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Date: February 15, 2001
Written by Leslie Crofton


While the Tufts Men's Track and Field Team will be hosting the 2001 New England Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Gantcher Center on Saturday, the women's team will be heading to Brandeis University in Waltham for their New England Championships. Coach Kristen Morwick's squad hopes to equal last year's third place finish, when the Jumbos fell short to perennial national powers Wheaton College and Williams College. With both of those programs fielding impressive teams again this year, the Jumbos hope to repeat as the third best team in the country's most competitive Division III track and field region.

This year's Tufts team does not have the depth that many of its competitors do, but that is made up for in quality. While many teams will pick up more lower place points than the Jumbos, the Tufts women are favored to win or score in the top three in many events. Their strength lies in talent rather than in numbers.

The core of the team's scoring group will be a trio of seniors who are all NCAA qualifiers: Folake Aaron (Edison, NJ), Leslie Crofton (Somerset, MA) and Sarah Deeb (West St. Paul, MN). Aaron should grab one of the top two spots in the 55 Meter hurdles, her main competition being Rita Forte of Williams, who is currently ranked first in the nation in that event. Crofton is looking to win the 5,000 Meters and Deeb is a favorite in the 400-meter and 200-meter sprints. Both Crofton and Deeb will also run on the Jumbos' very strong 4X800 and 4X400 relays, with the goal of placing in the top few spots in those events as well.

Other points should come from senior Nadia Samadani (Beaver Dam, WI) and junior Sarah Lestikow (Lafayette, CO) in the jumps, freshman Emily Bersin (Nauset, MA), juniors Colleen Burns (Englishtown, NJ) and Lauren Esposito (Gayles Ferry, CT/Ledyard) in mid-distance, and sophomore Myriam Claudio (Woburn, MA/Woburn) in sprints and vault.