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Monday, March 6, 2006


Championship Entries

MEDFORD – The Tufts University women's indoor track & field team will send eight athletes to compete in the 2006 NCAA Division III Championships to be held at St. Olaf College's Tostrud Fieldhouse in Northfield, Minnesota this Friday and Saturday (March 10-11).

Sophomore Cat Beck (Brookline, NH/Hollis-Brookline) is running the 5k and is ranked fourth right now with a 17 minutes, 11.18 seconds time run at the Terrier Classic hosted by Boston University on January 28. With that race scheduled to start at 6:25 pm on Saturday, Beck will also double back in the Distance Medley Relay (most likely the 800 leg) less than an hour later at 7:20 pm.

Classmate Katy O'Brien (North Easton, MA/Oliver Ames) is in the open 800, ranked 15th overall with a 2:14.16 time set at the New England Division III Championships on February 18. The 800 is the last event on Friday with a 7:40 pm start. O'Brien will also double back in the DMR (most likely 1200 leg).

The 4x400 meter relay team is 10th with sophomore Kaleigh Fitzpatrick (Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield), freshman Jackie Ferry (Studio City, CA/Harvard-Westlake), sophomore Joyce Uang (Medford, MA/Medford) and senior tri-captain Rachel Bloom (Sharon, MA/Sharon). The race is a straight final on Saturday at 7:55 pm. Tufts will be in the "slow" heat, but our second place NCAA team from two years ago ran from the slow heat, as did the national champions from Illinois Wesleyan.

The DMR team is ranked seventh with O'Brien, freshman Aubrey Wasser (Richmond, VT/Mount Mansfield), Beck and junior Sarah Crispin (Auburn, ME/Edward Little). Crispin qualified individually for the mile run, but elected to not compete in order to be fresh for the DMR.

Outside of O'Brien's 800 race this year, the Jumbos are inactive until they compete in three of the meet's final five events.

Fitzpatrick and Bloom were part of the Jumbo 4x4 that placed sixth to earn All-America honors at the NCAA meet last season with a 3:58.76 time. In last year's NCAA DMR race, Tufts was 10th with a time of 12:20.47 as O'Brien and Bloom were part of the foursome. Crispin was the team's lone individual finisher with an All-American finish of eighth place in the 800 meter run (2:21.39). Beck qualified in the 5K last year, but did not compete due to illness.

Bloom is making her fourth straight trip to the Indoor NCAA's. As a sophomore in 2004, she ran the second leg of the 4x400 relay that took second in an All-American effort (3:53.45). During her freshman season in 2003, she also ran the second leg of the 4x4, but the group did not qualify for the final with a preliminary time of 3:55.68.