Amherst Women's Track and Field Places Second at Smith Tartan Classic; Men Take Fifth

February 4, 2006 

NORTHAMPTON, MA – The Amherst College women's track and field team won four individual events en route to a second-place team finish at the Tartan Classic hosted by Smith College on Saturday. The men's team posted five individual victories to take fifth. The women's squad collected 111 points, while the men finished with 95. Williams College earned first place in both the men's and women's meets, with 162 and 164 points, respectively.

Sophomore Heather Wilson (Danvers, MA) and rookie Zandra Walton (Skaneateles, NY) led the way for the Jeff women, picking up individual wins in the one-mile run (5:07.97) and the 600-meter run (1:39.35), respectively, and combining with senior co-captain Ginger Polich (Ironwood, MI) and first-year Caitlin McDermott-Murphy (Newton, MA) to best the 4x800-meter relay field in 9:28.64. Wilson led rookies Elise Tropiano (Plainville, NY) and Nicole Anderson (Kailua, HI) who placed fifth and sixth in the one-mile, while Walton was the Jeffs' top finisher in an outstanding showing for Amherst in the 600-meter, as Polich and junior Maria Millard (Orono, ME) each posted top-five finishes, taking second and fourth, respectively, and rookie Carly Levenson (Richmond, VA) and Kate Silverman (Upper Montclair, NJ) followed close behind in sixth and eighth. Millard, classmate Hannah Campbell (Garnerville, NY) and rookies Levenson and Jenny Mancino (New York, NY) joined forces to take first in the 4x400-meter relay (4:14.67). McDermott-Murphy captured the silver in the 1,000-meter run, crossing the tape just .04 second after race winner JoEllen Arons of the Coast Guard Academy, while sophomore Kim Partee took runner-up plaudits in the 3,000-meter run, leading first-year Liz Dalton (Wayne, PA) and classmate Katie Moravec (Chico, CA), who finished third and fourth. Meanwhile, senior Julia Rucker (Minneapolis, MN) joined with Silverman, Mancino and Campbell for second place in the 4x200-meter relay.

The Amherst men were stellar in the distance events, winning the 600-, 1,000-, 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs and capturing first in the 4x800-meter relay. Junior Sam Hayman (Evanston, IL) and rookie Jack Kiley (Garden City, NJ) set the tone early on, accounting for the 600- and 1,000-meter wins and racing legs of the victorious relay team, along with junior John Babbott (Ojai, CA) and sophomore Basile Beaty (Belmont, MA). Sophomore sensation Tomas Morrissey (Astoria, OR) bested the 3,000-meter run competition – including sophomore Mike Harbus (New York, NY) who took a strong second – in 8:47.09, while junior Rich Wilson (Columbus, OH) raced to first-place in the 5,000-meter (15:51.63). Babbott crossed the line in the one-mile run in 4:29.69, good for fourth-place, while Beaty earned fifth in the 800-meter in 1:59.58. The Amherst 4x400-meter relay team of seniors Tim Porter (Newton, MA) and Dave Schreiner (Manhattan Beach, CA) and sophomores Steve Shashy (McLean, VA) and David Pechman (Scarsdale, NY) raced to a 3:41.56 third-place finish.

Both squads return to action on Saturday at Wesleyan and 10 a.m., with select runners competing at the Fast Track Invitational, hosted by Boston University, on Friday and Saturday.