This past winter marked the first Princeton women’s indoor track season in 39 years without Coach Peter Farrell leading the team. Under the guidance of new head coach Michelle Eisenreich, the team tied for fourth place at the Heptagonal Championships and sent senior pole vaulter Allison Harris to the 2017 NCAA Indoor National Championships. “The new coaching took some time to get used to, but is definitely a step forward for the program,” said sophomore mid-distance runner Mim Buscher. The team was hoping for a top-three finish at Heps but tied for fourth with Cornell, behind Columbia. Going into the outdoor season, the team hopes to top their indoor season with a better showing at outdoor Heps.
Harris set the Princeton and Ivy League record in the event this past indoor season with a clearance of 4.27 (14-0). She was the Ivy Heps champion and the Mid-Atlantic Field Athlete of the Year. She was the first pole vaulter the Tigers have ever sent to the NCAA Indoor Championships. At the nationals meet, she finished ninth in her event with a clearance of 4.20 (13-9.25). It took her only two attempts to make it over the opening height, which put her at fourth place after the first round. Harris ended her last season with not only a school record, a league record, and a top-ten finish at nationals, but also with Second-Team All-America honors.
Members of the women’s track program will be traveling to Florida to escape the colder weather and get some training in before the outdoor season officially kicks off. Mid-distance sophomore runner Jackie Berardo commented, “We have an incredible amount of depth going into the outdoor season and I'm hoping that this depth will put us where we belong (within the top three). Our team was able to score within each distance event at the indoor Heps and all it will take is improvements like sixth to fourth or fourth to second to get us to the championship position we want to be in.” Berardo was the third leg of the first place 4x800m relay team at Heps and is excited to see what this team can do in the next few months outdoors. “Our 4x800 team has the potential to break the record set by a previous team which included two now-professional runners, and that's pretty exciting stuff.” The team will be competing in its first meet of the season at the North Florida Invite on Friday, Mar. 24.