Springfield, MA --- Senior Alex Price (Franklin, MA) and sophomore Kelsey Leigher (Oxford, MA) each earned entry in to the All-New England All-Divisions (NEICAAA) Championships while the WPI women's track and field team accumulated eight gold medals, including two by senior Liz Pellegrini (Worcester, MA) as the Engineers defeated a trio of NEWMAC opponents at the Springfield Invitational Saturday.
The Crimson and Gray, who began the week seventh in the latest USTFCCCA regional computer rankings, amassed 145 points. The host Pride came in second (119) as Coast Guard came in third (104) and Mount Holyoke rounded out the field with 22.
Price clocked a second-place 25.42 in the 200-meter dash to gain entry into all three regional postseason championships as sophomore Sara Velleca (Woodbury, CT), who already qualified to compete in all three, sliced nearly half a second off her season best with a winning-time of 25.10. Their performances in the 200 are ranked ninth and 21st in Division III as of Saturday night.
Velleca's first-place time in the 100-meter dash was .01 seconds above her season best of 12.46. Freshman Michelle Gencorelli (Andover, MA) was third (25.97) in the 200 and was followed by sophomore Taylor Teed (Boxford, MA) in fifth (26.74) while Price was fourth (12.68) and Gencoreli was sixth (13.08) in the 100.
Leigher was second in the discus with her qualifying throw of 131-1, which was good for second and entry into the ECAC Division III and NEICAAA Championships. It is also 36th nationally. She was also fourth in the shot put (33-10.75) and hammer throw (133-0). Sophomore Kirsten Herchenroder (Plaistow, NH) came home fifth in the discus (112-6).
Pellegrini took both hurdle events as she posted a 15-flat to take the 100mH and a 1:02.93 to capture the 400mversion of the race and rocket up to No. 5 on the Division III chart. Her 100mH is also ranked No. 21.
Also taking home wins were freshman Katie Nugent (Huntington, NY) in the 400-meter dash (1:00.06), Sophomore Emily Newman (Easton, MA) in the 5,000-meter run (18:12.69) and senior Julie Tevenan (Weymouth, MA) in her first collegiate 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:57.57). Junior Taylor Flaxington (Lincoln, RI) achieved the winning height in the pole vault with a 10-6 and sophomore Brittney Lambert (Hudson, NH) cleared 4-11.75 to take the high jump.
Sophomore Maggie LaRoche (Silverlake, NH) followed Nugent with a third-place 1:01.38 in the 400m while sophomore Jasmine Higuera (Riverside, CA) was fifth in the 5K in a time of 19:07.54. Freshman Cole Godzinski (North Reading, MA) was the runner up (16.37) and junior Elizabeth Walfield (Bath, ME) was sixth (19.10) in the 100mH. Senior Kimberlee Kocienski (Schaghticoke, NY) turned in a second-place time of 1:06.90 in the 400 hurdles while freshman Steffany Halfrey (Hubbardston, MA) earned silver in the steeplechase (12:22.24) and sophomore Emma MacIntyre (Grand Island, NY) was fourth (13:17.41).
Junior Sarah Muse (Portsmouth, NH) and freshman Carley Dykstra (Andover, NJ) also achieved the best height of the day in the pole vault; however they were second as Flaxington cleared 10-6 on her first try and the duo made it on their second attempt. Freshman Xandria Korn (Woodinville, WA) added a sixth-place finish for the Engineers. The tie-breaking scenario also appeared in the high jump as Lambert won with a 4-11.75 and Korn was second with the same height.
The 4x400-meter relay team of Kocienski, sophomore Gina Capobianco (Colonie, NY), junior Marguerite Carey (Middleboro, MA) and junior Julia Smith (Cranston, RI) came home second (4:20.45) while sophomore Lea Strangio (Watertown, MA) was the runner up in the 1,500-meter run (4:51.66). Teed was fourth in the long jump (15-4.75) while Lambert was fifth (15-4.25). Smith also chipped in with a fifth-place time of 2:30.77 in the 800-meter run.
Six student-athletes competed on Friday at the Connecticut College Elite Distance and Multi-Meet. Strangio led the Engineers in the 800-meter run with a fifth-place 2:17.56, which checks in at No. 42 on the NCAA Division III list. LaRoche was second (2:20.71) and Nugent was eighth (2:21.48). Newman handed in an eight-place 4:46.09 and Tevenan was 12th (4:49.84) in the 1,500-meter run.
Sophomore Abby McAdams (Montville, CT) represented the Crimson and Gray in the two-day heptathlon at Conn. College as she qualified for the New England Division III Championships with a sixth-place total of 3,298 points. On Friday, McAdams won the high jump (5-1) and 800-meter run (2:34.07) and set personal-bests in the 100-meter high hurdles (17.10), high jump and 200-meter dash (29.06). Her total is ranked No. 35 in Division III.
WPI heads to the Tufts Invitational Saturday.