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Date: Thursday, March 9, 2000


MEDFORD – Head coach Branwen Smith-King and senior Caitlin Murphy (Norwell, MA/Notre Dame Academy) of the Tufts University women's indoor track & field team have been named Coach of the Year and Athlete of the Year in NCAA Division III's New England Region. The United States Track & Field Association and Mondo Surfacing selects and presents these awards annually in each of the seven NCAA Division III women's indoor track & field regions.

Smith-King, who is in her 17th season as head coach of the Jumbos, is currently in Bloomington, Illinois with eight athletes, including Murphy, representing two individual events and two relays for this weekend's (March 10-11) NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship Meet. Earlier this year, Tufts placed third at the 20-team New England Division III and fourth at the 39-team Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships.

Murphy, who will be defending her 800 Meters National Championship this weekend, posted the nation's fastest times in the 800 and the 1,500 Meters this winter. The 6-foot senior ran a school-record 2:11.71 in the 800 on February 26 to win the All-New England title in the event at Boston University. On February 19 at the New England Division III Championships hosted by Bates College, she set another school record with a 4:32.24 in the 1,500 meters to win that race. She also won the 1,000 Meters at the New England Div. III Meet in 2:59.68, and the 500 Meters at the ECAC Division III Championships in 1:15.23, yet another school record.

Last year, Tufts placed 10th at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships held in Ada, Ohio.

These NCAA Regional awards for the indoor season continue an outstanding year for the Tufts program. Smith-King, a graduate of Springfield College, was named NCAA Division III New England Region Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year last fall. Murphy and classmate Cindy Manning (Valparaiso, Valparaiso) earned All-American recognition for their high finishes at the National Championship Race. The Jumbos posted a surprise third-place finish at the New England Championship Race, then placed 11th at the National Championship.