Women's track ready to shine at Centennial championships

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's indoor track & field team enters the Centennial Conference championships on Sunday at Ursinus College optimistic about the opportunity that awaits.

Relying on a roster featuring a nice mix of veteran and youth experience, the Fords look to improve on last season's fifth-place finish at the conference meet

The mid-distance and distance events look to be areas of strength.  Sophomore Katie Balmer and Nora Weathers offer solid scoring chances in the mile and 800 meter run. Balmer, seeded fifth in the 800 and fourth in the mile, earned honorable mention all-conference recognition last season in the 800 for her second-place finish at the Centennial championships. Also boasting a top-ten seed is freshman Weathers, a member of the All-Mideast freshman squad during cross country season, who enters both races ranked seventh among conference performances this season.

Freshman Fiona Hendry, an all-American and second-team all-conference honoree in cross country, aims to shine again under the bright lights of a championship stage. Seeded first in the 5,000m and third in the 3,000m, Hendry established a new program mark in the 3,000 at the NYU team challenge in mid-January. Kelley Riffenburgh and Flora Berklein join Hendry as scoring threats in the 5,000 while seniors Andrea Tocci and Sheera Rosenbaum, and junior Bridget Freeley look to make their mark in the 3,000.

The relay teams will also aim to deliver valuable points in what is expected to be a tightly-contested meet. The 4x200 relay features Jade Andrade, Katie Bigay, Hannah Davis and Kimberly Carlomagno while Emma Kornetsky and Sedona Murphy will join Davis and Carlomagno in the 4x400. Senior Davis also looks to produce additional points in the 400 meter dash.

The distance medley relay team (Cara Keifer, Makeda Carroll, Bridget Gibbons, Emily Scott) has a chance to be in the top three and medal as does the 4x800 team of Keifer, Gibbons, Scott and Katherine Grefield.

Kornetsky will also take her talents off the track where she holds the third seed in the long jump and fourth seed in the triple jump. Kornetsky claimed first in the long jump with a career-best effort at the Keogh Invitational in the final tune-up before the conference championships.

Sophomores Carolyn Oehrig and Robin Chernow present other scoring options in the high jump and shot put, respectively. Oehrig tied for second in the high jump at last season's championships to earn honorable mention all-conference honors and Chernow has been steady all season.

Head coach Fran Rizzo sees Johns Hopkins University, Muhlenberg College and Ursinus College as threats to take this season's title. The Fords have a proud tradition, though, as they have won six titles in the last eight years. Reflecting on the challenge that awaits on Saturday in Collegeville, Pa., Rizzo states, "in order to finish respectively in the conference, we need our seniors to perform."

A series of field events will jump start the action on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Ursinus' Bakes Field House. Drawing the day's events to a close will be the awards presentation scheduled for 6:45 p.m.