Women's Track & Field Ties for Third at New England Division III Indoor Championships

CAMBRIDGE - The Tufts University women's indoor track & field team scored 24 of its 62 total points in four relay events as the Jumbos tied for third place at the 2017 New England Division III Championships hosted by MIT on Saturday.

Freshman Alina Strileckis led off the second-place 4x2

Head coach Kristen Morwick's Jumbo squad finished dead even with NESCAC foes Middlebury and Bates at 62 points, behind host and meet champion MIT (149) and second-place Williams College (140).

Tufts was the runner-up in the 4x200-meter relay today, took third in both the 4x400 and 4x800 relays and was fifth in the distance medley relay. In addition to the strong relay performance, Tufts had a runner-up individual effort from freshman Julia Gake in the 600 meters and thirds by senior co-captain Samantha Cox in the 1,000 meters and junior Brittany Bowman in the 3,000 meters.

The Jumbo 4x200 was the runner-up with a 1:46.80 time that was Tufts' season-best. They were just 0.28 behind New England champion Southern Maine, who won in a 1:46.52 time. The Jumbos' foursome was freshman Alina Strileckis, senior co-captain Rita Donohoe, sophomore Sydney Ladner and junior Annalisa DeBari.

Tufts' 4x4 (senior co-captain Hannah Loss, Gake, junior Julia Prusaczyk and Donohoe), seeded 10th heading into the meet, scored third with a 4:02.66 time that is also a 2017 best for the team. The 4x800 was also at its best today with a 9:32.83 mark for third place. That team was freshman Rhemi Toth, freshman Lauren Diaz, junior Sara Stokesbury and Cox.

The DMR timed 12:31.06 in its fifth-place run. They lined up with senior Alice Wasserman leading off followed by freshman Sarah Levine, Toth and freshman Gia Kim.

Gake was Tufts' highest individual finisher in the 600 meters, running a 1:36.21 time that was half a second behind race winner Abby Epplett from Wheaton (1:35.71).

Bowman scored in two events for Tufts. In addition to her third in the 3,000 meters with a 10:12.31 mark, she was also sixth in the mile run (5:09.61).

DeBari chopped 0.27 off her 60-meter hurdles time with a 9.06 that won her preliminary heat. That's ranked 21st nationally as of Saturday night at 8 p.m. She was fourth in the 60 hurdles final at 9.09 seconds.

Cox led Tufts' highest scoring event on the day as they totaled 10 points in the 1,000 meters. Her 2:59.50 for third place was a season-best, and Diaz wasn't far behind in fifth place with a 3:03.08 finish.

The Jumbos had a pair of scorers in the 5,000 meters as well where sophomore Natalie Bettez was sixth in 18:05.85 and freshman Haley Barthel was seventh with an 18:12.58 time. Barthel had been ranked 13th prior to the meet.

Seeded 11th in the long jump, sophomore Brita Dawson scored a point with 17'2 3/4" (5.25m) distance for eighth place.

Tufts is at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston next weekend (Feb. 24-25) for the Open New England Championships.

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