PRINCETON, N.J. (4/24/14) – Sophomore Julia Ratcliffe recorded the third-best throw in Penn Relays history and posted yet another win in the hammer throw for the Princeton women’s track & field team. The Tigers had a strong Day 1 showing as freshman Lizzie Bird ran the best collegiate time in the steeplechase.*
Ratcliffe threw to 65.89 (216-2) in one of the more talent-concentrated fields she has faced this season. She competed against three throwers in the top 15 in the nation including: LSU’s Denise Hilton (8th), ECU’s Kayla Padgett (9th) and Lafayette’s Rachael Pena (11th). The next best throw, outside of Ratcliffe’s three 65+ meter throws, was thrown by Hinton. Hinton was the only other thrower to throw past the 60-meter mark, reaching 62.20 (204). Padgett was third at 59.92 and Penna fifth at 57.49. The Penn Relay and Franklin Field record is 69.84 (229-1) thrown by Candice Scott in 2004.
Ratcliffe is the only thrower in the nation to throw further than 70 meters, as she is the NCAA leader in the event.
Bird was the top collegiate finisher in a steeplechase race that combined the collegiate and Olympic Development for a total of 24 runners. Bird was third overall, with two professionals finishing in front, but she was the top steepler as they separated out the collegians in the results. Bird clocked a PR of 10:16.47, the best time of all three steeple races, and was exactly one second ahead of West Virginia’s Sarah Martinelli who won the championship race. (*updated with corrected results at 11:09 AM)
Kicking the day off was junior Inka Busack and freshman Allison Harris in the field events. Busack was ninth in the eastern high jump clearing 1.68 (5-6). Harris was ninth in the pole vault college division catapulting to 3.65 (11-11.75).
Princeton competed in the Championship of America distance medley relay. Freshman Zoe Sims (3:36.43), junior Emily Broyles (59.47), senior Kristin Smoot (2:11.16) and senior Molly Higgins (4:58.65) posted a time of 11:45.69 to finish 14th.
The 4x100 of junior Joanna Anyanwu, junior Emily Easton, senior Charquia Wright and senior Imani Oliver moved the baton around in 48.13 and the 4x400 of freshman Elisa Steele, Wright, sophomore Meghan McMullin and junior Kim Mackay was fourth in the Heptagonal race at 3:50.14.
Two personal bests came in the 3k championship. Freshman Megan Curham ran a PR of 9:20.74 to place fifth. Junior Kathryn Fluehr shaved more than three seconds off her PR with a 9:33.33 to finish 11th. Junior Erika Fluehr ran 9:54.74.
Capping off the night was the Olympic Development 5k. Sophomore Lindsay Eysenbach ran 17:47.77.
Day 2 begins at 11 a.m., with Oliver in the triple jump.