BOSTON – Sophomore Rita Ciambra (Hanover, N.H) set an America East Championship record as one of three champions for the University of New Hampshire women’s indoor track and field team, which finished third at the America East Championships at Boston University’s Track and Tennis on Friday and Saturday.
The Wildcats’ 120 points were enough to put them ahead of the University of Vermont (92), the University of Maine (73), Binghamton University (61), UMBC (57), Stony Brook University (54) and the University of Hartford (21). Boston University (158.50) and the University at Albany (141.50) were the top two finishers.
Ciambra won a championship in the pole vault as she set a new America East Championship record by clearing an ECAC Championship-qualifying height of 12 feet, 5.50 inches. Ciambra, who beat the runner-up by nearly two and a half feet, erased the 2004 record of Northeastern University’s Laura Chmieleski.
Junior Ashlee Lathrop (Sherburne, N.Y.) also won a title for the Wildcats in the weight throw with an ECAC Championship-qualifying toss of 57-3, nearly six feet better than the runner-up. Seniors Erica Desroches (Stratham, N.H.) and Amy Malsbenden (Bow, N.H.) were fourth and sixth, respectively, at 47-7 and 46-7.50.
UNH also won a championship in the distance medley, with the team of freshman Keely Maguire (Georgetown, Mass.) and sophomores Catherine Perella (Bedford, N.H.), Allison Letourneau (Kingston, Nova Scotia) and Sydney Fitzpatrick (Billerica, Mass.) finishing in an ECAC Championship-qualifying time of 11 minutes, 55.53 seconds.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Dugan (Hatfield, Pa.) finished second in the pentathlon with 3,156 points. Freshman Jacky Mendes (Dayton, Maine) and junior Kelly Thomas (Chichester, N.Y.) placed fifth and seventh, respectively, with 3,088 and 2,998 points.
Sophomore Camille Quarles (Derry, N.H.) scored a pair of top-five finishes. Quarles placed third in the triple jump with an ECAC Championship-qualifying leap of 38-9.50 and was fourth in the long jump with a mark of 17-7. Sophomore Meghan McGrath (Merrimack, N.H.) was fifth at 17-6.75.
Sophomore Kaitlin Kwiecien (Hampstead, N.H.) finished third in the 500 meters in an ECAC Championship-qualifying time of 1:15.37.
Sophomore Megan Donohue (Stratham, N.H.) placed third in the 400 meters in 57.83 seconds. Classmate Chelsey Canavan (Stoneham, Mass.) was fifth at 58.11 seconds.
Sophomore Erica Jesseman (Scarborough, Maine) ran to a fourth-place finish in the 5,000 meters in an ECAC Championship-qualifying time of 17:31.58. Jesseman was also fifth in the 3,000 meters at 10:06.89.
Fitzpatrick was fifth in the mile in a time of 5:04.25.
The Wildcats’ sophomore 4x800 meter relay team of Letourneau, Jennifer Racine (Haverhill, Mass.), Emily Nardone (Stoneham, Mass.) and Kwiecien finished fourth in a time of 9:28.93. The 4x400 team of Canavan, junior Tracy Howell (Grafton, Mass.), freshman Courtney Prescott (Hollis, N.H.) and Donohue was fifth in 3:56.52.
Letourneau and Perella were also sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 800 meters at 2:17.10 and 2:17.51. Dugan was sixth in the high jump at 5-0.25, while Maguire was seventh in the 1,000 meters in a time of 2:59.87.
The Wildcats return to action at the ECAC Championships on March 7-8 right back at the Track and Tennis Center.


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