Women's Track

Another Record Broken, MacLean Runs Fastest 800 Time In Program History

Heather MacLean now holds a UMass program record as a freshman

Heather MacLean now holds a UMass program record as a freshman

Feb. 8, 2014


BOSTON, Mass. - Freshman Heather MacLean paced the Minutewomen at the Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston, Mass. on Friday afternoon. The meet marks the most trying meet of the season as well as the team's final competition before the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.

The battle in Boston University's track complex featured some of the finest competition in the Northeast including the host, Rutgers, Cornell, Rhode Island, Dartmouth, Northeastern, Holy Cross, Maine, New Hampshire, UMass Lowell and many more.

MacLean led the team's strong core of four 800 meter runners by running the fastest time recorded by a Minutewoman in program history. Coach LaFreniere's standout newcomer hailing from Peabody, Mass. completed the race in just 2-minutes, 10.48-seconds placing 13th in a field of 160 competitors ranking her third in the Atlantic 10.

Three of those competitors were teammates Sarah Bittermann, Courtney Neves and Katie Powers. The trio of Minutewomen set personal records in the meet with Bittermann running a 2-minute, 13.81-second performance ranking her fourth in the conference. Neves and Powers finished side-by-side with times of 2-minutes, 16.13 seconds and 2-minutes, 16.70-seconds respectively.

Between the four mid-distance runners, their impressive personal best times combined would have shattered the UMass indoor 4x800 meter relay record by six seconds.

Also excelling on the track was junior harrier Rachel Hilliard. The Hookstown, Pa. was tested again on Friday by her coach, doubling up in the mile and 1,000 meter run. Failing to disappoint, Hilliard ran the fourth best time in the conference in the 1,000 meter run crossing the finish line at the 2-minute, 57.65-second mark. She then led the way in the mile with a time of 4-minutes, 59.74-seconds. Hilliard currently ranks eighth in the Atlantic 10 in the mile and sixth in 3,000 meter run.



Three Minutewomen followed Hilliard posting personal best times in the mile. Carly Zinner was the quickest of the three completing the event in 5-minutes, 8.72-seconds. Freshman Deirdre Martyn was next in line running a 5-minute, 13.86-second mile with Mary Cole just behind her with a personal record of 5-minutes, 14.46-seconds.

Senior sprinter Kayla Baldwin recorded the fastest personal best of the day for UMass in the 200 meter dash. The Andover, Mass. native completed the race in 25.81-seconds.

UMass once again found success in field events with Becky Stoyle winning the triple jump in a field of 46 athletes. The junior leaped 40-feet, 8.25-inches and remains first in the Atlantic 10 for the event.

Courtney Kromko followed up with a personal best mark just missing the 40-foot milestone with a 39-foot, 7.25-inch leap tying her for third in the conference. She then shined in the long jump as well with a third place 18-feet, 8-inch distance ranking her second in the conference.

Lauren Avery grabbed a personal best of her own in the triple jump placing 11th overall. The newcomer recorded a 37-foot, 10-inch jump.

The Minutewomen recorded a pair of personal bests in throwing events as well. Kelsey Crawford now ranks third in the Atlantic 10 with a fifth place performance in the shot put. Her personal best throw of 44-feet, 0.5-inches betters her fourth best mark in program history. Freshman Margaret Riseborough recorded the best mark of her young UMass career in the weight throw with a toss equaling 45-feet, 11.25-inches.

With the Atlantic 10 Championship slated for February 22 the UMass Women's Track and Field squad has two weeks to prepare for the conference meet. After a strong regular season the Minutewomen have momentum on their side as they enter the final stretch of their indoor campaign.

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