W. Track wins the Widener Invitational

By EMILIE HOFFER | April 26, 2018

This past weekend the women’s track and field team participated in two meets over two days, posting several season-best and personal-best performances. To start the weekend of competition, the Jays’ mile runners headed to Princeton University for the Larry Ellis Invitational, while the distance group traveled to Chester, Pa. for the Widener Invitational.

Freshman Therese Olshanski and senior Caroline Smith represented the Blue Jays in the 1,500-meter run at the Larry Ellis Invitational. Toeing the line in the first seeded section, Olshanski ran her way to a time of 4:40. Meanwhile Smith, who competed in the second seeded section, clocked a time of 4:45.

Back in Chester, it was a team effort for the Jays, who put together an impressive 33 points on day one, leading the competition after racing in just two events.

Kicking it off for Hopkins in the distance events were juniors Shaina Palmer and Julia Chang, who led a pack of Blue Jays to an impressive finish in the 5K, running 18:12 and 18:19 in the event, respectively. Palmer managed to take second in the race, edging out Haverford’s Sophie Drew by 3/10ths of a second.

Following Palmer and Chang was sophomore Samantha Levy, who took sixth in the event and added three more points for the Jays. Sophomores Kristin Meek and Chloe Grzyb finished in ninth and 16th, respectively.

After being honored as the Centennial Conference Athlete of the Week earlier this month — after impressive performances in both the 3K and the 5K — junior Emily Stahl went one step further this past weekend and competed in the 10K, the longest collegiate distance on the track. She proved to be just as dominant in the 10K, winning the event over her teammate, sophomore Allison Rosen, by 14 seconds. Stahl’s winning time of 38 minutes flat was over a minute and 20 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.

Together Stahl and Rosen added 18 points for the Blue Jays, just about half of their 33 point total in day one.

Day two of the competition at Widener was highlighted by sophomore Lauren Jacob, who set a personal record and a new school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She cut a full 35 seconds off her previous best time in the event, which was recorded just earlier this month.

“My main goal was to beat my personal record from the home meet,” Jacob said. “My reach goal was to break 11. I knew I was in a lot better shape, so I was just excited to see what I could do.”

Indeed, Jacob broke the 11-minute barrier by more than 10 seconds, crossing the line in 10:48 for a first-place finish in the event.

“My teammate Tasha [Freed] ran up to me right after the race and told me what I ran. I didn’t see the clock, so I had no idea what the time was,” Jacob recalled. “I was shocked.”

Her time, which is currently the fourth-fastest time in the nation, bettered junior Tasha Freed’s school record time set during the 2017 outdoor season by just one second. And, for her efforts, Jacob was also named the Centennial Conference Track Athlete of the Week this Monday.

Also competing in the 3K steeplechase with Jacob was freshman Ava Kelley, who took second in the event, adding eight more points to the Jays’ team total.

The mid-distance group of the day was once again led by Olshanski, who led a large group of Jays in a quick 800-meter run, clocking a time of 2:15, good enough for a fourth-place finish. The Jays would end up finishing 4-8 in the event, racking up 20 additional points for Hopkins. Following Olshanski in fifth was junior Erin Brush (2:16), Smith (2:17), sophomore Caelyn Reilly (2:19) and junior Gina D’Addario (2:19).

Taking on the 1,500-meter for the Blue Jays this time were D’Addario and Reilly, who were fresh off two fast finishes in the 800-meter earlier that day. D’Addario would end up second, clocking 4:37 for the fastest time in the event for the Blue Jays that weekend. Reilly followed in fourth and Freed in eighth, crossing the line in 4:41 and 4:49, respectively.

The Blue Jays also dominated in the field events, highlighted by a win in the long jump by junior Maya Hammonds. Hammonds, who earlier took 10th in the 100-meter dash and 14th in the 100-meter hurdles, won the long jump convincingly with a mark of 5.60 meters.

In the pole vault, senior Helen Girod and freshman Annie Gutierrez tied for second with a mark of 3.26 meters, while sophomore Sophia Cortazzo took fifth.

Hopkins ended the two days of competition with a total of 116 points, taking first place by more than 40 points over second-place Rowan University. The Blue Jays will toe the line again this Thursday, April 26 for day one of the world-renowned Penn Relays, both the oldest and largest track and field competition in the U.S. The Blue Jays will travel to Philadelphia, where the Relays are hosted annually by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field.

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