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Josephine Jett broke nine seconds in the 60-meter hurdles (photo by Eva Fernadnez)
Josephine Jett broke nine seconds in the 60-meter hurdles (photo by Eva Fernadnez)

Athenas DMR, Josephine Jett, Have Strong Showings for CMS Track and Field on Opposite Coasts

BOSTON, Mass. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps distance medley relay team of Riley Capuano, Sally Gaskell, Laura Zimmer and Natalie Bitetti put itself in solid position to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships next month by running an 11:43.04 at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational on Saturday at Boston University.

Several Athenas also traveled to the Whitworth Invitational in Spokane to compete, and Josephine Jett had a strong effort in the 60-meter hurdles, qualifying for the finals and then breaking nine seconds with an 8.98, which ranks No. 26 in Division III (pending other results). She also passes the previous best CMS indoor standard of 9.05 from Caroline DelVecchio, while also breaking eight seconds in the 60-meter dash with a 7.92. 

The distance medley relay team put up a time that leaves it in excellent shape to earn a trip to Norfolk for nationals (the top 12 times earn invites). Only one team in all of Division III (Wartburg at 11:37.14) had broken 12 minutes in the DMR before this weekend, although many did it at the Valentine Invitational.

The Athenas were third amongst Division III programs in Boston, behind only MIT (11:41.06) and Central College (11:41.47), leaving them in fourth in all of DIII this season, pending other results. The CMS time also would have been good enough to seed it eighth last year, and would have been the fourth-best time at nationals. 

It is a close fourth, as CMS was only two-thousandths of a second ahead of Amherst, and less than a second ahead of WPI and Johns Hopkins, as Bitetti was challenged in the anchor leg, one day after running the third-fastest 3000 meters in Division III this season (she also has the third-fastest 5000 meters that she ran in December).

Zimmer also now ranks 17th this season in the mile after becoming the first Athena to break five minutes indoors yesterday with a 4:57.38. Capuano is 16th in the 3000 from her race in December, Elle Marsyla is 23rd in the 5000 meters, and Madeline Seifert is 31st in the pole vault after her performance yesterday at Whitworth. 

The distance medley relay time is also over eight seconds faster than the top time that the Athenas have ever run outdoors, an 11:51.20 in 2015.  

CMS will be back in action next weekend when it competes at the Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers Meet.