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January 10, 2018

UMass women’s track and field wins Pre-Conference Meet, Minutemen take second

(Jong Man Kim/Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s and women’s track and field teams had their final meet before the Atlantic 10 Championships next weekend. The Minutemen and Minutewomen hosted a field of seven teams in the UMass Pre-Conference Meet against New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Vermont, Central Connecticut State University and Maine.

The Minutewomen won the meet with 193 points, a huge margin ahead of UNH at 137.5 points. Dartmouth came out with the bronze at 106 points.

Once again, redshirt junior Emilie Cowan had herself a day, setting two new UMass top-five records. She won both the 400-meter and 200-meter dashes with times of 53.71 seconds and 24.71, respectively. Her 400-meter time broke her own school record while she set the fourth fastest mark in the 200-meters.

Redshirt junior Heather MacLean ran the fastest 800-meter run on the UMass track, coming in at 2:06.65, three seconds ahead of the second-place runner.

Freshman Jada Harris set the second-fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles in program history with a 13.95 second performance, qualifying her for the New England Championships. Harris will be joined at New Englands by sophomore Gabrielle Bennett, who met the standard while running to fifth place in 14.71 seconds.

Junior Diamante Spencer took second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.18 seconds.

The Minutewomen throwing brigade had another great performance at home, starting off with a sweep in the hammer throw lead by senior Sara Wagner (162 feet, 7 inches). Redshirt senior Kelsey Crawford (154 feet, 5 inches) finished second and junior Mariah Collins placed third (150 feet, 4 inches) as both throws met the New England Championships qualifying standard.

UMass placed first and second in the shot put with Crawford winning (44 feet, 8 inches) and senior Margaret Risenborough finishing second (41 feet, 6.5 inches). In javelin, Crawford (133 feet, 1 inch) and junior Lucy Belt (127 feet, 10 inches) had New England qualifying throws.

Freshman Samantha Thompson won the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 5.25 inches. Harris also cleared the same mark, finishing in a tie for second.

Sophomore Charlotte Robison finished first in long jump, with a performance of 18 feet, 2.25 inches, good for New Englands.

Sophomore Kayla Rorke found silver in pole vault at 10 feet, 8 inches, and the 4×400-meter relay team took the bronze at 4:07.86.

Minutemen take second in close competition with Dartmouth

The men were also in action on Saturday as they took on the same seven teams as the Minutewomen. The men finished second in the meet with 144.25 points only trailing Dartmouth (159 points). UMass Lowell nabbed third at 93.75 points.

“I thought this was a good level of competition for us,” men’s coach Ken O’Brien said. “While the schools won’t be the same, we had different levels of competition for our athletes to go up against leading to a nice tune-up for our team.”

Senior Kris Horn leaped to the third-best mark in the UMass record book in long jump. His score of 23 feet, 11 inches also earned him the win and a trip to the IC4A Championships. Freshman Hunter Gray was the runner-up at 21 feet, 2 inches and Dana Pagliuca picked up a win in the pit with his triple jump performance of 45 feet, 9.75 inches.

Junior John Chuma had the second-highest mark in pole vault, clearing 14 feet, 11 inches and sophomore Cole Acoveno matched Chuma’s second place in high jump with a leap of 6 feet of 3.25 inches.

The Minutemen had remarkable success on the track. Andrew Hanwell’s winning 200-meter dash time of 21.84 seconds was good for the IC4A Championships and Michael Famiglietti secured a win in a 5000-meter run lasting 14:58.77. Hanwell also took the podium in the 400-meter dash with a third-place time of 49.47 seconds.

Freshman Dawson Bathgate ran to a second-place in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:49.38.

With next week being the A-10 Championship, the Minutemen will likely go with a similar lineup into next week.

“It’s very difficult to predict the placing of athletes in track, especially over a two day meet,” O’Brien said. “We’re going to put our athletes where they think they will find the most success and hope for the best.”

With UMass having a strong performance this past weekend, they must be hoping to see repeat results at the A-10 Championships this weekend beginning on Saturday at 10 a.m. The action will continue for two days at the UMass track and field complex.

“It’s all about knowing your athletes, knowing your team and trying to set them up so they can score the most points possible when it matters most,” O’Brien said. “And that is the interesting chess game we play.”

Tyler Movsessian can be reached at tmovsessian@umass.edu.

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