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Date: Monday, February 24, 2003


MEDFORD -- In one of the most amazing performances in Tufts University track history, junior Jessica Trombly (Nashua, NH/Bishop Guertin) won five events for the Jumbos at Saturday's New England Division III Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Competing at Bowdoin College, Trombly won the 200 Meters (25.83 seconds), the 400 Meters (57.70 seconds), the 55 Meter Hurdles (8.61 seconds), the Long Jump (17 feet, 7 1/2 inches) and she ran the anchor leg for the winning 4x400 Meters relay team (4 minutes, 0.91 seconds). As incredible an individual effort as it may seem, she did it in the spirit of the team. She scored 42.5 of Tufts' 101 total points, helping the Jumbos finish second at the meet behind Williams College.

"Jess was a busy girl on Saturday," Tufts Head Coach Kristen Morwick said. "Just competing in five events during one day is amazing. Winning in all five of them blows my mind."

Trombly's day started off with the hurdle trials at 10 minutes past noon. After winning her heat in 8.72 seconds, she moved to the long jump. This was the event she was least likely to win, considering it was the only event out of the five in which she was not the top seed entering the meet. She was fourth. Originally, Morwick figured Trombly could take one or two jumps and be done with the long jump. However, when two of the top seeds in the event fouled out during the trials, Trombly had a chance for first or second. Struggling to find her mark throughout the competition, and with the finals for the hurdles approaching in five minutes, she hit the jackpot with her last jump and popped a personal best 17 feet, 7 1/2 inches to win by nearly seven inches.

Trombly then changed her shoes, ran over to the hurdles, and two minutes later ran 8.61 to win the hurdles, a national provisional mark and her second fastest time ever. Five minutes later, she won the 400 meters in 57.70 seconds, another personal best and a national mark.

"We weren't expecting the long jump to interfere with her other events," Morwick said. "She wanted to take all six jumps and see if she could win it. She's a competitor. She wanted the points for the team. I couldn't stop her."

Less than an hour later, she came back to win the 200 meters in 25.81.

"At this point, I thought we didn't need the 4x400 meters relay to be second (as a team) in the meet," Morwick said. "We didn't need the 4x4, except that the girls wanted to run for a national time and Jess knew that. It was a tougher race than we expected and we handed off even with Bowdoin going into the final leg. With 100 meters to go, Jess pulled away to clinch the win."

"It wasn't her fastest split in the relay, but she'd had a tough day," Morwick continued. "I give her credit for running the relay. We didn't need it, but the other three girls ran great as a result. I think the long jump took a lot out of her because her mark was so off. We had to spend a lot of time over there and we weren't expecting that. Then she goes and wins it with her best jump ever. She was awesome."

As it stands after this weekend's races, Trombly is ranked on the national list sixth in the 55 hurdles, ninth in the 400 meters, seventh in the 800 meters and 12th with the 4x400 relay. She'll run the open 400 meters and the 4x4 this weekend at the All-New England Championships hosted by Smith College.

Joining Trombly in the 4x400 relay victory were junior Emily Bersin (Orleans, MA/ Nauset), freshman Rachel Bloom (Sharon, MA/ Sharon) and sophomore Sika Henry (Upper Montclair, NJ/Mount Saint Dominic). Junior Lauren Caputo (Belmont, MA/Belmont) also won for Tufts, taking the 3,000 Meters in 10 minutes, 20.06 seconds.