Contact: Matthew Hart
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Sarah Daly '13 placed seventh in the 10,000 meters, earning All-America honors to highlight the opening day of competition for the Amherst College women's track and field team at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships.
Crossing the line in 35:59.12, Daly capped her collegiate career with her first All-American award, earning Amherst a pair of team points. Meanwhile, Naomi Bates '14 turned in a 13th-place showing in the long jump and Keri Lambert '13 won her preliminary heat in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the Jeffs' other two events of the day.
After qualifying for nationals in the 200 meters as a sophomore and narrowly missing the finals, Bates suffered similar frustration in the long jump Thursday as her mark of 5.51 meters was not enough to send her into the final round of nine. Battling a tough tailwind, the junior fouled on her first two jumps before scoring on her final attempt of the initial flight.
Daly was the next Jeff in action as one of 22 racers in the 10k finals. With Nicole Michmerhuizen of Calvin, Lenore Moreno of La Verne, and Hannah Oneda of Johns Hopkins breaking away early in the 25-lap race, Daly remained steady in the middle pack, eventually pulling toward the front of the group. With Michmerhuizen surging ahead to win in 35:45.08, the second pack overtook Moreno and Oneda, with Daly's time less than eight seconds shy of runner-up Alyssa Duncan of UW-Whitewater (35:51.23).
Finally, Lambert concluded the day for Amherst with a solid tune-up in the steeplechase. Competing in the second of two preliminary heats, the defending national champion set the pace for the 11-runner group early. Michaela Freeby of Williamette challenged Lambert around the final water jump but the Jeff senior kicked ahead on the last straightaway to post a 10:37.13, the top time in either heat. Freeby crossed in 10:37.36 while Alyssa Smith of SUNY Geneseo won the first heat at 10:38.47.
With Daly's two points, Amherst is tied for 19th overall in the team standings. Ramapo holds the early lead in the women's competition with 27 points, while host UW-La Crosse (19) is pacing the men's field.
After a rest day Friday, Lambert will wrap up the meet for Amherst with the steeplechase finals at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday.