WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross women's track and field team finished first of seven teams in Saturday's home meet against Bryant, Central Connecticut, Hartford, Maine, Massachusetts and Stonehill with 11 student-athletes and the 4x100 meter relay team qualifying for the New England Championship (NEC). The Crusaders totaled 224 team points and UMass (138) and Hartford (127) rounded out the top three. Sophomore Stephanie Okpoebo (Chelmsford, Mass.) recorded a pair of first place finishes with times of 12.06 and 24.92 in the 100 meter and 200 meter, respectively. Okpoebo qualified for the NEC in both events and the ECAC in the 100 meter. Senior Katelyn Hartnett (Danvers, Mass.), junior Kathleen Brekka (Hubbardston, Mass.) and freshman Mackenzie Arndt (Merrimack, Mass.) also recorded first place finishes. Hartnett ran the 800 meter in 2:11.93 and qualified for the NEC, Brekka took first and set a new school record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 11:26.84 and Arndt finishing the pole vault at a height of 3.50 meters, both qualifying for the NEC.
The 4x100 meter relay team finished comprise of freshman Brianna Tabin (South Hadley, Mass.), junior Melanie Forte (Milford, N.H.), freshman Katie Bobinski (Torrington, Conn.) and Okepoebo set a new school record and qualified for the ECAC finishing in first with a time of 47.40. Tabin and Forte finished second and third behind Okpoebo in the 100 meter dash with times of 12.37 and 12.45, respectively, and qualified for the NEC. Tabin also qualified for the NEC in the 200 meter dash finishing fourth with a time of 25.79. Freshman Abigail Mitchell (Manchester, N.H.) crossed the finish line second behind Brekka in the steeplechase with a time of 12:12.08. Senior Sarah Mellea (North Arlington, Mass.) took second in the 1,500 meter run to qualify for the NEC with a time of 4:43.40 and sophomore Amanda Waldron (Walpole, Mass.) finished second in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 18.11.28. Junior Brittany Gorski (Tewksbury, Mass.) finished third in the 400 meter hurdles to qualify for the NEC with a time of 1:03.69 and freshman Fiorella Johnson (Redding, Conn.) took third in the 400 meter run with a NEC qualifying time of 58.51. Freshman Julia Levesque (West Simsbury, Conn.) also qualified for the NEC with a seventh place finish in the 100 meter hurdles and time of 15.90.
In the field events, junior Kelcey Germain (Auburn, Mass.) and sophomore Christy Manning (Scarborough, Maine) finished second and third in the hammer throw with distances of 43.75 and 39.67 meters, respectively. Freshman Michelle McGahan (Acton, Mass.) finished second behind Arndt in the pole vault with a height of 3.20 meters while sophomore Sammy DeCoste (Hingham, Mass.) took second in the high jump with a height of 1.55 meters. Senior Alexandria Culkeen (Beverly, Mass.) finished second in the discus throw with a distance of 40.08 meters and third in the shot put with a throw of 12.60 meters, both qualifying for the NEC. Freshman Marissa Romano (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) rounded out the top performers for the Crusaders with a third place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 10.62 meters.
The women's track and field team will return to action on Sunday, April 29, traveling to the Brown Springtime Invitational in Providence, R.I. for a 10:30 a.m. start.