Women's Track & Field Ready for 2016-17 Season

Women's Track & Field Ready for 2016-17 Season

The Amherst College women's indoor track & field team recorded three top-10 finishes in the 2015-16 season and will look to compete on the national stage after placing 31st at the ECAC Championships a season ago.

Led by head coach Cassie Funke-Harris who begins her fifth season at the helm of the program, the Purple & White will rely on its depth and experience which includes nine seniors, nine juniors, 14 sophomores, and 14 first-years, when they open their season at the Smith College Snowflake Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 3. After a month break for the holidays, Amherst brings in the New Year with the Little Three Championship at Wesleyan (Jan. 14), before wrapping up January with the Smith College Benyon Invitational (Jan. 21), and the Tufts Invitational (Jan. 28).

The Purple & White will then compete in the Wesleyan University Invitational on Feb. 4, followed by the Valentine Invitational at Boston University on Feb. 10. The NCAA Division III New England's Championships will take place at MIT on Feb. 17 and 18, while the NEICAAA Championships will be held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston on Feb. 24-25. 

Amherst's middle & long distance roster is highlighted by a depth of veterans, led by Leonie Rauls '18, Nicky Roberts '18 and Lizzie Lacy '19. Rauls ran a 2:29.65 in the 1,000-meter jaunt last season as she competed at the NEICAAA Championships, while Roberts best mark of the year came at the UMass-Amherst Invitational where she recorded a first place finish in the 5000-meter run, clocking a time of of 18:12.29. Lacy registered a second place finish in the 1 mile run at the Springfield Invitational with a time of 5:23.30. 

The Purple & White's middle & long distance roster will also feature Isabel Balacezak '19 (Mid Distance), Molly Carleton '19 (Mid Distance), Helen Clapp '18 (Mid-Distance), Mattie Coacher '17 (Distance), Sophie Currin '17 (Distance), Gaby Doran '19 (Distance), Tess Frenzel '17 (Distance), Savanna Gornisiewicz '17 (Distance), Cara Lembo '17 (Distance), Adele Loomis '18 (Mid Distance), Cat Lowdon '17 (Distance), Kaeli Mathias '18 (Mid Distance), Katherine McHenry '17 (Distance), Olivia Moehl '19 (Mid Distance), Debbie Newmark '19 (Mid Distance), Veronica Rocco '19 (Distance), Christina Scartelli '19 (Mid Distance), and Lela Walter '19 (Distance). 

Leading a talented unit in jumps and sprints is Abbey Asare-Bediako '18 (jumps, sprints), Becki Golia '18 (jumps), and Julia Asin '19 (sprints). No stranger to success, Asare-Bediako has picked up eight top-10 finishes over the course of her first two campaigns, and took home top honors in the triple jump at the Tufts Sunshine Classic last season with a leap of 11.18 meters. In her final competition a season ago, she posted a personal-record jump of 11.55 meters at the ECAC Division III Outdoor Championships to finish third overall and earn USTFCCCA All-Region praise. Competing in the high jump, Golia was named to the All-NESCAC team for the second consecutive season as she was a top-three finisher in each event during the NESCAC Championship, while registering a collegiate-best jump of 1.63 meters. Asin was consistent all last season for the Purple & White as she finished just seconds behind Victoria Hensley '16, the school record holder, in the 400-meter dash in the final indoor meet of the year - placing 12th at the ECAC Championships with a 59.24 mark. In the 200-meter dash at the ECAC's, Asin racked up a team-leading 140th place finish (26.83) in the 237-women event.

Rounding out Amherst's expertise in jumps and sprints are Yrenly Yuan '19 (jumps), Sarah Whelan '17 (sprints), Lexi Stern '19 (jumps, sprints), Gabby Bishop '18 (sprints), Emily Flaherty '19 (jumps), Danielle Griffin '18 (hurdles, sprints), and Katherine Hom '19 (sprints). 

In addition to last year's returners, the Purple & White also welcomes 14 newcomers, including: Maya Bhandari '20 (distance), Anna Buford '20 (sprints), Caroline Ferguson-Dryden '20 (hurdles, jumps), Sylvia Frank '20 (mid distance), Annabelle Gary '20 (jumps, hurdles, javelin), Lizzie Kobelski '20 (hurdles, jumps), Jenny Mazzella '20 (mid distance), Arianna Mordy '20 (sprints), Isabel Park '20 (jumps, sprints), Annie Pascucci '20 (mid distance) Amy Pass '20 (distance), Kristin Ratliff '20 (mid distance), Kaitlyn Siegel '20 (jumps), and Katherine Treanor '20 (distance).

Not yet a member of the Friends of Amherst Women's Track & Field for the 2016-17 year? Become a first-time member of or renew your membership in the FAA and support head coach Cassie Funke-Harris and the women's track & field program. Make a gift ahead of the team's first meet at Smith on Dec. 3. Go Amherst!