February 27, 2006
BOSTON, MA – The Amherst track and field team broke two school records and posted NCAA provisional qualifying times in six events as they took on competition from Division I, II and III opponents at the Open New England Championships hosted by Boston University over the weekend. The teams also posted three top-five finishes, as the women's squad took 14th place overall and the men's team captured 25th. The University of Connecticut took home top honors in both the men's and women's meets.
Sophomore sensation Tomas Morrissey (Astoria, OR) led the way for the Jeffs, smashing a school record and earning NCAA provisional qualification with his 14:48.96 showing in the men's 5,000-meter run. Morrissey finished first against Division III competition and fourth overall. Meanwhile, on the women's side, senior co-captain Ginger Polich (Ironwood, MI), junior Shauneen Garrahan (Fairfax Station, VA) and rookies Caitlin McDermott-Murphy (Newton, MA) and Zandra Walton (Skaneateles, NY) shattered a school record of their own, taking third place – first among Division III teams – in the 4x800-meter relay (9:15.71).
Junior Sam Hayman (Evanston, IL) had a standout day for Amherst, posting a 12th place finish in the 800-meter run and leading classmate John Babbott (Ojai, CA), sophomore Basile Beaty (Belmont, MA) and rookie Steve Stewart (Hartford, CT) to 11th-place in the distance medley relay (DMR) (10:32.87) and 12th-place honors in the 4x800-meter relay (7:54.49). Senior Dave Schreiner (Manhattan Beach, CA) finished 19 seconds behind Morrissey in the 5K to secure 10th place, while Beaty and Stewart crossed the tape just .15 seconds apart to take 17th and 20th, respectively, in the 500-meter run.
Rookie Heather Wilson (Danvers, MA) and sophomore Kim Partee (Brentwood, TN) each earned NCAA provisional qualification for her performance in the 5,000-meter run, as Wilson raced to a 17:16.29 fourth-place finish, and Partee took seventh just over 20 seconds later. First-year Katie Moravec (Chico, CA) crossed the line not far behind, in 10th place, with classmate Nicole Anderson (Kailua, HI) right on her heels for 11th. Walton led Polich in the 800-meter as each earned NCAA provisional qualification, taking eighth and 12th, respectively. McDermott-Murphy, Garrahan, Walton and Polich rounded out the day's qualifiers, earning the right to compete in the DMR at the national championships with a 12:03.41 fifth-place finish.
Amherst returns to action on Friday, March 3 at the Trinity Last Chance at Yale University.