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Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2003


MEDFORD – Seven athletes from three winter sports teams will represent Tufts University at NCAA Championship meets this week.

Junior swimmer Mika Sumiyoshi (Fukuoka City, Japan/Branford HS, CT) will be the first Jumbo competitor on the national stage. She'll swim at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships hosted by Emory University in Atlanta Thursday through Saturday (Mar. 13-15). She's entered in the 200 Individual Medley on Thursday and in the 400 Individual Medley on Friday. On Saturday she will compete in the 200 Backstroke.

Sumiyoshi is seeded fourth in the national meet in the 200 IM with a time of 2 minutes, 8.9 seconds that she posted to win the NESCAC title in the event. Her NESCAC winning 400 IM time of 4:32.62 is also seeded fourth at Nationals. She is the 21st seed in the 200 Back (2:09.25).

This is the third straight year that Sumiyoshi has traveled to Nationals and competed in these three events. She won the consolation finals (ninth overall) at the 2001 NCAA Meet, also placing 24th in the 200 IM and 22nd in the 200 Back during the preliminary rounds that year. She did not reach the finals in any of the three events last season at Nationals. She swam 27th in the 200 Back, 28th in the 200 IM, and was disqualified in the 400 IM.

A gang of Jumbos is on its way to Greencastle, Indiana to compete at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships at DePauw University on Friday and Saturday (Mar. 14-15). Six athletes will race in the preliminaries on Friday. Senior tri-captains Greg Devine (Springfield, MA/Central) and Bryan Pitko (Arlington, MA/Arlington) will run in the 55 Meter Hurdles trials at 5:35 pm CST on Friday. At 6:15 pm, junior Jessica Trombly (Nashua, NH/Bishop Guertin) is in the 400 Meter Dash. She will then anchor the 4x400 Relay team with sophomore Sika Henry (Upper Montclair, NJ/Mount Saint Dominic), freshman Rachel Bloom (Sharon, MA/ Sharon) and junior Emily Bersin (Orleans, MA/ Nauset) at 7:40 pm on Friday.

The final for the 55 Hurdles is 3:25 pm on Saturday. Devine's time of 7.56 seconds to win the New England Division III title is the third seed at Nationals. Pitko's 7.65 seconds is tied for 11th entering the race. The 400 Meters final is on Saturday at 4 pm. Trombly is seeded third out of 15 entrants with her qualifying time of 56.47 seconds, posted at the All-New England Championships for second place. In the 4x4, the last event of the NCAA Meet at 5:30 pm on Saturday, Tufts' qualifying time of 3:56.10 is the eighth seed. They won the ECAC Division III title with that time last weekend.

Last year at the NCAA Indoor Track Meet, Pitko earned All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the 55 Hurdles (7.69 seconds). At the 2001 Championships, Trombly was a freshman member of the Distance Medley Relay that gained All-American status with a 12:04.18 time for fifth place.