New London, CT --- Senior Liz Pellegrini (Worcester, MA) was named the NEWMAC Women's Track Athlete of the Year as WPI finished second at the annual conference championship meet, which was hosted by Coast Guard on Saturday.
Nationally-ranked (No. 6) MIT totaled 201.5 to claim the team title for the eighth consecutive year. WPI, the 10th-ranked team in the region by the USTFCCCA, amassed a program-record 174.5 points at the event while Wellesley placed third (108.5). Wheaton, who entered the week ranked one spot ahead of the Crimson and Gray, was fourth (94.5) and Coast Guard rounded out the top five (80).
Pellegrini repeated as the 100-meter hurdle champion with a time of 15.01 and added a 400-meter hurdle title to her collection as she broke the tape in 1:02.52. The local product also teamed with sophomore Taylor Teed (Boxford, MA), senior Alex Price (Franklin, MA) and sophomore Sara Velleca (Woodbury, CT) to place second in the 4x100-meter relay in a time of 48.27. Both Pellegrini and Price were in the 2014 lineup that earned silver. Pellegrini's 400H time is sixth and her 100HH time is 32nd on the NCAA Division III Performance List.
Sophomore Brittney Lambert (Hudson, NH) secured the program's sixth high jump title in seven years with a winning height of 5-4.25. Sophomore Abby McAdams (Montville, CT) tied for fifth and freshman Xandria Korn (Woodinville, WA) placed seventh as both cleared 5-0.25. The 4x400-meter relay of Kocienski, freshman Katie Nugent (Huntington, NY), sophomore Maggie LaRoche (Silverlake, NH) and sophomore Lea Strangio (Watertown, MA) had a successful day with a winning time of 4:23.09. It is the second NEWMAC title in 33 days for Lambert and Nugent who are also members of the women's basketball team.
Graduate student Caitlin Walde (Edmonds, WA) capped her NEWMAC career with back-to-back second place finishes in the 10,000-meter run (38:51.01) and was followed by sophomore Jasmine Higuera (Riverside, CA) in fourth (39:35.93) to go with a seventh-place time of 40:37.90 by senior Jessica Orr (Westerly, RI).
Velleca, last year's 200-meter dash champion, placed second this time around with a 25-flat as Price was fourth (25.69) and freshman Michelle Gencorelli (Andover, MA) was eighth (26.07).
Also earning silver were sophomore Emily Newman (Easton, MA) in the 1,500-meter run (4:46.03), Velleca in the 100-meter dash (12.31), Strangio in the 800-meter run (2:18.85) and senior Julie Tevenan (Weymouth, MA) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:39.59, PR). The 100m also saw Price in third (12.36), Teed in sixth (12.89) and Gencorelli in seventh (12.97). LaRoche added a fifth-place time in the 800m (2:21.42) while freshman Steffany Halfrey (Hubbardston, MA) also achieved a personal-best in the steeplechase with a seventh-place time of 12:18.68.
Teed was third in the triple jump with a leap of 33-6 as Nugent established a new PR with a fourth-place 59.70. Newman crossed the finish line fourth (18:58.42) in the 5,000-meter run while junior Liz Hansen (Richmond, RI) was two runners behind in sixth (19:15.22). The sophomore duo of Kelsey Leigher (Oxford, MA) and Kirsten Herchenroder (Plaistow, NH) were fourth (131-09) and seventh (120-02) in the discus to go with Leigher's eighth-place distance of 34-5.75 in the shot put.
All champions earn NEWMAC Track & Field All-Conference First Team honors while the runners up are named to the second team.
Qualified student-athletes head back to Springfield for the New England Division III Championships, which begin on Friday.