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Monday, March 7, 2005


MEDFORD-- The field for the 2005 NCAA Division III Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships has been announced, and nine Jumbo athletes, including four freshmen, will represent Tufts on a national stage this weekend. The event will be held on Friday and Saturday (March 11-12) at the Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

A strong competitor all season in the long-distance events, freshman Catherine Beck (Brookline, NH/Hollis-Brookline) just made the cut for the 5,000 meter run. Her qualifying time of 17 minutes, 42.07 seconds (adjusted) was run at the All New England Championships hosted by Boston University on February 25. She is seeded 13th out of 13 national qualifiers in the event. The women's 5,000 is the last individual race of the meet on Saturday at 5:45 pm CST.

Sophomore Sarah Crispin (Auburn, ME/Edward Little) will compete in the 800 meter run at the national meet. She is seeded 12th in the field of 14, with a season-best time of 2:16.10 (adjusted) also ran at the All New England Championships. The 800 preliminaries will be run on Friday at 7:15 pm with the final following on Saturday at 5:25 pm.

In addition to the pair of individual competitors, two of Tufts' relay teams will also compete in this weekend's meet. The 4x400 meter relay team of sophomore Rachel Bloom (Sharon, MA/Sharon), senior Claudia Clarke (Lynn, MA/Lynn), freshman Kaleigh Fitzpatrick (Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield) and sophomore Jillian Warner (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris Central) is seeded eighth out of 10 with a time of 3:56.08 that was run at the All New England Championships. The preliminaries in the event go off at 8 pm on Friday and final is at 6:05 pm on Saturday.

Tufts' Distance Medley Relay will also get a chance to compete against nationally ranked competition, as the tandem of Bloom, freshman Katy O'Brien (North Easton, MA/Oliver Ames), junior Katie Sheedy (Reading, MA/Reading) and freshman Laura Walls (Clarksville, MD/Glenelg Country School) performed well enough for a seventh-seeded spot in the season's biggest meet. The foursome ran their season-best time of 12:01.00 at the All New England Championships. The race starts on Friday at 8:20 pm.

Bloom is making her second straight trip to the NCAA indoor meet. Head coach Kristen Morwick's Jumbos tied for 23rd last year, when four competitors qualified. Bloom ran in the 4x400 meter relay that was the national runner-up.