Amherst Performs Well at Division III New England Championships

May 3 - The Amherst College outdoor track and field teams placed first in six events at the 2008 Division III New England Championships held at the United States Coast Guard Academy, as the Lord Jeff men placed 11th in a field of 26 teams and the women placed second in a field of 28. Amherst dominated the women's distance events, finishing first in the 5k, 10k and Steeplechase events.


DIII New England's - May 2nd and 3rd

Performers of the Meet - Mike Harbus'08 and Elise Tropiano'09

The New England Division III Championships were held at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, on May 2-3. The women's team had a great outing, scoring 81 points to finish second, and tying the program's best finish ever. Those 81 points included five wins, with Kristen Ballinger winning the 800, Heather Wilson the 5000, Elise Tropiano the steeplechase, Kim Partee the 10,000, and Carly Levenson, Mary Doris Reggie, Susan Wasserman, and Ballinger taking the 4x400. On the men's side, Jimmy Swanson eked out a win in the 800. The team started things off on a good note on Friday night, with all seven runners racing well, and most of them recording PR's. Kim Partee won the 10,000m in 37:12.61, with Nicole Anderson taking second in a PR 37:28.35. Both runners ran provisional NCAA qualifying times. Laura Mortimer ran tough to take fourth in a huge PR of 37:48.71, less than 10 seconds off an NCAA provisional qualifier. Christina Wong also ran a significant PR to take 19th in 40:28.45. On the men's side, Mike Harbus and Daniel Murner stayed in the lead pack for most of the race, and took third (31:35.47) and fifth (31:39.42), respectively, in a tight race. All three of the men PRed, including Eric Holaday, who made a big jump to finish 12th in 32:26.25. Day two of the meet also started out well on the track, with Elise Tropiano winning the steeplechase in an NCAA automatic qualifying time and PR of 10:36.46, and Katie Moravec taking seventh in a PR 11:38.37. On the men's side, Peter Foote finished sixth in 9:36.74, just a couple ticks off his best time, and John McGrail won the slower heat of the race (and finished 11th overall) with a dramatic sprint finish. McGrail ran 9:48.77, and smashed the 10:00 barrier for the first time. Amherst swept the men's and women's 800m titles. On the men's side, Peter Harrison found himself up front on the first lap, while Jimmy Swanson hung back in the pack a bit. Harrison suffered a bit after his early pacesetting duties, and faded to sixth (1:54.95) in a very tight race, whereas Swanson had been set up beautifully. He grabbed the opportunity  by surging up the homestretch, nipping a competitor from Trinity at the finish line, and winning his first New England title in 1:54.24. On the women's side, Kristen Ballinger took the lead right away, and never relinquished it. Though she was challenged by a competitor from Williams at the end, Ballinger responded and cruised in to win by nearly a second. Her 2:13.72 improves upon the NCAA provisional qualifying time she already had. Mary Doris Reggie finished 12th in a solid 2:20.54, and Caitlin McDermott-Murphy continued to improve, taking 13th in 2:20.60. In the 400 hurdles, Susan Wasserman continued to shine, taking seventh in 66.37. Kate Silverman PRed, taking ninth and breaking under the 67 second barrier for the first time in 66.81. Kat Loomis ran another PR in her new event, taking 17th in 69.66. Jenny Mancino, who had competed in the high jump earlier in the day, took 25th in 1:11.55. While the chilly and breezy weather wasn't bad for distance running, it wasn't ideal for sprinting. Carly Levenson (8th in 400, 60.63), Anthony Fuller (20th in 100, 11.49), and Mattie Baker (24th in 200, 27.65) did not let that stop them, with all three competing well. In the relays, the school-record-setting quartet of Carly Levenson, Mary Doris Reggie, Susan Wasserman, and Kristen Ballinger was unable to improve upon the record that they set one week earlier, but they ran an outstanding race to take home a New England title with a time of 3:58.76. The men's quartet of Ryan Drost, Kit Callahan, Peter Harrison, and Jimmy Swanson took 14th in 3:32.23. The women's 4x800 relay team of Hoiwan Cheung, Mariana Palacios (who ran an incredible race, lowering her best 800 time by nearly 2 seconds), Zoe Pagonis, and Caitlin McDermott-Murphy took sixth in 9:38.78.