Women's track breaks nine records en route to third-place finish at NED3 Outdoor Championships

Claire Markonic, Ayden Eickhoff, Paige Rabb and Allison Hill broke team, facility and meet records in the 4x400 relay, one of many highlights on a big day for the Bobcats at the New England Division III Outdoor Championships at Williams College on May 6, 2017. (Al Fereshetian)

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Bates women's track and field broke multiple team, meet and Williams College facility records en route to a third-place finish out of 32 scoring teams Saturday at the New England Division III Outdoor Championships, the Bobcats' best showing at the meet since 2006.

The No. 21 nationally ranked Bobcats broke meet, facility and school records in both the 4x400 relay (Allison Hill, Paige Rabb, Ayden Eickhoff, Claire Markonic) and the 100-meter hurdles (Hill). Bates also broke team and facility records in the 800-meter run (Eickhoff), and the Williams College facility record in the 1,500 meters (Jessica Wilson).

Bates finished the meet with 79 points, outpacing fourth-place Southern Maine (48) by 31 for third place behind MIT (167) and Williams (153.5). One week after notching the team's best-ever finish at the NESCAC Championships (second place), the Bobcats achieved their highest New England Division III team finish since placing second out of 28 teams in 2006.

Bates' 4x400 relay team finished first by a 2.78-second margin over runner-up Williams, with a time of 3:50.16. Bates' former team record of 3:52.48 was set in 2014 by Sarah Fusco, Melanie Ehrenberg, Angeleque Hartt and Markonic.

Hill (Brunswick, Maine), who was named NESCAC Most Outstanding Performer earlier this week, won the 100 hurdles in 14.04 seconds, shattering her own team record of 14.26 set in 2016. Southern Maine's Neka Dias was second in 14.23. The two-time All-American Hill also placed second in the 200-meter dash (24.76 seconds) in addition to helping Bates place first in the 4x400 relay and fourth in the 4x100 relay.

One week after claiming the NESCAC 800-meter title, Eickhoff (Corvallis, Mont.) broke her own team record and won the New England Division III crown in the event with her time of 2:11.17, breaking the former record of 2:11.88 she set in 2016. She won the race by 0.40 seconds over runner-up Leah Strangio of WPI.

Wilson (Cumberland, Maine) 4:31.47, 1.87 seconds ahead of Middlebury's Sasha Whittle. Wilson's time moves her ahead of Kelley Puglisi '03 into second place on Bates' all-time performance list in the event, trailing only Kallie Nixon '14 (4:30.04).

Other point-scoring, top-eight performances by the Bobcats on Saturday included:

  • Junior Sally Ceesay (Bronx, N.Y.) took second place in the triple jump with a top effort of 39-09.25, which is the two-time All-American's career outdoor best mark without the aid of wind.
  • Markonic (Millerton, N.Y.) placed fourth in the 400-meter dash, in a personal-record 57.10 seconds.
  • Bates' 4x100 relay team, which won the NESCAC title a week ago, took fourth place in 48.29 seconds. Ceesay led off, followed by Hill, first-year Anna Beaudet (Auburn, Maine) and Markonic.
  • Bates placed sixth in the 4x800 relay in 9:35.17, led off by sophomore Sarah Rothmann (Andover, Mass.) and followed by first-year Hannah Tower (New Milford, Conn.), junior Julia Nemy (San Francisco, Calif.) and senior Ashley Pollack (Port Washington, N.Y.).
  • Rabb (Stamford, Conn.) was the only first-year student to score points in the 400-meter hurdles, placing eighth in 1:06.00.

Friday Recap

Senior Sadie James (Avon, Maine) placed third in the 10,000 meters and junior Srishti Sunil (Bangalore, India) placed sixth in the long jump in Friday's portion of the meet.

James finished the 10K in 36:49.14, moving onto Bates' all-time top 10 performances list in the event and slipping ahead of fellow former Nordic skier Gabby Naranja '14 into third place.

Sunil placed sixth in the long jump, with a top distance of 17-08.75, her outdoor season-best mark.

Bates returns to Williams College next weekend for the all-divisions Open New Englands.