This past weekend, select members of the women's track team competed at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The women’s distance medley relay (DMR) team of Kate Kenny ’23, Michelle Louie ’24, Audrey Grimes ’23 and Ciara Dale ’24 earned All-American honors after coming in sixth place in their event with a time of 11:46.36. Meanwhile, Emily Rubio ’26 finished in 12th place overall in the pentathlon event with 3,365 points.
In the DMR, four different athletes each run a unique distance in a relay race. The race includes a 1,200-meter leg, a 400-meter leg, an 800-meter leg and a 1-mile leg. Grimes ran a 3:37.65 in the 1,200 meter, Louie ran a 57.58 in the 400 meter, Dale ran a 2:15.60 in the 800 meter and Kenny ran a 4:55.52 in the mile.
Middlebury has historically been very successful in the women’s DMR event. The Panthers won the event in 2012 and have had 10 teams earn All-American honors, which goes to the top performers at NCAA national championships. Louie also earned All-American honors on the women’s DMR last year.
The women’s DMR team secured a spot at the NCAA Championships after coming in first place at the Division III New England Championships with a time of 12:00.21. The team is becoming faster and stronger, as their national championship performance was almost 14 seconds faster than their time at the regional championships. The DMR team will hopefully only get stronger as the spring season continues.
While the women’s DMR team is mostly seasoned upperclassmen, Rubio, a first-year, also excelled at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Rubio is the first athlete since 2017 to represent Middlebury at the NCAA Championship level in the pentathlon, an event that includes the 60 meter hurdles, high jump, the 800 meter run, long jump and shot put. Throughout the five events, Rubio performed best in the high jump, where she finished in fifth place with a height of 1.61 meters.
“It is always great to be a part of such an encouraging group of athletes,” Rubio said. “Overall, I tried to not let the stress and high pressure get to me. Instead I tried to focus on how amazing the opportunity was as a freshman.”
After a successful indoor season and NCAA Championships, the entire women’s track team looks to continue to compete for championships as their outdoor season begins. The team is traveling to San Diego over spring break where they will compete in the Ross and Sharon Irwin Invitational, the Mangrum Invitational and the PLNU Collegiate Invitational.