Eickhoff, Barker lead women's track to 9th place at New England Championships

Ayden Eickhoff won the 800-meter run and anchored Bates' second-place 4x800 relay team at the New England Division III Championships at Williams College on May 4, 2019. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Senior Ayden Eickhoff won the 800-meter run, senior Katie Barker placed second in the 5,000 meters, and the Bobcats took second place in the 4x800-meter relay en route to ninth place at the New England Division III Championships, among 34 teams that scored points for top-eight event performances.

Eickhoff (Corvallis, Mont.) pulled away from her challengers down the stretch and won her second New England outdoor title in the 800, meanwhile breaking her own team record in the event, crossing the finish line in 2:10.66 -- 0.63 seconds ahead of the runner-up, MIT senior Bailey Tregoning.

Eickhoff's time would tie as the third fastest in the country entering this weekend. The five-time All-American's former team record time of 2:10.78 was set in 2017.

Barker (Burlington, Vt.) took second place in the 5,000 with a time of 17:44.66, 11.03 seconds ahead of third-place Sarah Tully of Williams. Barker moves into 10th place on Bates' all-time performance list in the event.

Bates also took second place in the 4x800 relay, as first-year Mary Corcoran (Brookline, Mass.), senior Sarah Rothmann (Andover, Mass.), sophomore So Kim (Thornhill, Ontario) and Eickhoff combined on a time of 9:15.32, more than five seconds behind first-place Tufts (9:09.79), and more than six seconds ahead of third-place MIT (9:21.69).

Other standout performances by the Bobcats included:

  • Senior captain Katie Hughes (Pittsfield, Maine) placed seventh in the shot put, with a top distance of 38-2.75. Hughes also placed 15th in the hammer (134-11) and 21st in the discus (105-6).
  • First-year Elise Lambert (Amherst, N.H.) led a trio of Bobcats who placed among the top 13 athletes in the 400-meter hurdles. Lambert placed seventh in 1:05.19, moving into fifth place on Bates' all-time performance list and scoring two team points.
  • Senior Hannah Austin (North Yarmouth, Maine) finished ninth in the 5,000 meters in 1:32.81, one place and 0.07 seconds out of the team scoring.
  • First-year Rebecca Willis (West Newbury, Mass.) placed ninth in the 400 hurdles in 1:05.57, and junior Megan Seymour (West Hartford, Conn.) placed 13th in 1:06.15. Willis now ranks seventh on the team's all-time performance list, and Seymour ranks eighth. Willis also moved onto Bates' all-time top-10 list in the 100-meter hurdles in Friday's portion of the meet, placing 18th in 15.84 seconds, eighth-fastest in team history.
  • Junior Ashley Pratt (Greene, Maine) and sophomore Lauren Berube (Auburn, Maine) both tied for 11th place in the pole vault with a season-best mark of 10-6.25.
  • Sophomore Abby Hamilton (Yarmouth, Maine) placed 11th in the 5,000 meters in 18:42.95.
  • First-year Sophie Matt (New Albany, Ohio) placed 12th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.35.
  • Sophomore Genesis Paulino (Lawrence, Mass.) placed 16th in the discus throw (111-9).
  • Matt, Lambert, first-year Emily-Claire Duffy (Belmont, Mass.) and Willis placed 14th in the 4x400 relay (4:09.58).

The Bobcats will compete next weekend in the all-divisions Open New England Championships, taking place May 10-11 at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.