1600-meter relay team qualifies for nationals

The Colby women’s 1,600-meter relay team blazed by the competition at the Last Chance Meet hosted by Tufts University, winning the event for the Mules and punching their ticket to the NCAA DIII Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships in Winston-Salem, NC. The women had a time of 3:56.32 in their last opportunity to try to qualify for Nationals and qualified as the 12th seed, the final position.

The relay team of Emily Doyle ’16, Michaela Athanasopoulos ’17, McKayla Blanch ’17, and Emily Tolman ’16 is the only NESCAC team to qualify for this event.  The women have been strong all season, but were able to improve on their past times, culminating with one of the fastest relay times in the country. “We’ve all been working really hard this season and we are really excited to make it to nationals” commented Athanasopoulos.

The highest seeded team in the Championships is Wisconsin-La Crosse who qualified with a time of 3:50.23, only six seconds faster than the Mules. They are also ranked first nationally. “There are a lot of teams that we don’t normally see and there will be a lot of great competition.…I think we can be really fast and have a good shot at the podium,” said Athanasopoulos.

Colby is also one of the youngest teams as they feature two sophomores and two juniors who are running against teams that are predominately seniors. The team also made some critical changes that have helped the team improve. “We have switched positions around a lot, but a couple weeks ago we added McKayla to the team. She’s really fast and we are excited that’s she’s able to run with us,” stated Athanasopoulos.

The Mules will not be the only Maine team represented in North Carolina. The Huskies of The University of Southern Maine are the tenth seed  after qualifying with a time of 3:54.83. Colby and USM are the only currently unranked teams that qualified for the National Championship. The Huskies were previously ranked, but fell from the ranks following a poor end to their season. The Mules will race at 5 pm next friday.

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