HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's indoor track & field team will head to the 2016 Centennial Conference Championship this weekend. The Fords finished second at last year's meet and appear primed to make some more waves at the top of leaderboard with six top seeds in the 18 events on the women's side.
If the Fords were to crown six champions based off of their regular season performance list, it would be the most by the women's team since the 2011 championship when the Fords had four individual champions and two relay champions during a second place team finish. Haverford has placed first or second at the indoor championships 17 times during the meet's 23 year history. The Fords have had at least one champion in all but one Centennial Conference Indoor Championship.
Haverford scored the most points of any team in the relays a season ago and appears poised to challenge for that title again as the Fords bring in the top-ranked 4x200 meter and distance medley relay teams. Haverford was the runner-up during three of the four relays last season, including these two aforementioned distances. The DMR team set the school record earlier this season. The Fords were also runner-up in the 4x800 meter relay last season, but have not contested the event prior to the conference meet. Haverford placed third in the 4x400 meter relay last season and comes into this year's championship as the fourth-ranked relay.
Last year's Centennial Conference runner-up, Nora Weathers enters this championship as the top seed in the mile. Weathers won the 1,500 meters during the outdoor season. She was a national qualifier in the indoor mile a season ago before earning All-America honors in the 1,500 meters last spring. She is ranked third in school history with her best time of 4:59.04 that was set at conference meet last season.
Katie Sullivan enters the meet as the top seed in the 800 meters. She is ranked fifth in program history with her personal-best time of 2:17.78 that was set back in January. She placed third in this event a season ago.
Claire Sargent is Haverford's top seed in the shot put. Sargent was a Centennial Conference runner-up during the indoor season of her freshman campaign. She is ranked second in school history with her PR of 40 feet, 8 and a quarter inches which she threw at the last year's indoor conference championship. Sargent has won the shot put five times this winter, including four of the past five meets she has entered.
Brittany Steele is set to compete in three individual events. She will enter the meet as the top seed in the 60 meters. The school record holder was a champion in this event on her way to being named outstanding rookie of the meet in 2014. She was a runner-up last winter. Steele also won the 200 meters as a freshman and was third last year. She enters as the fourth seed in this event and the triple jump. She will be contesting the triple jump for the first time at a conference championship. Elizabeth Reikowski, a fifth-place finisher last winter, enters as that seed to this year's meet.
Taylor Murphy will also contest three individual events and looks to be in position for a strong debut at the conference championship. Murphy is the third seed in both the 60 meters and 200 meters. She is ranked third and fourth in school history for those events, respectively. Also ranked third in school history in the 60 meters, Murphy enters that event ranked third in the conference. Classmate Tess Oberholtzer will look to improve on her No. 9 ranking in the conference and also score for the Fords in the 60 meter hurdles.
Other distance runners looking to move up the conference ranks are the trio of Amelia Keyser-Gibson, Nicole Giannetti, and Maggie Heffernan. Keyser-Gibson is ranked fourth in the 5,000 meters for the conference this season. Heffernan will join her teammate in the 5,000 meters as the No. 6 ranked runner in the conference. Giannetti is the fifth seed in the 3,000 meters where earlier this season she ran the third-fastest time in school history.
Moving back the field events, Grace Mathis is the final top eight performer in the conference for Haverford from the regular season. Mathis will enter as the eighth seed in the pole vault in her conference debut. She is ranked sixth in program history for the event.
Action at the 2016 Centennial Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship will get underway this Saturday at Ursinus with the women's triple jump set to begin at 11 a.m. Action will continue into Sunday with a slate that gets underway with the women's 60 meter hurdles as part of the heptathlon at 9:30 a.m.