Trombly wins 5 events at New England track championships
In one of the most amazing performances in Tufts track history, junior Jessica Trombly won all five events in which she competed February 22 at the New England Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at Bowdoin College.
The 2001 NESCAC rookie of the year, Trombly earned 42.5 of the Jumbos' total 101 points, leading the team to a second-place finish at the meet behind Williams College. Junior Lauren Caputo also won for Tufts, taking the 3,000 meters in 10 minutes, 20.06 seconds.
Trombly won the 200 meters (25.83 seconds), the 400 meters (57.70 seconds), the 55-meter hurdles (8.61 seconds), the long jump (17 feet, 7.5 inches) and ran the anchor leg for the winning 4 x 400 meter relay team (4 minutes, 0.91 seconds).
"Just competing in five events during one day is amazing. Winning all five of them blows my mind," Head Coach Kristen Morwick said.
Trombly's day started off with the hurdle trials at 10 minutes past noon. After winning her heat in 8.72 seconds, she moved to the long jump. This was the event she was least likely to win, considering it was the only event out of the five in which she was not the top seed entering the meet. She was fourth. Originally, Morwick figured Trombly could take one or two jumps and be done with the long jump. However, when two of the top seeds fouled out during the trials, Trombly had a chance for first or second. Struggling to find her mark throughout the competition, and with the finals for the hurdles approaching in five minutes, she hit the jackpot with her last jump and popped a personal best 17 feet, 7.5 inches to win by nearly seven inches.
Trombly then changed her shoes, raced to the hurdles, and two minutes later, ran 8.61 seconds to win the hurdles, a national provisional mark and her second fastest time ever. Five minutes later, she won the 400 meters in 57.70 seconds, another personal best and a national mark.
"We weren't expecting the long jump to interfere with her other events," Morwick said. "She wanted to take all six jumps and see if she could win it. She's a competitor. She wanted the points for the team. I couldn't stop her."
Less than an hour later, she came back to win the 200 meters in 25.81 seconds.
"At this point, I thought we didn't need the 4x 400 meter relay to be second [as a team] in the meet," Morwick said. "We didn't need the 4 x 4, except that the girls wanted to run for a national time, and Jess knew that. It was a tougher race than we expected, and we handed off even with Bowdoin going into the final leg. With 100 meters to go, Jess pulled away to clinch the win." Joining Trombly in the relay victory were junior Emily Bersin, freshman Rachel Bloom and sophomore Sika Henry.
"It wasn't her fastest split in the relay, but she'd had a tough day," Morwick said. "I give her credit for running the relay. We didn't need it, but the other three girls ran great as a result. I think the long jump took a lot out of her because her mark was so off. We had to spend a lot of time over there, and we weren't expecting that. Then she goes and wins it with her best jump ever. She was awesome."
After the Division III meet, Trombly was ranked on the national list sixth in the 55 hurdles, ninth in the 400 meters, seventh in the 800 meters and 12th with the 4 x 400 relay.
The next weekend, competing with the best track and field athletes in New England at the All-New England Championships at Smith College March 1-2, Trombly finished second in the 400 meters in 56.47 seconds, a personal best.