Women's Track Scores in Two Events on First Day of NEICCCA Championships

Natalie Bettez ran sixth in the 5,000 meters on Friday

BOSTON - Tufts University Women's Indoor Track & Field scored five team points on the first day of the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association Championships held at the Reggie Lewis Center on Friday.

Head coach Kristen Morwick's Jumbos are tied for 16th place with Bowdoin and New Haven heading into Saturday. The meet serves as the All-New England Championship featuring Division I, II and III teams.

Sophomore Natalie Bettez led Tufts on Friday by placing sixth in the 5,000 meter run with a 17:49.16 time. She was third among Division III competitors. The time is a national top 50 mark after approximately eight seconds are added due to the banked track at the facility. Bettez scored three points for Tufts. Freshman Haley Barthel was two spots out of a scoring position with a 17:59.16 time for 10th place.

The Jumbos were seventh in the distance medley relay to score two points. Freshman Lauren Diaz led off the 1,200 leg in 3:47, then senior co-captain Rita Donohoe ran the 400 leg in 59.0, followed by freshman Rhemi Toth in the 800 leg (2:24) and senior co-captain Samantha Cox anchoring the 1,600 with a huge PR of 5:03. Their 12:13.80 mark will be adjusted for national ranking purposes, with approximately 7.5 seconds added. The new time should be in the national top 20. Tufts will then have three DMR times among the national top 30 for the season.

Freshman Julia Gake qualified for the final in the 500 meter dash with a 1:17.29 time in the preliminaries on Friday. The team's season-best mark for 2017 was sixth among eight qualifiers for the final, which will go off on Saturday at 2:40 p.m.

Host Northeastern University leads the meet with 35 points following Friday's events. Saturday's women's schedule starts at 10:30 a.m.