Senior co-captain Carter Hamill was again victorious in the 5,000-meter run. She posted a time of 17:20.40, a blistering 12 seconds ahead of second-place Caroline Cretti of Williams College. Amazingly, this was the third time Hamill was crowned National Champion in the event, as she defended her 2002 and 2004 titles.
“I was very nervous going into it because my main competition, Cretti of Williams, has had a very good season,” said Hamill. “The strategy of sitting [back] and kicking [at the end] worked great, though, and the win was really satisfying.”
Hamill was also named Regional Athlete of the Year at the meet. “To hear her name called up as the award winner was very gratifying,” said Head Coach Erik Nedeau. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving than her.”
Sophomore Shauneen Garrahan gave an excellent performance in the mile run, racing to a preliminary time of 5:01.62, which was faster than all other competitors in her heat.
The next day, Garrahan, who also qualified for Nationals in the 800-meter run, sped through the finals of the mile with a scorching time of 4:54.78. This effort bettered the Shirk Center record she set the day before, as well as the old meet record. Her time was bested only by Missy Buttry of Wartburg College, who ran the fastest mile in Div. III this season.
Ginger Polich ’06 also competed individually for the Jeffs in the 800-meter run. She placed fourth in her heat with a time of 2:16.37.
The women’s DMR team of Hamill, Garrahan, Polich and sophomore Hannah Campbell ran to a second-place finish. Their time of 11:55.49 bettered the old Shirk Center record, but still came in behind the Wartburg team’s time of 11:41.66.
The women’s team score of 26 points earned them third place, the highest they ever have placed at Nationals.
“While it was great to finish where we did, I think that it was due to the fact that the women simply went out, raced to their abilities and treated it as just another meet,” said Nedeau. “We did not necessarily over-perform; they simply took care of business like they have week in and week out.”
Added Hamill, “The overall third place women’s finish was a great way to top off the weekend. It was one of the best moments I’ve had at Nationals.”
The men’s track team competed in two events at the national meet.
Senior co-captain Jack Morgan was the team’s only individual runner. He placed sixth in his heat of the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.58.
The Jeffs also sent a DMR team of senior All-Americas Morgan and Mike Page and sophomores John Babbott and Sam Hayman. After setting a College record on March 7 in the Trinity Last Chance meet, the Jeffs claimed third place in 10:08.54, trailing the national champions of Nebraska Wesleyan College by only two seconds.
The third-place finish in the relay gave the Jeffs six team points, which was good enough for 28th place overall.
The Jeffs kick off outdoor competition on April 2 at Tufts University. Both the men and women are looking forward to what should be an impressive outdoor season.