April 27, 2013

NEWMAC CHAMPIONSHIPS: #7 Wheaton Places Second Overall

Claflin, Cusano, Okoye and Silva haul in yearly honors

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's track and field team, ranked no.7 overall in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division III national poll, finished second overall at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday afternoon at Blake Track.

MIT captured its fifth-straight championship with 228.50 points while Wheaton ranked second tallying 153 points and host Springfield College placed third compiling 102.50 points. WPI was fourth (91) and Smith College checked in at fifth (67).

Senior All-American Amanda Claflin (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) earned NEWMAC Track Athlete of the Year honors finishing first overall in two individual events and two relays. Claflin clocked the fastest time in the 100-meter dash in 12.12-seconds putting her in a tie for sixth place overall among all NCAA Division III competitors in the event. Claflin also collected NEWMAC All-Conference accolades in the 200-meter dash with her first place time of 25.40-seconds. All-Conference honors are awarded to those student-athletes who place first or second in their respective events or relays.

Freshman Jordan Silva (North Kingstown, R.I./North Kingstown) picked up NEWMAC Rookie of the Year honors for her first place performance in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 39:11.62. Silva, who garners All-Conference honors for the first time in her career, ran one minute faster than the rest of the field.

Senior Sylvia Okoye (Stanhope, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) received the NEWMAC Field Athlete of the Year award as she posted two All-Conference marks and three finishes inside the top-3 on Saturday afternoon. Okoye won the hammer throw with a toss of 161-feet, ranked second in the shot put with a mark of 38-feet and 0.25-inches and third overall in the discus (126-feet, 6-inches). Okoye now has four-career All-Conference selections.

Wheaton College head coach Dave Cusano also claimed NEWMAC Coach of the Year honors for the second-straight season in leading the Lyons to a runner-up finish for the second consecutive year.

Junior All-American Ashante Little (Seabrook, N.H./Winnacunnet) broke the meet record in the 100-meter hurdles with a first place time of 14.06-seconds. Little broke the previous mark held by former teammate Didi Jusme '12 who established the record last season in 14.16-seconds.

In the 4x100-meter relay, Claflin and Little teamed up with junior Amber Spencer (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) and freshman Francesca Flynn (Farmington, Conn./Northwest Catholic) to shatter the conference meet record in 46.24-seconds for first place overall. The Lyons surpassed MIT's time from last season's conference championships of 47.84-seconds.

Senior All-American Samantha Bennett (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) and junior All-American Meredith Scannell (San Marino, Calif./San Marino) also joined Claflin and Little in the 4x400-meter relay in a meet record time of 3:50.38. The Lyons quartet breezed past their previous time of 3:53.17 set by Claflin, Little, Scannell and Lauren Cardarelli (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) at last year's conference championship. Wheaton's time of 3:50.38 currently ranks second overall nationally behind Rowan University (3:49.70).

In the 400-meter run, Scannell cruised to a first place finish with a time of 57.55-seconds and Bennett ranked second overall in the 800-meter run in 2:15.18.

Claflin wraps up her career in conference competition with eight All-Conference selections while Okoye finishes with four and Bennett has three. Little now has eight All-Conference honors during her three years at Wheaton while Scannell has collected three All-Conference nods.

Other Wheaton Highlights Include:

In the 100-meter dash, Flynn finished in fourth place with a time of 12.47-seconds ahead of Spencer who placed seventh overall in 12.75-seconds.

Scannell posted a time of 26.17-seconds in the 200-meter dash for fifth place overall just ahead of Spencer in sixth place (26.34-seconds). Spencer was also third overall in the triple jump with a leap of 35-feet and 2-inches.

Junior Mollie Lane (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) cleared a height of 5-feet and 4.25-inches to rank third overall in the high jump. Lane also finished sixth in long jump with a mark of 16-feet and 3.75-inches.

Freshman Georgia Crane (Greenwich, Conn./School of Holy Child) placed fourth overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 12:05.84.

Sophomore Nichole Haar (East Providence, R.I,/East Providence) was fifth overall in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.60-seconds.

In the discus, senior Naomi Hodges (Wethersfield, Conn./Wethersfield) placed fourth overall with a toss of 115-feet and 7-inches. Freshman Breanna Joachim (Ewing, N.J./Peddie School) ranked seventh overall with a mark of 110-feet and 11-inches.

Freshman Faye Haley (Marblehead, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) rounded out the list of top performances with a fourth place finish in the javelin with a distance of 113-feet and 7-inches.

Wheaton returns to action on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at the New England Championships hosted by Colby College.

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