Wellesley College Track & Field competed at the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships at MIT on Saturday, April 25. The Blue placed fourth with 95 points, a school best at the NEWMAC Championships. MIT claimed its seventh straight first-place title, scoring 249 points, followed by WPI and Wheaton, who earned 125 and 105 points respectively.
The event featured many outstanding performances by Wellesley athletes, including a first place finish for Taylor Bickford ’15 in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase with a time of 11:13.6 to earn NEWMAC All-Conference First Team honors. Edie Sharon ’17 finished close behind Bickford in third place with a time of 11:50.15. Sharon Ng ’16, Priyanka Fouda ’16 and Carolyn Chelius ’16 raced well in the distance events with a fifth- place finish in the 1,500 meter run and third and fifth place finishes in the 5,000 meter run, respectively.
Another pair of strong performers for the Blue was Abena Asare ’18 and Priscilla Lee ’18 who combined for four top-ten finishes and Wellesley College records in all three jumping events. Asare took first place in the long jump, breaking her own school record with 5.63 meters, and grabbed fourth place in the triple jump with another Wellesley record of 10.89 meters. Lee also took fourth place in the high jump, claiming a school record of her own with a 1.58 meter leap.
“As a team, we have been focusing on building more depth,” Bickford said. “The track team is still fairly new at Wellesley, and it used to be simply an extension of the Cross Country team. Now, however, our sprint and field event athletes have been smashing records and earning much deserved recognition week to week. Abena is one of those examples […]”
Asare earned the 2015 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year Award and NEWMAC All-Conference First Team honors for her performance.
“The team itself is getting stronger everyday and it showed as we transitioned from our indoor to outdoor seasons.” Asare said. “My favorite part of being on Wellesley Track & Field is hands down the team. The team dynamic is great and I’ve found such a great group of friends within the team and I can’t imagine Wellesley without them.”
Standout Isabella Narvaez ’17 extended her already impressive spring season with a first place finish in the 400 meter dash to earn NEWMAC All-Conference First Team honors. Narvaez crossed the line in 57.44 seconds followed closely by Kendra Waters ’15 who recorded a time of 59.44 for third place.
In the relay events, Asare and Narvaez joined Kendra Waters ’15 and Kathleen Hanlon ’15 to earn second place in a thrilling 4×100 meter relay with a time of 48.94, just 0.07 seconds behind MIT. The group’s strong showing was a product of hard work this winter and spring.
“The sprinters have been focusing primarily on raising our level of competition, especially in the relays,” Waters said. “Our 4×100 relay has dropped about a second and a half this season alone, which is a huge drop for a relatively short race. We are now ranked in the top 50 nationally for Division III, which is an amazing improvement for our team in that regard.”
The Blue will next compete on Friday in the New England Division III Championships hosted by MIT.
Photo courtesy of Wellesley Blue Track and Field
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