At Tufts, the small women’s team placed 21st with 13 points. The women had an excellent meet, with everyone setting either season bests or personal records.
On Friday night, only four women hit the track, but they made it count. Senior tri-captain Kate Hamill led her teammates, first-years Lyndsey Scott and Jessamyn Conell-Price and sophomore Carter Hamill, in the DMR. These women gracefully discarded their status of “oh so close but not quite enough,” as Coach Nedeau described it, by automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
“Coming off last weekend, we were all a little frustrated,” explained Carter Hamill, who continued that, “We used that frustration as motivation, along with the fact that this was Kate’s last chance to qualify, and were able to run a great race.”
Kate Hamill ran the first leg, the 1200-meter, handing off the baton in third place. Scott snatched the baton from Kate Hamill and ran with it, sprinting her first 400-meter in under 60 seconds, closing the gap, and handing off in second place. Conell-Price kept the women in the race, finishing with a great final 100-meter that closed the gap to within two seconds of the leading relay. Carter Hamill ran the anchor leg of the mile. She knew what the team needed to make it to NCAAs, and, as Coach Nedeau put it, “She was able to find another gear in the last 100 meters to help the team dip under the needed 12:01.00.” Hamill responded with a personal-best 4:59.
Over the past few years, the team has made numerous changes involving who ran which leg of the race, but it was not until this weekend that they discovered the perfect quartet. These women crushed the school record by almost 13 seconds with a time of 12:00.67. “I think we could definitely run even faster and break the 12-minute mark at NCAAs,” Scott insisted.
In the individual events, tri-captain senior Laurel Kilgour finished her final indoor track season by racing the 800-meter in a seasonal-best time of 2:19 and a ninth place overall finish. In the 1000-meter, first-year Ginger Polich “used some aggressive maneuvering” to take fifth place, according to Nedeau.
Hardworking senior Alison Dimon finished her indoor track career by running an excellent 3000-meter, reducing her best time of the year by 10 seconds and finishing 10th. In another heat of the same event, Jenny Horowitz ’06 ran a personal-best time and placed 14th.
Helen Dole ’04, Kilgour, Polich and Carter Hamill did not let a shaky start prevent them from taking sixth place in the 4 x 800-meter. The 4 x 400-meter relay of Scott, Kate Hamill, Conell-Price and Ariel Haney ’06, nearly surpassed their own school record and took eighth place. Haney, who anchored in the 4 x 400-meter, was impressed with Conell-Price’s performances of the weekend. She said, “Jess did an amazing job in the 4 x 400-meter. She [set a personal record] after an 800-meter earlier that day and an 800-meter on Friday night for the DMR that’s going to Nationals.”
This weekend the women will be traveling to Greencastle, Ind. for the NCAAs at DePauw University. The DMR team will compete Friday night. The top eight teams receive the honor of being named All-American, and the women are going in seeded ninth. Coach Nedeau is confident that the women can attain this honor. He said, “It will be tough to win, but you never know. I certainly feel that they are capable of running well enough to place high and come back as All-Americans.”
On Saturday, Carter Hamill will run solo in the 5000-meter. Coach Nedeau said, “Carter won the 5k last year as a freshman but I think that it is a much deeper year this year and she will have her work cut out for her to win the whole thing. She is going in as the seventh or eighth seed, which just goes to show you how deep this year is, but she is a tough racer at the end of the year and this is what we have been gearing towards.”
Carter Hamill, Conell-Price, Scott and Kate Hamill have hard work ahead of them and the whole team behind them as they venture to Indiana for Nationals.
While only four men traveled to Tufts, they ran successfully, with taking a finish of fifth-place or better. As a result, the men placed 20th overall with 16 points.
In the individual events, both runners snatched fifth place finishes. Andrew Schneider ’04 finished the 1000-meter with a new personal record. Fellow junior John Stanton-Geddes also ran his best race of the season in the highly competitive 1500-meter.
For the 4 x 800-meter relay, Schneider and Stanton Geddes were joined by Fraser Kitchell ’06 and Dave Molina ’05 for the Jeffs’ best placing of the meet. The men ran an excellent time of 7:57.91 and took second.
This year’s indoor track season is over for the men, and Coach Nedeau is pleased with their performance. He said, “The men raced well on Saturday. I was very pleased with not only the times but the efforts of everyone. It should be a good springboard into the outdoor season for them. They should have gotten quite a bit of confidence from this indoor season and can use that as we head into the spring season.”