Bates, Jeffs Run Strong at Wesleyan

Bates Contact: Matthew Hart

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Naomi Bates '14 won the 60 meters, 200 meters and long jump to highlight the Amherst College women's indoor track and field team's performance at the Wesleyan Invitational on Saturday.

With no team scores kept, Amherst competed against student-athletes from numerous other schools throughout the region. In addition to Bates' three triumphs, the Jeffs posted a trio of other event victories as Lauren Almeida '13 won the mile, Lexi Sinclair '16 took the 3k and Jessie Kaliski '15 triumphed in the 5k.

Amherst's sprinters opened the meet in fine form as Bates and Abbeh Anderson '15 finished one-two in both the 60- and 200-meter dashes. Bates dipped under the eight-second mark in the 60, crossing in 7.96 with Anderson close behind in 8.10 and Taylor Summers '16 fourth in 8.17. In the 200, Anderson nearly caught her teammate, finishing in 26.82, just behind Bates' 26.79.

In the 400 meters, Victoria Hensley '16 (1:02.55) and Itai Brand-Thomas '15 (1:04.58) notched top-five finishes, crossing the line in third and fifth, respectively. 

The Jeffs received strong efforts in the middle distances, starting with Anna Berglund '16 (2:24.05), Keelin Moehl '16 (2:26.62) and Olivia Tarantino '15 (2:28.07) placing third through fifth, respectively, in the 800. Amy Dao '14 took second in the 1,000 meters, crossing in 3:11.13 with Sarah Foster '16 behind her in fifth at 3:20.47.

Even without All-American Keri Lambert '13 racing for a second consecutive meet, Amherst's distance runners impressed, beginning with Almeida's triumph in the mile as she won by nearly half a second in 5:15.55. Sinclair took the 3,000 meters next, finishing in 10:44.64 with Betsy Black '16 taking third in 11:00.98 after an exciting final kick left her just .04 seconds behind second-place Jessica Sherry '13 of Wesleyan. 

The 5k was even stronger for Amherst as Kaliski won easily in 19:09.26 and Abby Hopper '13 (19:27.38) and Kristen Moulton '13 (19:39.70) were close behind her in third and fourth, respectively.

Amherst's top relay performance came in the 4x800 as Dao, Hensley, Lisa Walker '14 and Caroline Rose '16 finished third in 10:14.09 behind the top quartets of Wesleyan and St. Joseph's (L.I.). The 4x400 squad comprised of Summers, Moehl, Katie Hurt '15 and Jess Mueller '13 took fourth in 4:29.84 behind Rhode Island College, Wesleyan and Conn. College.

Bates shone one more time in the long jump, easily winning with a 5.39m mark, while Summers took fourth with a 4.77m performance. Mueller also had a strong day of jumping, tying for second with Stevens' Amira Dardir '15 in the high jump at 1.52m before also taking second in the triple jump with a 10.42m mark. Louise Atadja '16 notched a fifth-place performance in the triple at 9.80m.

The Jeffs will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the first of two invitational meets hosted by Springfield College.