Women's Track Fires Off The Blocks At AIC
April 7, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - UMass women's track and field exited the AIC Invitational as the better of 16 total teams with a tally of 213 points. The runner up was the host AIC with 89 points. The Minutewomen clicked on all cylinders, exceeding on the track and in the field for 42 top-eight performances on the afternoon. Coach LaFreniere left the meet in great spirits not only due to the team's success but because two of her top athletes came back from injury, ready to race in outdoor competition.
The Minutewomen added Meghan Leahy and Courtney Neves this weekend, bringing experience, depth and talent to the women's mid-distance core. Leahy was not expected to compete at all in 2013 after having surgery on both legs back in October. The junior ran the meet in no pain and was able to contribute to the team's 4x400 meter relay as well as race in the 800 meter run. Leahy finished the 800 meters in 2-minutes, 22.52-seconds for a fifth place finish and ran the first leg of the first place 4x400 meter relay team with a time of 4-minutes, 2.94-seconds. Neves finished ninth in the 800 meter run at 2-minutes, 23.95-seconds while assisting the runner up 4x400 meter relay squad with a time of 4:08.42.
On the track sprinting was Emma Riedel who finished second in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.61 seconds. The senior also finished eighth in the 200 meter dash, crossing the finish line in 26.55-seconds. In the 400 meter run, fellow senior Michelle Jenssen finished fifth with a time of 1-minute, 0.26-seconds and ran the final leg of the first place 4x400 meter relay team.
The Minutewomen would then grab three of the top five spots in the 800 meter run. Leahy being one of the three while Sarah Bittermann and Erika Unger took first and second place in the event, finishing the race in 2-minutes, 19.92-seconds and 2-minutes, 20.99-seconds respectively. Bittermann and Unger ran the second and third legs of the first place 4x400 meter relay quad as well.
In longer distances Carly Zinner ran well, finishing fourth in the 1,500 meter run. The freshman crossed the finish line at 4-minutes, 45.13-seconds. The Minutewomen then placed four in the top eight of the 5,000 meter run. The highest placing UMass athlete was Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, completing the race in 18:12.67 for a third place finish. Then in fifth, sixth and seventh came Caprice Cappucci, Molly McMahon and Megan Cummings respectively. Cappucci crossed the finish line at 18-minutes, 29.23-seconds, McMahon at 18-minutes, 30.85-seconds, and Cummings in 18-minutes, 33.58-seconds.
In hurdles Becky Stoyle finished sixth in the 100 meter hurdles, completing the event in 15.84-seconds while Meghan Patrolia finished the 100 meter hurdles in 16.02-seconds for seventh place. Andrea Saccardo placed third in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1-minute, 7.55-seconds and assisted in a second place finish by one of the teams 4x400 meter relay quads.
In the field Stoyle was one of four Minutewomen to claim first place in their respective event. The reigning indoor A-10 and New England champion claimed first in the triple jump with a leap of 40-feet, besting her own third best mark in program history. Stoyle was immediately followed by Courtney Kromko in second place, setting a personal best mark of 38-feet, 2.75-inches while also finishing in third in the long jump. The sophomore leaped 17-feet, 5.25-inches, beating Ashley Palmer's fourth place mark by an inch. The best distance of the day in the long jump came from UMass' own, Katherine Finnegan who leaped 18-feet, 2.5-inches.
In the pole vault, freshman standout Sarah Bierly set the best height of the meet, vaulting 10-feet, 6-inches. Rachel Busch finished placed third with a height of 10-feet and another freshman, Alexandra Rewick placed sixth with a height of 9-feet and a 0.25-inch.
One boost the Minutewomen will receive thanks to the outdoor season is their depth in the javelin. The 2012 A-10 Champion, Rachelle Bourque, finished first in the javelin by 15-feet, 6-inches with a mark of 134-feet, 3-inches. Three UMass freshmen finished behind Bourque for a second, third and sixth place finish. Kelsey Crawford grabbed second with a toss of 119-feet, 8-inches while Emma Robinson finished third with a distance of 117-feet, 10-inches. Emily Louis' 99-foot, 1-inch mark was good enough for sixth in the event. This was the first taste of collegiate competition for both, Louis and Robinson.
In the shot put Nalis Mbianda placed second with a throw of 44-feet, 6.75-inches and Crawford was just behind her in third throwing 42-feet, 1.5-inches. In sixth and seventh respectively was Bourque and Kaylee DeVincent. Bourque tossed 39-feet, 7-.75-inches while DeVincent threw 38-feet, 8.75-inches.
Out of the top eight discus marks on the day, four of the marks came from UMass. DeVincent and Mbianda placed back-to-back at third and fourth, throwing 119-feet, 2-inches and 115-feet, 8-inches respectively. Tied for eighth were two UMass freshmen. Alexa Fearing and Sara Wagner each threw 105-feet, 7-inches.
Wagner and DeVincent both turned in top four performances in the hammer throw as well. DeVincent placing third with a mark of 132-feet, 7-inches with Wagner finishing in fourth with a throw of 131-feet.
The Minutewomen are back in action Saturday April 13 for their first home meet of the season in which UMass will play host to 20 teams. The Minuteman Invitational is set to start at 11:30 A.M. at the UMass Track and Field Complex.