UTICA, N.Y. – Nine Harper women's track and field athletes are ready to compete at the 2014 DIII Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Mohawk Valley Community College. The national meet begins on Thursday and concludes on Saturday.
The Hawks tied for seventh place as a team at the 2013 national meet and will look to improve upon that mark.
"As a team, we'd love to take first. But if we finish in the top-three or top-five, that'd be great, too," said sophomore sprinter Stephanie Hurwitz (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Fremd), who will be competing in four events.
Hurwitz qualified for nationals in the 100m and 200m and will also run on the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. Fellow sophomore Marisa Andreuccetti (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Conant) will compete in the 800m, 4x400m relay, and 4x800m relay.
Sophomore Lara Sladek (/St. Viator) will compete for the Hawks in the shot put, hammer throw and relays. Sophomore Kaila Privatsky (/Barrington) will tackle the 4x400m relay, 4x800m relay and 3000m steeplechase while sophomore Gabrielle Brosnan (Mount Prospect, Ill./Christian Liberty) will run on the 4x100m and 4x800m relay teams.
Four freshmen qualified for their first national meet, highlighted by distance runners Mary Piltaver (/Conant) and Lori Delfin (/Wheeling). Piltaver will likely compete in the 1500m, 5k, 10k and 4x800m relay. Delfin qualified in the 1500m, 5k and 10k.
Sprinter Taylor LoCoco (/Prairie Ridge) will be a key member of the 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, and will run in the 400m. Finally, Amanda Hagen (/Hoffman Estates) will compete in the throws and perhaps a relay or two.
"We are going to have to give it our all. We have a small team, but each of us is talented," Andreuccetti said. "As long as we set our minds to it and focus, we can do it."