March 2 - The Amherst College women's indoor track and field team placed 17th this weekend at the Open New England Championships at Boston University, while the men's team failed to pick up team points. The meet featured 32 teams across NCAA Divisions I, II and III.
Open New England's - Feb 29th / Mar 1st
Performers of the Meet - Jimmy Swanson'10 and Carly Levenson'09
This weekend's Open New England Championships marked a good opportunity for the team to face some good competition on a fast track. Many of the Amherst runners came away with PRs, and in some cases, provisional qualifying times for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Heather Wilson provided a highlight for the team with a 17:11.88 victory (and PR) in the 5,000. She had some help with the pacesetting duties early on from Elise Tropiano (who would finish fifth in 17:38.28), but her competitors late in the race were content to sit on Wilson and let her do all of the pacesetting work. Wilson proved to be too strong for her competitors, gradually burning them off over the final few laps and kicking to a New England title against runners from all three divisions and improving her NCAA qualifying time. After last weekend's baton mishap, the women's 4x400 meter relay wanted another crack at a good time, and they were able to deliver. Susan Wasserman (59.2), Kristen Ballinger (58.6), Mary Doris Reggie (59.8), and Carly Levenson (59.2) ran a combined time of 3:56.86 which is a provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Championships as well as a new school record. Speaking of school records, Carly Levenson also had a good outing individually, running 1:18.28 in the 500 and breaking her own school record. Hallie Schwab also set a PR in the 3,000, finishing 15th in 10:37.60. Katie Moravec finished 16th (10:44.63), Liz Dalton 19th (10:47.44), and Cate Knuff 21st (10:50.89). Zandra Walton had a busy weekend, running the 800 prelims on Friday (18th, 2:19.20) and the mile (21st, 5:14.89) and a leg of the 4x800 (2:19.9) on Saturday. She was joined in the 4x800 by Mariana Palacios, Hoiwan Cheung, and Kate Silverman (who ran a PR 2:26.4), with the team placing 15th in 9:45.22.
On the men's side, first-year Pete Harrison provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships by finishing second in his heat of the mile (11th overall) in 4:13.77, lowering his mile PR by nearly 4 seconds. Jimmy Swanson also had a great weekend and came home with two new PRs. In Friday's 800 meter trials, Swanson just missed advancing to the final, finishing 11th in 1:55.09 - the top 10 advanced to the final. In Saturday's mile, Swanson finished 18th overall in another PR—4:16.27. Swanson and Harrison teamed up with Ryan Drost and Tom Anderson at the end of the meet to run 8:01.06 in the 4x800 meter relay, with Ryan running his fastest 800 split, and Tommy getting under 2:00 for the first time this season. In the distance events, Peter Foote broke his 3,000 meter best yet again, finishing 15th in 8:46.83. John McGrail came close to his with an 8:56.59 25th-place finish. In Friday's 5,000 meter run, Daniel Murner finished 16th in 15:22.45 and Mike Harbus, battling sickness, finished 20th in 15:35.01.