SPORTS

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April 2, 2010

Four Maroons put in All-American performances at nationals

Both the men’s and women’s indoor track teams had outstanding performances at the UAA Championships in Boston on March 6th. The women’s team grabbed the gold, besting Emory University 146­—133, and capturing its second UAA victory in the past three years. The men’s team took second to Wash U.

Several standout performances assured strong finishes for both teams. On the men’s side, fourth-year Bill Cheng won the men’s 55 meter dash in 6.47. For the women, third-year Liz Lawton took home the 3000 meter event with a time of 9:53.75. Fourth-year Claire Ray, recently named UAA’s top field performer, alongside teammates fourth-year Nicole Murphy and third-year Kristin Constantine, dominated the weight throw and shot put competitions.

“We competed very well for the most part,” said Head Coach Chris Hall. “Our women obviously won the meet and that was our goal. Perhaps a few of our athletes felt they could have moved up a little in the competition but that is to be expected in a conference championship.”

The women took this momentum and carried it into the D-III national championships at DePauw University the weekend of March 12th, where they placed fourth, tying with Illinois Wesleyan University—thus becoming the sixth team in school history to post a top-four finish in NCAA Division III competition, joining women’s tennis (2009), women’s soccer (2005, 2003, 1996), and men’s soccer (1996).

Lawton gained All-American status for her 17:04:56 finish in the 5000 meter run. Though she came in fourth, she and the top three girls all had season bests.

On the field, the Maroons were well-represented by the field team triumvirate: Constantine, Ray, and Murphy. Constantine and Ray placed third and fourth, respectively, in weight. Murphy placed fourth in shot put.

Murphy became an All-American based on her 14.04 m shot put.

“It was pretty exciting,” Ray said. “I would have liked to do better, but it was just exciting to be there. For us to win and beat out our rivals Wash U was really great,” she continued.

Ray hopes the team can bring this momentum with them into the spring. “I’m just hoping we can continue to do this in outdoor [track],” she said.

With the outdoor season just around the corner, Coach Hall noted that both the teams are aiming to win their respective UAA championship meets.

“We only have three meets to get ready so it will be a challenge, but one that our kids typically respond to really well,” Hall said.

The track team will next compete at home in the Ted Haydon Invitational this Saturday at 11 a.m.