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Friday, February 20, 2004
Written by Elliott Wiley, Jr.


Going into Saturday's (Feb 21) New England Division III Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships at MIT, Williams College is the favorite to win. However, Tufts head coach Kristen Morwick believes her Jumbos will be right on the Ephs' tails in the race for the team title

A victory at New England's would have to start with another great performance by senior tri-captain Jess Trombly (Nashua, NH/Bishop Guertin). She won five New England indoor titles at last year's meet (200 Meters, 400 Meters, 55 Hurdles, Long Jump and as the anchor leg for the 4x400 Meters relay team).

Trombly enters this year's meet with the fastest seed time in the 55-meter hurdles (8.58 seconds). She will also run in the 800, where she will look to rise to the occasion from the seventh seed (2:21.66), and look to defend her long jump title. In addition, Trombly will be a major part of the relay tandems, especially with the national-best 4x400 team (3:53.94).

Also making noise in the sprints is sophomore Rachel Bloom (Sharon, MA/Sharon). The sophomore could place in the top three of the 200 race and has a shot at taking the title in the 400. Currently she is seeded third in the 200 (26.24) and sixth in the 400 (59.90), only .51 seconds behind the top seeded runner. Bloom should also factor into the relay events.

Tufts has two events in which Morwick believes it can score big. In the 600, junior Emily Bersin (Orleans, MA/Nauset), seeded second, is less than two seconds behind the top seed. In addition, four other Jumbos are seeded in the event, so it's an important opportunity for the team to score well.

The pentathlon is the other event where multiple Jumbos should place. Sophomore Megan Sears (Washington Depot, CT/Shepaug Valley) leads the charge, ranked first (2,815 points), light years beyond other competitors. Junior Melissa Graveley (Schenectady, NY/Schenectady), ranked fifth, and sophomore Daniela Fairchild (Somerset, MA/Somerset), ranked seventh, have a shot at scoring major points.

Rounding out the running events, freshman Sarah Crispin (Auburn, ME/Edward Little) is seeded sixth in the 1,000 meters race, but isn't much behind the top three. In the high jump, junior Sika Henry (Upper Montclair, NJ/Mount Saint Dominic) is Tufts' chance of scoring high. She cleared 5 feet, 5 1/4 inches during a meet at Tufts, which is good for the second seed. However, with the nature of the event, Morwick feels Henry could win or fall to as low as fifth. The favored 4x4 relay and the 4x8 will bring in more points.

After this weekend's competition, the Jumbos travel to the All-New England Championships at Boston University (Feb 27-28) where the team tests itself against New England teams from Division I, II, and III.