February 23, 2010

Record falls as Peltzer rises to top

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Despite spending Tuesday night in the hospital with a bad case of the flu, second-year Paige Peltzer recovered in time to post a new school record and qualify for nationals in the high jump this Saturday.

Peltzer was one of six track athletes to post NCAA–qualifying results as the Maroons wrapped up the indoor season at home with comfortable wins for both the men and women in the Margaret Bradley Invitational.

Peltzer, who had previously not intended to participate 24 hours before the event, was pleased with her record-setting jump of 1.68 meters.

“I’m relieved to have finally cleared 1.68. It’s been my goal for too long,” Peltzer said. “I hope to do better at the conference meet in two weeks, where I’ll see good competition, and see where that carries me into nationals.”

Assistant coach Aaron Carley shared Peltzer’s optimism and looked forward to her improving her performance in the upcoming meets.

“I don’t think she’s done at all,” Carley said. “She was going for 1.71 meters today. She had a few technical errors, but those are really easy to correct.”

For the men, third-year Drew Jackson achieved provisional qualification in the men’s triple jump with a distance of 14.13 meters.

Continuing a successful season, the women’s throwing team once again demonstrated their dominance. Fourth-years Nicole Murphy and Claire Ray came in first and second, respectively, in the shot put, with both reaching provisional qualifying distances.

In the weight throw, Murphy and third-year Kristin Constantine both achieved provisional qualifying marks. Although she automatically qualified for the weight throw weeks ago, Ray came in first in the event and surpassed her previous best mark of 18.06 meters by more than a meter.

“I’m pretty thrilled about how far I threw and I can’t wait to see what happens at nationals,” Ray said. “That throw of 19.07 put me first in the country by over a meter. I felt really good to throw so far in my last indoor meet at home.”

Third-year Liz Lawton, who had already gained automatic qualification in the 5000-meter run, also received provisional qualification in the mile run with a time of 5:03.54. A strong performance in the mile is important to Lawton as she seeks to improve her performance in the 5K, which remains her main focus.

“I was trying to break five minutes, to be honest,” Lawton said. “For the national meet I need to have some kind of speed going into the end, otherwise I’m going to get killed.”

The track and field teams will next travel to Boston to compete in the UAA Championship on March 5 and 6.