BY KARI FOSSUM ’20
Mount Holyoke track and field hosted the Spring Fling Invitational on Saturday, posting impressive results across the board. The atmosphere leading up to the event, this week’s Game of the Week, was very festive; several other Mount Holyoke athletic teams stood on the sidewalk leading to Kendall to cheer their fellow Lyons on. The team powered to a fifth-place team finish out of 12 schools, with Eastern Connecticut State taking the win.
Head coach Tina Lee was quick to credit the team’s performance to their hard work at home. “For the most part, we were quite pleased with our performances,” she said. “We still need to dig in deeper, push harder and have confidence that we have more inside than we think we do.” She added that “the positives that we will take into the rest of the season are to continue to work super hard in practices and in the weight room this week, as athletes are seeing and feeling the results of those efforts.”
Mount Holyoke athletes recorded top times in a variety of events, with multiple top-three finishes. Emma Raney ’20 had a strong start, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase. With this success, Raney looks ahead to the rest of her season. “I’m excited to keep making progress, and to support my teammates in making progress around me,” she said. “In terms of my own expectations, I’m super happy to have qualified for regionals. Breaking the school record in the steeplechase has been something I’ve been working towards this season, and although it would have been ideal to break it at home, I feel like I’m in a good position to get it when I race steeple again at NEWMACs.” Julia Hecking ’19 also claimed first place in the hammer throw.
The 4x100 relay team, consisting of Tamara Mukulu ’21, Isabelle Wohlin ’21, Ireland Clare Kennedy ’21 and Charleen Theroux ’20 added to the impressive results, taking home second place in the event. Kennedy, who also earned fifth place in the javelin throw, was quick to credit her teammates for their role in her and the team’s success. “I think this meet we really pulled through together and were cheering at all the right spots in terms of the hard straight-aways and key points in each race,” Kennedy said. “I believe that if we focus hard in practice this week and continue to support each other as much as we do, we will do well next meet.”
In addition to the team’s success, Theroux was awarded second place of the day for her efforts in the long jump. Emsie Cronin ’19 and Simone Jacob ’21 finished fifth and sixth in the 1500m run respectively, while Brigit Wolf ’20 and Michelle Serrano ’20 came in fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 5000m run.
Lee was very happy about the team’s performance on their home turf. “All season we’ve been talking about competing, which means leaving it all out on the track/field,” she said. “Not being satisfied, always able to give more. We saw several team members doing just that on Saturday, [earning] personal bests for several [and] season bests for others. We were out to beat our seed performances, and we did in several events. We picked up unexpected points in the relays, the 5k, the 100m, 200m and the long jump.” She also commented on the team’s sense of support. She said, “A second goal has been to be truly supportive of each other -— which is challenging at times, as some events are far off the track, but we did a good job of showing up when needed.” The Lyons will gear up for the Holy Cross Heptathlon and the Springfield College Invitational today and Sunday.