Vassar Brewers Track Off to a Strong Start

WEST LONG BRANCH – The Vassar College women’s track and field team competed for the first time as a full squad on Saturday, heading to the 22nd Annual Monmouth Season Opener at Monmouth University.

The day started with the longest event of the meet, as sophomore Megan Horn and senior Jemma Howlett competed in the 10000 meters. Horn had a banner day, as she hammered her personal best with a time of 41:07.70 to finish third in front of Division I runners. Howlett was fifth overall with a time of 43:52.92.

In the 1500 meters, senior Lucy Balcezak finished ninth overall with a time of 4:50.60, while fellow senior Alex Gittens clocked in with a 5:01.74. Freshman Erin Clark would register a 5:08.07 in her first collegiate race in the 1500 meters, and Sarah Newman was in with a 5:24.90.

Sophomore Elise Matera just missed her collegiate best in the 3000 meters with a 10:53.93, taking 13th place. VC had five competitors in the 400 meter dash, led by senior Saparja Nag and her 1:02.78, just over a second off her personal-best in the event. Eliana Marcus-Tyler was right behind her with a 1:03.99, while freshman Penelope Mort Ranta ran a 1:05.53 in her first college race. Also making her collegiate debut was Zahra Crim, as she ran a 1:06.87.

In the 800 meter run, junior Savannah Wiman led the contingent of four runners for VC, as she took 13th place in front of many Division I runners with a time of 2:26.10. Junior Katie Voegtlin ran a 2:28.21, just seconds, just six hundredths behind her personal best, while senior Molly Crowell extended her distance with a time of 2:28.28 for a personal-best in the event.

In the 5000 meter run, sophomore Acadia DiNardo chalked up her first collegiate 5000 time with a strong showing, running an 18:40.45 for 15th place and personal best. Fellow sophomore Kate Lawson ran a personal best in the 5K, besting her previous best of 19:32.04 with a time of 19:29.64.

Sophomore Sophie Sharp was 11th in the long jump Saturday, posting a distance of 4.62 meters (15’2”). Vassar had two throwers break the shotput school record, as freshmen Jackie Cenan and Sabrina Stacks bested the 7.81 meter throw by Ariel Bridges in 2012.

Cenan is the new holder of the shotput record, as she tossed an 11.21 meter throw. Stacks registered a 9.02 meter toss, and Clark also added an 8.15 meter throw.

“It’s a good starting point for us coming off a long winter training block and it helps us see where to steer in the comping weeks as we quickly come to form for leagues and bigger races ahead,” said head coach James McCowan. “Everyone knows a good start helps a race along – same thing for the season.”

Vassar will return to the track next weekend at the Ramapo Roadrunner Classic, traveling to Ramapo College Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 for action in Mahwah, NJ.

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