Thrower's Records Highlight Successful Home Opener
April 14, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior day was nothing short of a success for the Minutewomen. The team effort propelled UMass to a second place finish overall with a total of 103.64 points. Standout performances came from many Minutewomen but the most impressive performances came from junior throwers, Nalis Mbianda (Newton, Mass.) and Rachelle Bourque (Rowley, Mass.). All together the Minutewomen walk away from the home opener with three first place finishes and four New England Championship qualifiers.
The throwers got UMass on the right track with strong performances coming from Nalis Mbianda and Rachelle Bourque. Mbianda bested her previous second all-time record at UMass in the shot put while placing first in the event, with a distance of 46-6.25. Bourque was the best in the javelin throw for the second week straight, launching her javelin for 139-02. The junior also placed fourth in the shot put and made her way into the UMass record book again with a distance of 43-1.50, making her fifth all-time in the event.
Senior, Karen Roa (Jamaica, N.Y.) fell just short of her all-time best record in the steeplechase on Saturday, finishing the event in 10:36.26. The time placed her first in the event and also qualifies the senior for the New England Championships. Fellow senior, Claire Pettit (Warwick, N.Y.) finished just behind freshman Courtney Neves (New Bedford, Mass.) in the 800 meter run. Pettit placed seventh with a time of 2:16.59 while Neves had a personal best in the event crossing the finish line at 2:15.27. The time placed the freshman fifth and also qualified her for the New England Championships. Sophomore, Sarah Bitterman (Marblehead, Mass.) finished fourth in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.85.
Junior, Katherine Finnegan (Harvard, Mass.) set a personal best at UMass in the long jump when she leaped a mark of 18-3.00, qualifying her for the New England Championships and placing her third in the event. Right behind her was teammate Ashley Palmer (Phoenix, N.Y.). Placing fourth in the long jump was the freshman leaping for a distance of 17-8.00. Rebecca Stoyle (Pembroke, Mass.) was runner-up in the triple jump, qualifying herself for the New England Championships with a mark of 37-4.00. Another runner-up was the Fitchburg, Mass. native, Chrissy Silvar in the pole vault. She was tied for second with a mark of 10-6.00.
UMass was again strong in the relays, walking away with a fourth and third place finish. In the 4x100 meter relay Kayla Baldwin (Lowell, Mass.), Emma Riedel (Sandwich, Mass.) , Rebecca Stoyle, and Ashley Palmer teamed up for a fourth place finish with a mark time of 48.96. The 4x400 meter relay squad was an exciting event for the Minutewomen with A-Team consisting of Sarah Bitterman, Claire Pettit, Meghan Leahy (Sterling, Mass.), and Meghan Landry (Marshfield, Mass.) finishing with a time of 4:00.60. It was the B-Team however that surprised the crowd when Katie Powers (Holbrook, Mass.), Courtney Neves, Deanna Julian (Dudley, Mass.) and Michelle Jenssen (Mansfield, Mass.) finished with a time of 4:00.49.
Today's meet will be broadcast on CBS 3 at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday night. The Minutewomen will look to continue their outdoor success Wedneday and Thursday at the Holy Cross Heptathlon and then they will compete at the Holy Cross Invitational on Saturday in Worcester, Mass. at 11:00 a.m.