The Wheaton men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the NEWMAC Championships this past weekend at the Henry G. Steinnbrenner Track on the campus of MIT where the teams placed 6th and 3rd overall respectively. Wheaton came in third place on the women’s side with 105 points behind WPI who came in second with 125 points and the hosts MIT Engineers who claimed their seventh straight conference championship title with 249 points. Many of the Lyons received first and second team All-Conference selections after placing either first or second place in any of the events.
Wheaton’s 4×400-meter relay team placed first overall in the competition with a time of 3:57.71. Sophomores Kelly Ludew ’17 and Emily Gustavson ’17 joined first-years Abby Epplet ’18 and Elizabeth Akindolie ’17 to make up the Wheaton relay side that participated in the event. Gustavson also received All-Conference honors for placing second overall in the 400-meter run with a time of 58.39. Epplet placed second overall in the 400-meter hurdles with a career best time of 1:03.07 that landed her a No. 12 overall ranking in the event on the NCAA Division III qualifying list. Another runner-up placement came in the 100-meter hurdle event when senior Nichole Haar ’15 finished with a time of 15.01. Haar’s preliminary time of 14.90 in the event is currently ranked No. 29 on the NCAA Division III qualifying list.
Junior Georgia Crane ’16 clocked in a time of 11:21.24 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase that earned her a second place finish in the event accompanied with All-Conference honors as well. In the 200-meter event Ludew registered an All-Conference finish with a nationally ranked and career best time of 25.41 for second place.
On the men’s side of the NEWMAC championships the team finished sixth overall behind the first place MIT who claimed their 15th straight conference title with 309 points, WPI who finished second with 212.5 points, Springfield third with 96 points, Coast Guard fourth (87) and Babson College fifth with 43 points.
Despite not having any All-Conference accolades, there were some strong individual performers by members of the team who placed well in their respective events. Senior Ben Sharma ’15 placed third in the 110-meter hurdles with his season best time of 15.37 seconds in the event. A number of competitors also placed season and career best times in events as well. First-year Nicholas Balow ’18 placed a career best time in the 400-meter dash with a 52.24. Junior Sam Miklovich ’16 registered a season best time of 53.44. Senior John Green ’15 placed seventh overall in the 10,000-meter run with a career best time of 33:59.24.
Wheaton track & field will be competing in the NCAA Division III New England Championships on April 30th. They will then compete in the All New England Championships May 7th, 8th, and 9th. Soon after, they will close out their season at the ECAC Championships May 14th and 15th and ultimately the NCAA National Championships hosted by St. Lawrence University May 21st-23rd. Many of the Lyons have posted nationally ranked times this season and have been constantly working to claim national titles and defend All-American honors at the end of this May.