meters.
In other field events, senior Kate Odian placed 22nd in the weight throw with a distance of 13.21 meters. Sophomore Jonelle Redhead finished 31st in the shot put, throwing 10.34, and she placed 26th in the weight throw, landing the weight at 12.66.
“Competing against all of the good competition was good experience for everyone,” Hartwig said. “They got to see some national-class and world-class competitors, and that’s always exciting.”
Those who didn’t travel to Boston went to Cornell to square off against foes at the Kane Invitational.
Sophomore Chelsea McGuire placed 19th in the one-mile with a time of 5:54.04 and freshman Rachel Twardowski placed 19th in the 1000 with a time of 3:21.98. Freshman Ellen Anderson placed 15th in the 3000, finishing in 11:43.39.
“[Ellen] is a great example of what our whole program is about – excellent student athletes?who are committed to working hard in both the classroom and on the track,” Hartwig said. “She is a joy to work with and inspires everyone around her to have fun working hard.”
In the 5000, sophomore Lauren Jewett placed 17th, crossing the line in 20:28.07.
UR also had representation in the field events. Sophomore Bridget Mayne placed 12th in the shot put with a throw of 10.28 meters. Freshman Elise Scheid threw 9.79 for 15th. In the weight throw, Mayne finished in 15th with a distance of 12.10, and freshman Kyra Pinsky placed 14th in the triple jump by landing at 9.93 meters.
The men also faced outstanding challengers at BU over the weekend, though the team did take some high places, with finishes in 22nd, 13th and 10th.
Freshman Sean Adams continued to showcase his talent by placing 22nd in the 55-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 8.05 seconds. In other short distances, sophomore Marquis Turner placed 52nd of 100 in the 55 with a time of 6.82. Just behind him was junior Max Ehrmann, who came in at 6.90, which put him in 61st.
Turner also placed 94th of 140 in the 200, finishing at 23.51. Sophomore Travis Buttaccio placed 107th in the same event with a time of 23.67, and, in the 400, senior Jake Pylman placed 84th in a field of 161 runners, crossing the line in 51.42.
The ‘Jackets’ 4×400 relay team earned one of the 13th-place finishes, coming in with a time of 3:23.80. The other came in the pole vault, as junior Dan Gloekler cleared 4.10 meters.
As the trend has been for the men’s team, the field events showed some of the strongest finishes of the meet. Junior Mike Burgstrom had the team’s highest place finish at BU, placing 10th in the weight throw by throwing a distance of 17.05 meters. He also placed 24th in the shot put with a throw of 12.99. Sophomore Matt Starr placed just behind him in 26th with a throw of 12.85.
The men also sent some of their athletes to Cornell over the weekend. They made their mark, as well, with two seventh place finishes at the meet.
Sophomore Dana Kaplan finished strongly in the 1000 by placing seventh and crossing the line at 2:43.79. Junior Eric Scheele took on opponents in the shot put and came up with a seventh-place throw of 13.94 meters. Scheele also placed 12th in the weight throw with a distance of 13.99.
In other running events, junior Jon DeRight placed 16th in the 500 with a time of 1:12.12, and sophomore Tyler Kieft ran the 3000 in 9:18.88, good for 20th.
Next weekend, both teams will return to Cornell for another invitational. The teams are looking forward to continued improvement and success in the future.
“This weekend we will do two things: concentrate on sharpening and resting those who have a firm qualifying spot for the conference meet and getting a last shot at qualifying for those whose spot isn’t secured,” Hartwig said.
“This year we have a lot of depth, and our team has the potential to place very well at the upcoming state meet,” Woods said.
Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.