Collaborative Effort Leads To First Place Finish In Outdoor Opener
Six New England Championship qualifiers, five first place finishes and 33 top eight performances propel the Minutewomen to a first place finish with 175.50 points in their 2012 outdoor season opener at the AIC Invitational.
Courtney Baldwin finished third in the 1500 meter dash, crossing the finish line at 4:43.45.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - UMass bested seven other teams at the AIC Invite for a first place finish in their outdoor season opener on Saturday. The Minutewomen's collaborative effort consisted of six new England qualifiers, five first place finishes and 33 top eight performances contributing to the team score. The first place finishes came from Nalis Mbianda, Rachelle Bourque, Chrissy Silvar, Karen Roa and Deanna Julian.
Throwing for UMass, Nalis Mbianda and Rachelle Bourque had strong performances in the season opener. Mbianda (Newton, Mass.) was solid in the shot put, throwing for a mark of 42-11.75, also qualifying herself for the New England Championships. The junior also threw a distance of 120-04, placing her fourth in the discus throw. Rachelle Bourque out of Rowley, Mass. was the best in the javelin throw, launching the javelin for 138-04. The junior thrower ended up tied for second in the shot put, 40-05.00 was a mark good enough to qualify for New Englands.
Senior, Chrissy Silvar had the best mark of the day in the pole vault with a height of 10-11.75, qualifying the Fitchburg, Mass. native for New Englands. Other jumpers contributing to the first place team effort was Jaclyn Lam and Rebecca Banker. Lam (Stockton, Cal.) placed second in the triple jump, leaping 35-05.00 in the event. Junior, Rebecca Banker out of Salem, Conn. placed 3rd in the high jump with a height of 5-01.00. The Minutewomen also gave a strong showing in the long jump. Katherine Finnegan (Harvard, Mass.) led the group qualifying for New Englands with a distance of 17-09.00 placing her second in the event. Finnegan was followed by Rebecca Bankerwith a distance of 17-02.75 placing her third.
Placing first while qualifying for the New England Championships was senior, Karen Roa. The harrier out of Jamaica N.Y. crossed the finish line at 4:38.13 in the 1500 meter dash. Following Roa was teammate, Courtney Baldwin. The junior out of Lowell, Mass. placed third in the 1500 meter dash with a time of 4:43.45.
Dudley, Mass. native Deanna Julian ran the 800 meter dash in 2:18.24, a good enough finish to take first place over all. Not far behind, placing second was Katie Powers (Holbrook, Mass.). The freshman finished the event in 2:18.35. Displaying her talent in the 400 meter hurdles was Sarah Bitterman (Marblehead, Mass.). Bitterman finished with a time of 1:05.95 placing her third overall in the event.
Be sure to come see your Minutewomen build on their success this weekend on April 14 at UMass for their first home event of the year. This will also be their last home event until they host the Atlantic 10 Championships on May 5.