Heather Wilson Wins 10,000-meter Run to Lead Jeffs at Open New Englands

May 10 - The Amherst College outdoor track and field teams competed against schools from Division I, II and III at the Open New England Championships, but senior Heather Wilson was still able to dominate the 10,000-meter Run. The Amherst women tied for ninth place thanks in large part to Wilson, who won the 10k with a time of 35:41.28, finishing more than 52 seconds ahead the runner up from Boston College.


All New England's - May 9th and 10th

Performers of the Meet - Ben Mears'11 and Heather Wilson'08

The team headed to the University of New Hampshire May 9-10 to take part in the All New England Championships, a meet which provides a great opportunity to compete against teams from divisions I, II, and III. In rather chilly conditions, Kristen Ballinger ran 58.57 in the 400 prelims to qualify for the finals on Saturday where she used a late chagre to move up to 4th in 57.99 final). Also in the 400, was the rest of the 4x400 Relay and they all finished wiht new PR's as Susan Wasserman (12th, 59.31), Carly Levenson (14th, 59.57), and Mary Doris Reggie (22nd, 1:00.75) all competed well in the 400. In the 400 hurdles, Ryan Drost finished 19th in a PR of 57.47, just three hundredths of a second shy of qualifying him for next week's ECAC Championships. On the women's side, Kate Silverman finished 23rd in 1:10.08 and Kat Loomis finished 24th in 1:10.42. Friday night's distance races provided a high point for the team, as Daniel Murner ran his best time of the season to finish 16th in 15:14.39. Laura Mortimer led things off for the women's 5k runners, winning the first heat (and finishing 17th overall) in a PR of 18:02.86. Katie Moravec was close behind, finishing second (19th overall) in a season best of 18:09.90. In the second heat, Elise Tropiano raced to a PR of 17:02.02, and finished sixth overall. Nicole Anderson finished 18th overall, right between her two teammates, but without the benefit of running with them, in 18:06.55. Ben Mears started things off on a good note in the 10k, running a smart race to finish 20th in 32:29.78. Due to injury, Mears has only been able to do limited running training this season, but it was not evident as he broke his previous PR by more than 37 seconds. Heather Wilson continued her post-thesis comeback with a huge win in the women's 10,000. After running the first lap in a pedestrian (for her) 90 seconds, she took off and started splitting 85s. Despite running alone for the entire race, she ran a lifetime PR of 35:41.28, which is an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships. According to the meet announcer, no woman had run that fast at the New England Championships since 1995. Kim Partee ran in second place for most of the race, before getting outkicked and finishing third. Her time of 36:45.52 was a 27-second improvement upon her NCAA provisional qualifying time from last week.

On day two of the meet, Jimmy Swanson and Peter Harrison took to the track in the 1,500. Swanson had the tough draw of being in the slowest heat, which did not go out quickly. He took control of the race with around 500 meters to go, and just got outkicked at the very end by a competitor from UConn. Despite running a gutsy race and competing well, he was unable to improve his NCAA qualifying time, and he finished eighth in 3:55.01. In the next heat, Peter Harrison went after it, running a more aggressive pace than he had all season, but he was feeling a bit under the weather and suffered late in the race. He finished 13th in 3:56.80. Elise Tropiano doubled back from her 5000m PR the previous evening and ran 4:41.47 to finish 19th in the 1500. Caitlin McDermott-Murphy finished 24th in 4:47.47. Sophie Galleher took ninth (11:27.93) and Peter Foote took 10th (9:38.32) in the steeplechase. The 4x400 meter relay team of Carly Levenson, Mary Doris Reggie, Susan Wasserman, and Kristen Ballinger was hoping to improve upon their NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:55.13, but it was not to be. A clerical error put Amherst in the fastest heat, so the team ended up running alone for most of the race. They wound up 10th in 3:58.06.