February 23 - The Amherst College women's indoor track and field team placed fifth in a field of 25 teams at the 2008 Division III New England Championships held at Smith College. The Lord Jeffs were led by individual victories from Heather Wilson and Kim Partee in the 3000-Meter Run and 5000-Meter Run, respectively.
DIII New England's - Feb 23rd
Performers of the Meet - Mike Harbus'08 and Heather Wilson'08
The women headed into Saturday's New England DIII Championships at Smith with a relatively small contingent, but almost all of the runners on the team met or surpassed their seeds, which helped the team earn 73 points and a fifth-place finish. Had it not been for a baton mishap in the 4x400 relay – in which the Williams runner knocked the baton out of Kate's hand in the final 75 meters - the team would have had a good shot at third place in the team scoring.
The distance medley relay of Elise Tropiano (3:50.5), Jenny Mancino (63.0), Kristen Ballinger (2:21.4 in her first race of the season), and Heather Wilson (5:04.0) put Amherst on the board early with a 12:19.00 victory. Kim Partee followed that up with a surprise win in the 5000 by running away from the field in the last mile and finishing in 17:48.61 after just opening her season last weekend. Partee was backed up by strong finishes from Nicole Anderson (fourth, 17:58.25), Hallie Schwab (eighth, 18:24.05 PR), Liz Dalton (10th, 18:26.70 PR), and Cate Knuff (13th, 18:53.54). Amherst's other victory of the day came from Heather Wilson, who doubled back in the 3000 after already having anchored the winning DMR earlier in the meet. After a slow early pace, Wilson took the lead and pushed the pace to keep the race honest. She still had another gear left which she used to hold off the defending champion on the last lap and win in 9:59.52. Elise Tropiano came back from illness earlier in the week to finish third in 10:15.00. Katie Moravec won the second section of the 3,000 in a PR of 10:32.66 and finished just out of the scoring in 10th. In the 600, Amherst had more scorers than any other team, with Carly Levenson (1:39.25), Mary Doris Reggie (1:39.77), and Susan Wasserman (1:40.25 for first in her heat) going 2-3-5. Jennifer Rybak put together a solid pentathlon and finished fourth in the event with 2602 points. Zandra Walton picked up points in the mile by blowing away the competition in her section and finishing seventh overall in 5:14.58. In the relays, the 4x400 was a bittersweet event for Amherst. The "bitter" part was that as Amherst was leading on the second leg, a runner came by, cut in too early, and knocked the baton out of Kate Silverman's hand, requiring her to chase it down. The "sweet" part was that the other three runners all ran 60-point, showing great potential for better times in the future. The quartet still hung on for a seventh place finish in 4:10.65, despite the last two legs having to run all alone. In the 4x200 relay, Mattie Baker, Kate Silverman, Emily Dick, and Susan Wasserman ran their best time of the season (1:50.57) and just missed scoring. In the 4x800 relay, Zoe Pagonis, Hoiwan Cheung, Mary Doris Reggie, and Zandra Walton finished fifth in 9:39.90.
The men headed to Tufts with an even smaller group, and though they had their work cut out for them, they came away with some solid performances. Mike Harbus (fourth, 8:42.61) and Peter Foote (seventh, 8:51.40) both ran personal bests and scored in the 3000 while in the first section, Eric Holaday finished 3rd and would place 12th in 9:02.74. The DMR of Tom Anderson, Keith Pendergrass, Pete Harrison, and Jimmy Swanson also picked up some points with a sixth-place finish in 10:41.31 as Tommy would lead off with a very strong 1200 leg and be followed up by Keith's best 400 split of the season. In the mile, Jimmy Swanson came close to his PR (10th, 4:19.48), and John McGrail (13th, 4:23.83) surpassed his. Daniel Murner (15:22.72) and Florian Reichert (15:31.16) finished 13th and 17th, respectively in the 5000. Basile Beaty finished 12th in the 600 in 1:24.26 and Peter Harrison fought hard (14th, 2:35.90) in the 1000 despite battling a sinus infection, and was still able to show his heart and determination with a gutsy 800 leg of the DMR. In the sprints, Anthony Fuller finished 20th in the 55 in 6.88 seconds. Steve Shashy closed out his season by leading off the 4x400 in 55.1, his fastest split of the season, as he teamed with up with the 3k guys who had run shortly before. In the 4x800, the team tried to dig its way out of a huge hole after the opening leg, but was not able to get back into the race and be as competitive as hoped, but the guys ran aggressively to try and work back into the mix.