Jumpers lead the way at New England DIII championships as women place 7th of 24 teams

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Brandeis University women's track and field team had eight All-New England performances, including five in jumping events, as the Judges finished in seventh place out of 24 teams that scored points at the 2009 New England Division III championships at Bowdoin College.

Leading the way for the Judges were senior standouts Ali Sax (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) and Anat Benun (Haifa, Israel/Ironi-Hey), who both improved their standings to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships in the triple jump. Benun was the event runner-up with a distance of 38 feet, 5 inches (11.71 meters), improving her performance by an inch-and-a-half and coming just under two inches  from an automatic performance. Sax placed third overall with a distance of 38 feet, ¼ inch (11.59 meters), dramatically increasing her lifetime best. Sax improved upon her previous NCAA qualifying performance (36 feet, 11 ½) by more than a foot and moved up in the national rankings from 20th to seventh, pending other results.

Sax also turned in Brandeis's other second-place performance on the afternoon by placing second in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 5 ½ inches (5.32 meters), missing the title by just once centimeter. Sophomore Lucia Capano (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) also captured All-Region honors in the long jump with a performance of 17 feet, 1 ¼ inches (5.21 meters) that tied for fourth place. Junior Suzanne Bernier (Hanson, Mass./Whitman-Hanson) was the final jumper to earn All-New England honors, taking fifth in the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 2 ¼ inches (1.58 meters), missing a tie for third based on the number of attempts to clear the height.

On the track, Brandeis had three All-New England performances. Sophomore Marie Lemay (Saco, Maine/Thornton Acad.) placed fifth in the mile run with a time of 5:13.24. Classmate Michelle Gellman (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchhill) took seventh place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.69, while sophomore Grayce Selig (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside) was eighth in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:33.19.