NCAA's at UW - Osh Kosh

May 22nd - 24th

Full Results

Amherst Results

Women tied for 38th with 7 points and Men no score


1500 Peter Harrison 3:58.93.22
8th - Semi
800 Kristen Ballinger 2:10.48
1st - Semi
School Record
800 Kristen Ballinger 2:10.95
6th - Final
Steeple Elise Tropiano 10:35.78
5000 Elise Tropiano 17:07.17
10,000 Heather Wilson 36:55.79



Meet Recap

A contingent of four athletes headed out to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to compete in the NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field Championships May 22-24. Peter Harrison ’11 (1500m prelims) and Heather Wilson ’08 (10,000m final) competed on day one of the meet. Harrison wound up in the slower of the two 1500 heats, with the top four in each heat, plus the runners with the next four fastest times advancing. Harrison kept himself in the hunt until 200 meters to go, but when the mad dash for the finish line began, he just didn’t have the extra gear that some of his competitors had. He finished in 3:58.93, .63 of a second away from advancing to the final. Though the outing was a disappointing one for Harrison, it was also a tremendous learning experience. He was one of two first-years in the field, and he potentially has a big future ahead of him. Heather Wilson, on the other hand, was an NCAA veteran running the final race of her collegiate career. The initial pace in the 10,000m was one that Wilson was comfortable with, and she wound up leading for much of the race in an effort to stay out of trouble in the pack. With approximately two miles to go, Wilson fell off the pace, for no discernable reason. She faded to finish 14th in 36:55.79. Though it was a disappointing outing for Wilson and a rough note to end on, she will be remembered at Amherst for her great running accomplishments (including being a five-time All-American), her great leadership qualities, her level-headedness, and her toughness. Wilson was also eligible to compete in the 5000, but she had opted to attend graduation weekend activities instead. She caught a flight out early on Friday morning and made it home in time to graduate on Sunday.

Day two of the meet was a more encouraging one for the Amherst contingent. Kristen Ballinger ’11 ran a huge race in the 800 prelims, PRing by nearly two full seconds (and therefore breaking the school and freshman records by nearly two full seconds), winning her heat in 2:10.48. Ballinger went from fourth place to first in the last 100 meters of the race, and had the fastest qualifying time of the day. Though he’s not an Amherst athlete, it’s also worth noting that Ballinger’s brother, Tom, a junior at Carleton, made the final of the 400 hurdles the previous day. This meant that the Ballinger family would get to watch Kristen and Tom run in back-to-back finals on Saturday. The next event up was the steeplechase final. A competitor from Dickinson took the race from the gun, and she ran unchallenged throughout. Elise Tropiano ’09 ran at the front of the chase pack for much of the race, but was unable to separate herself from enough of the field to pull away. She ran a competitive race throughout, but hoped to have a little bit more left in the final 600 meters but got her legs tangled coming off the barrier and lost a little focus as a result. She wound up an impressive sixth in a PR of 10:35.78 and earned All-America honors.

Ballinger and Tropiano were back in action on the third and final day of the meet—Ballinger in the 800m final, and Tropiano in the 5000m final. Ballinger, one of just two freshmen in the final, showed that she wasn’t intimidated by the situation by taking the lead on the first lap, setting the race up to be blazing fast – 62 seconds for the first 400. She faded in the third 200, and going around the final turn, everyone in the field had passed her. That was when Ballinger turned on her trademark finish. She caught three of her competitors coming up the homestretch, and finished sixth in 2:10.95, what would have been a PR were it not for the previous day’s race. Shortly after, Tom Ballinger took seventh in the 400 hurdles, giving the Ballinger two All-American finishes in the span of about 30 minutes. Tropiano, showed off her ability to bounce back well by competing in the 5000m final less than 24 hours after running her steeplechase PR. While a large lead pack took off at a pace that none of the runners would wind up maintaining throughout, Tropiano opted for a more conservative strategy, running about 3-4 seconds behind the leaders through the first mile. As runners began to fall off the back of the pack, she worked on picking them off. She worked her way up to ninth place, and then out-kicked a competitor to take the final All-American spot, finishing eighth in 17:07.17, completing an impressive All-American double.