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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Women’s track and field flourishes in recent meets

UMass Boston Women’s Track has been a blister in the feet of their opponents’, and the Beacons have a lot of prodigal talent to thank for it. Many of UMass Boston’s most prolific runners have made their mark during the winter track season, but this year, even more young talents have made names for themselves as top competitors in the Little East Conference. The Reggie Payou memorial tournament and Greater Boston Track Club invitational gave way to many photo finishes, and above all else, kept women’s track on the map over the course of several weeks.

At the Payou Memorial Saturday, Jan. 13, the Beacons put on an absolute clinic, securing top spots in a number of races and field events. The team wound up racing to the top of the leaderboard, grabbing fourth place with the help of some familiar faces moving them up the ranks and getting their weekly dose of winning in.

Dorinda Okorji was atop the leaderboard for UMass Boston, capturing first place in the 60-meter dash prelims and finals, notably being the only player to crack a sub-eight second time, as pointed out by Beacons Athletics. Beacons Athletics also reported that her efforts rightfully bore fruit, and she was rewarded with the LEC’s Women’s Track Athlete of the Week award. [2]

Ariyanna Garceau followed behind Okorji in the 60m finals, sliding her way into sixth place, while Harleen Bassan, Amiya Sharp and Cayla Jean-Louis placed 21st, 30th and 32nd. Garceau also won the 60m hurdles—a common occurrence for her in winter track—putting ten points on the board for UMass Boston and squeaking past the runner-up by just .03 seconds. 

In the mid-distance races, Jacqueline Earner continued to earn her fair share of success, and turned on the burners for her races in the 400 and 600-meter dashes, where she took third and second place. Both finishes were personal records of hers, which became a common theme for the day. Grace Colon and Sarah Campbell represented the Beacons in the 800-meter run and followed the trend Earner was taking part in; both broke their own personal record, taking home fifth and seventh place, respectively. Colon and Campbell participated in the dreaded mile run, and ran amuck for sixth and 12th place.

In the field, Hialeah Foster worked a double in the high jump and long jump competitions, finishing in fifth and second place in the events, stamping two more personal records into the Beacons’ day. Garceau joined her in working a double in the long jump as well, grabbing fifth place to join the personal records club. To round out the day, Abigail Schell snuck into 22nd place in the weight throw, and the Beacons finished fourth overall at the tournament, their best finish of the year.

Women’s track was determined to keep their good graces going the following week at the Greater Boston Track Club Invitational in Cambridge on Sunday, Jan. 21. Earner continued her strides as a top runner for UMass Boston, taking seventh place in the 800m invitational. Campbell, Bassan and Sharp took part in the 800m open race, making good work with ninth, 12th and 14th place finishes, the statistics brought to you by MileSplit. [4] 

Earner continued her pace of documented success, snatching a sixth place rank in the open mile run, a personal best time of 5:19.79 for her. The trio of Campbell, Sharp and Colon also ran the 5,280 ft free-for-all, and made good with placements of 11th, 16th and 20th. Colon wasn’t finished there, and she made her mark in the 1,000-meter run by coming in sixth. [4]

Beacons Athletics remarked that Foster was on triple time throughout the day, making her presence known in the 200m dash, 4×220 yard relay and open Long Jump. She was joined by Sharp, Mackenzie Jorgensen and Delaney Sartwell, and the quartet came in fourth place among a pool that included Bentley University. [4]

In the field, Okorji once again took center stage and gained the spotlight in the High Jump, recording a first-place win and personal record in the process. Foster had a claim to fame in her own right, teaming up with Okorji to take on the Long Jump, taking a win of her own, while Okorji did her part in securing fourth place. [3]

Jean-Louis and Sartwell were the dynamic duo to end the day off for the team, competing in Shot Put, where they rocketed up to tenth and 12th place, respectively. Overall, a great turnout for women’s track, with even better individual performances all around. 

UMass Boston has seen a terrific turn of events since the inception of the season early last month. Many of the program’s most established runners have built up their status as some of the top runners in the LEC, and the recent emergence of Okorji has helped the program propel themselves as fierce competitors not only with the spikes, but in the field, too. With how successful the team has been this year, there’s legitimate reason to believe that the team’s top finishers can, and just might, win the most prized possession the league has to offer: gold. For now, the biggest obstacles for the Beacons are the meets that lead up to the LEC championship, because above all else, it’s time for them to keep their nose on the grindstone, and if they keep at it like they’ve been doing so well this past season, they’ll soon figure out all that’s grindstone turns to gold. 


[1] Women’s Track Shines at Reggie Payou Memorial Invitational – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[2] Women’s Track and Field – Story Archives – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[3] UMass Boston Women’s Track and Field Competes at The Greater Boston Track Club Invitational – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[4] MileSplit Live Results

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor