SELINSGROVE, Pa. – On Saturday, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's track and field team closed out its indoor season with a sixth-place finish at the 2011 Landmark Conference Championships at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa. The Mariners showed significant improvement from a season ago as they increased their point output from just a single point last year to 11 this season.
Impressively, 13 of the 16 performances were either season's bests or lifetime bests.
For the first time since joining the Landmark Conference, the women's team had the bodies to participate in three of the four relays. The top performance came in the 4x400 meter relay with another Academy record falling (4:50.82). This four-second improvement over the previous record was good for a fourth-place finish. The foursome was comprised of Rattan, freshman Kelly Hodges (Lakewood, Colo.), and seniors Derien Jastrzebski (Lafayette, Colo.) and Cristina Fernandez-O'Toole (Washington Depot, Conn.)
Kings Point also had a sixth-place finish in the distance medley relay with the squad of freshman Patricia Evenson (Bismarck, N.D.), Fernandez-O'Toole, rookie Brooke Mueller (Springfield, Va.) and Hodges. Another sixth-place finish came in the 4x200 meter relay (Rattan, freshman Marie Morrow (Aurora, Colo.), Jastrzebski and Mulligan).
All three female sprinters ran lifetime best marks in the 55-meter. Mulligan, Morrow and Jastrzebski placed 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively with times of 8.56, 8.60 and 8.62. Jastrzebski also ran a personal best clocking in the 200-meter (15th-place finish, 31.32).
This has been a wonderful season for the Lady Mariners as they rewrote the Academy indoor record book with nine school records on the year. The new records were in these events: 300-meter (Rattan), 400-meter (Rattan), 600-meter (Rattan), weight throw (Mulligan, twice), 4x200 meter relay (Rattan, Morrow, Jastrzebski, Mulligan), 4x400 meter relay (Rattan, Hodges, Fernandez-O'Toole, Jastrzebski, twice), and 4 x mile relay (Hodges, Fernandez-O'Toole, Rattan, Mueller).
"I'm so proud of our ladies; they showed a lot of drive this season as they helped to create a solid foundation on which this team can build upon. Our numbers were higher than ever and our captains did a fantastic job of creating a strong team culture. Improvements have been off the charts and the team has much to be excited about as we head outdoors with key team members returning from sea," Head Coach Gregory Lott commented.
6. USMMA - 11