The United States Merchant Marine Academy women's track & field team nearly doubled their Landmark Championship total from last season increasing their score from 10 to 19.
Junior Tara Mulligan (pictured) became the first female field athlete from Kings Point to win an individual title at Landmark Championships. Her hammer throw of 42.49m (139'5") won the event by a full four feet a shattered he own Academy record.
Also setting new Academy records were freshman Elizabeth Coulter who ran the 10,000m in 44:57.41 and the relay team of senior Lauren Rattan, freshman Amber Kinter, freshman Michelle Danhoff, and freshman Kelly Whalen who ran the 4x400m in 4:31.87. The 10,000m mark was a full 20 seconds faster than the previous record and the 4x400m mark broke the record set at last year's Landmark Championships by a full five seconds.
Rattan also picked up solid points individually for the Mariners with a sixth place showing in the steeplechase; a 20 second improvement on her debut in the event a week ago running a 13:02.54. "Lauren gutted out a tough performance in an event for which she was undertrained, having spent the majority of the year running the 800m and down," said Head Coach Gregory Lott. "She sacrificed running her favorite events at the Championships in favor of competing in an event where she might score more points for the team. This says a great deal about the quality of her leadership. She has been a phenomenal captain and is a very big reason why the women's program is improving at such a fast rate."
Danhoff had an outstanding weekend in her hurdle events. In the 100H she improved her season's best mark of 18.52 by running an 18.10 in the trails and qualifying for the finals on day two. Danhoff came back in the finals with a new blistering personal record of 17.54 to come in 7th place overall, an absurd amount of time to drop in one week in that event. She then raced the 400H and set another significant personal record running a 1:14.80, dropping almost two seconds off of her previous best, to place 8th overall, scoring in both events.
Whalen also set significant personal best marks. She dropped seven seconds in the 1500m running a time of 5:01.96 to place 9th overall; once place off of scoring. Whalen then came back to run the 800m the next day and broke the 2:30 barrier for the first time ever with an outstanding run of 2:29.68 finishing 10th overall and improving her personal best mark by nearly two seconds. "Kelly has showed so much progress over this short outdoor season," said Coach Lott. "It is great to have her back after injury held her out for much of the Cross Country season and all of Indoors. There is no doubt that Kelly has a very bright future in our program."
Kinter ran in stellar fashion in the 800m as well dropping four seconds off of her best mark and coming in at 2:32.72. Coach Lott praised her swift improvement, "I'm so impressed with that substantial drop in time. Amber has proven time and again that she runs to her absolute best potential in the most important races."
Other Personal best marks were broken by both Javelin throwers. Freshman Liz Simmons placed 12th overall with a throw of 22.31m (72'2") and Freshman Jen Perkins placed 15th overall with a throw of 19.45m (63'10"). Perkins also had a good day in the High Jump clearing a bar at 1.32m (4'4") to place 9th overall.
"It was a fantastic end to the season for the women's team. The ladies have already broken Academy Records on 29 occasions this season," said Coach Lott. Our program is steadily improving scoring more each conference meet. With only one Senior leaving the program and 12 new girls coming in next year there are only better things to come. It is a very exciting time to be a Mariner."
Three ladies will continue their season with the next competition at Swarthmore College for their Last Chance Meet on Monday, May 14th. Mulligan will attempt to hit the ECAC Qualifying mark in the HT, Rattan will chase the 800m Academy Record and Whalen will attempt to get under the five minute barrier in the 1500m.