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Date: Monday, February 21, 2000


MEDFORD – Tufts University's men's and women's indoor track & field teams and the women's swimming & diving team all gave top 10 performances at their respective New England Division III Championships over the weekend. Women's track & field was third at Bowdoin on Saturday (Feb. 19), men's track & field was sixth at Bates on Saturday, and women's swimming & diving was 10th at Bowdoin over the weekend (Feb. 18-20).

Head coach Branwen Smith-King's women's indoor track & field team was firmly entrenched in third place with 82 points. Wheaton College won the meet with 145 points and Williams was second with 127.

Senior co-captain Caitlin Murphy (Norwell, MA), the defending NCAA national champion in the indoor 800, led the Jumbos with wins in the 1,000- and 1,500-Meter races. She posted school-record times in each event with a 2:59.68 in the 1,000 and a 4:32.24 in the 1,500. A New England Division III indoor champion in each of her four years at Tufts, Murphy has won five individual championships at this meet overall (2000 – 1,000 & 1,500, 1999 – 800, 1998 – 1,500, 1997 – 600).

Tufts also scored big points with three second-place finishes. Sophomore Colleen Burns (Englishtown, NJ) was runner-up in the 600 Meters (1:39.54) and sophomore Leslie Crofton (Somerset, MA) was second in the 5,000 Meters with a school-record 17:38.86 time. The 4x400 Relay foursome of freshman Jenny Ng (Northborough, MA), sophomore Lauren Esposito (Gales Ferry, CT), Murphy and junior Sarah Deeb (St. Paul, MN) was second with a 4:02.24 finish. Esposito ran a 2:18.99 in the 800 for third place.

Head coach Connie Putnam's men's indoor track & field team just missed finishing in the top five with 39.5 points. The Jumbos were edged by Springfield (42 pts.), with MIT winning the team championship with 112 points.

Senior co-captain Pete Rodrigues (Weatogue, CT), classmate Matt Lyons (Wakefield, MA), freshman Bryan Pitko (Arlington, MA) and the Distance Medley Relay team led the Jumbos with third-place finishes. Rodrigues had an excellent race in the 1,000 (2:32.68), Lyons ran well in the 5,000 (15:04.54) and Pitko was just off the pace in the 55-Meter High Hurdles (7.81 seconds). The Jumbos put up a 10:32.87 for third-place points in the DMR.

Senior Steve Kaye (Upper Saddle River, NJ) was right behind Lyons in the 5K with a 15:07.72 for fourth. Freshman Bryant Coen (Oakton, VA) gave Tufts a big boost with a fourth-place finish in the 600 Meters with a 1:26.59 time, as did junior Adam Mantzaris (Wallingford, CT) with his fourth place in the Pentathlon (3,147 pts.).

The women's swimming & diving team totaled 435.5 points to edge Wesleyan (431 pts.) and earn a top 10 spot. Williams College won the 2000 Championship with 1,609 points. Head coach Nancy Bigelow's Jumbos were led by All-New England (top eight individuals in each race) efforts from senior tri-captain Lisa Vernoy (Vista, CA) and junior Kristin Horton (Hamden, CT).

On Friday (Feb. 18) Horton finished fourth in the 50 Breaststroke final by timing 32.21 seconds, and Vernoy was sixth in the 500 Freestyle (5:18.33). On Saturday (Feb. 19), Vernoy was sixth again in the 200 Freestyle with a 1:58.61 touch and Horton was fourth again in the 100 Breaststroke with a 1:08.40 time. The 800 Freestyle Relay foursome of Vernoy, sophomore Miranda Eagles (Sherborn, MA), senior Lisa Bologna (Greenwich, CT) and senior Amy Linsenmayer (Newton, MA) were seventh with an 8:22.66 time. On Sunday (Feb. 20), Horton took third in the 200 Breaststroke with a 2:29.01 time and Vernoy posted her third sixth in the 100 Individual Medley (1:04.17).

The track & field teams now look towards their All-New England championship meets next week, while swimming & diving hopes to have Horton qualify to compete in the 100 and 200 Breaststrokes at the NCAA National Championship Meet March 9-11 at Emory University in Atlanta.