NORTHAMPTON, MASS.- Buoyed by a meet record first place time of 11:49.75 in the distance medley relay, the University of New Hampshire women's indoor track team garnered 58 points and a fourth place finish at the 27-team New England Championships at Smith College on Saturday. The 'Cats, who tallied a total of three first place finishes, were bested by only Northeastern (140 points), UCONN (116.50) and Wheaton (62.50).
Senior Katie Litwinowich (Holden, Mass.) won the lone individual event for the Wildcats, as the captain set a new Smith College facility record in the 1,000 meter run when she crossed the finish line in 2:53.59, well ahead of her nearest competitor, Jenn Campbell of Williams College (2:55.71). Litwinowich also won the America East Championship in the 800 meter run one week ago.
Along with the win in the distance medley, the Wildcat relay troops were also credited with a victory in the 4x800 meter race for the second year in a row. The team, which set an America East Championship record in the event last weekend, finished in 9:14.09, more than four seconds ahead of second place Amherst (9:18.45).
The mile run also proved to be a strong event for the 'Cats, as senior Lesley Read (Dover, N.H.) and junior Megan Hepp (Milton, Vt.) finished in second and fourth place, respectively, to score 13 points toward the Wildcat cause. Read's runner-up performance came in 5:02.84, while Hepp followed close behind, finishing in 5:03.42.
Also running well for the 'Cats in the track events were juniors Caitlin Hayes (Keene, N.H.), who finished second in the 5,000 meter run in 17:38.38, and Leighann Carpenter (Brookline, N.H.), who grabbed third place in the 800 meter run (2:16.50), less than a half-second behind the race's winner.
In the field events, the Wildcat performances were highlighted by the efforts of freshman Erin Moore (Nashua, N.H.), who set a new school record in the shotput. Moore's toss of 41 feet, 1 inch, broke the old record of 40' 6.5" set by senior Lauren Knight (Cape Cod, Mass.) last December.
Moore's classmate Katie Murray (Leominster, Mass.) had the lone top ten finish for the 'Cats in the field events, as her high jump of 5'03" placed her in a tie for seventh place.
The Wildcat track team returns to action next weekend, March 7-9 when they compete at the ECAC championships at Boston's Reggie Lewis Arena.