The United States Merchant Marine Academy women's track and field team was in action this past weekend at the Muhlenberg Invitational in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Weather conditions were much more favorable than last week's meet as temperatures crept into the low 60's. The Mariners faced off against top regional competition which included powerhouse programs such as: Haverford, Muhlenburg, Bryn Mawr, East Stroudsberg, Misericordia, Elizabethtown, Lebanon Valley, Delaware Valley, Albright, Alfred, DeSales, Moravian, Philadelpia University and Middlesex CC.
Highlights were abundant throughout the day for the women's squad. Junior Tara Mulligan once again had the highest individual place for the Mariners in the hammer throw. She continued to throw bombs with three of her throws braking the 40 meter barrier and two surpassing 41m. Her farthest of the day was 41.82m (137'3"). The throw was 2nd overall at the meet and eclipsed the Academy record by a significant margin. "Tara is gaining more confidence and starting to realize that she can be a very good athlete," said Head Coach Gregory Lott. If she keeps up this rate of improvement she will be the top overall thrower in the Landmark Conference very soon."
Freshman Liz Simmons who is fairly new to the sport, improved from her first ever competition a week ago with a mark of 21.79m (71'6") in the javelin throw. Freshman Sara Ellenberger also had a personal best throw in the discus with a mark of 20.42m (67').
On the track, freshman Ellie Coulter dropped over a minute off of her personal best mark in the 5K recording a time of 21:07.75. She had never before broken the 22:00.00 minutes barrier, possibly the most impressive feat of the day for women's team, being her first time competing in this race on the track as a collegiate athlete.
In her second meet back, freshman Kelly Whalen ran an impressive race in the 1500m dropping a few seconds off of her time from a week ago. Whalen finished in 5:18.08 placing 9th overall. Senior Captain Lauren Rattan (pictured right) set a new lifetime best mark in the 800m with a 2:27.97 to finish 10th overall. "This was the smartest race that I have seen Lauren run," said Coach Lott. "She is getting much better with race tactics to go along wither improved fitness. This will bode very well for her as we get deeper into the season."
The Mariners will continue their outdoor season next weekend in Ewing, New Jersey at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) for the Lions Invitational.