Five gold medals at the Centennial Conference (CC) Championships and an athlete competing at the NCAA Championships for the eighth consecutive year amounted to another successful season for Franklin & Marshall women's track and field in 2017.
Rachel Wylie '20 put together a stellar campaign during her first year in Lancaster, winning the 400-meter hurdles on May 7 at the CC Championships. With a time of 1:02.22, she not only broke the school record for the third time in as many weeks, but also won the event by almost two seconds and secured her place at the NCAA Championships. She joined Alyssa Ward '18, Kaitlin Muccio '19, and Aleksandra Kiszka '18 to win the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 49.98, and for those two victories earned Rookie Performer of the Year honors from the Conference.
At the NCAA Championships, Wylie just missed out on a shot at gold as her preliminary time of 1:03.29 gave her 16th place, just outside of the top nine finals qualifiers.
Ward accounted for three individual gold medals at the CC Championships, sweeping the jumping events in addition to running the anchor leg for the 4x100-meter relay to total four golds on the weekend. The junior began Conference action on Saturday, May 6 by winning the long jump with a distance of 5.61 meters (18'-5"), destroying the school record by 10.25 inches and bettering her season best by more than half a meter. That same day, she topped the podium again in the high jump, adding another season-best effort of 1.62 meters (5'-3.75").
The following day, Ward completed her sweep in the triple jump, winning by more than a foot with a distance of 11.24 meters (36'-10.5") before finishing the weekend in the 4x100. For her efforts, she was named the CC Outstanding Field Performer of the Year, marking the second consecutive year that a Diplomat has won the award after Rebecca Swisher also earned the distinction in 2016.
Muccio's silver medal in the 400-meter dash and a third-place performance by Muccio, Kiszka, Wylie, and Chelsea Frantz '20 in the 4x400-meter relay rounded out a solid weekend for the Diplomats, who finished sixth out of 10 teams in the overall standings.
Ward and Wylie also placed at the ECAC Championships from May 17-18, with Wylie taking first in the 400-meter hurdles (1:02.49) and Ward taking third in the triple jump (11.11 meters, 36'-5.5").
Another notable performance was Muccio, Kiszka, Wylie, and Sabrina Piccinini '20 clocking time of 49.87 in the 4x100-meter relay, resetting the school record, and taking first place at the Little Three Meet hosted by F&M on March 25.