Palma leads Owls to MASCAC title

The women's track and field team celebrates its MASCAC title. (Courtesy of Westfield State Sports)

The women’s track and field team celebrates its MASCAC title. (Courtesy of Westfield State Sports)

NORTH DARTMOUTH – The Westfield State women’s track & field team captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Saturday at UMass Dartmouth.
The Owls finished first with 246 points, followed by Bridgewater State in second place at 22 points, and Worcester State in third with 99. Westfield also earned second place in the Alliance scoring, which includes both the MASCAC and Little East Conferences, finishing behind only Southern Maine.
Westfield State was led by senior Naloti Palma who finished first in the hammer throw, the discus, and the shot put. Palma is now a four-time MASCAC outdoor champion in both the discus and the shot put and set a meet record in the discus with a best throw of 41.61 meters (136’6″).
The Westborough, Mass. native won the shot put with a best throw of 13.37 meters (43’10.5″) and the hammer throw at 45.51 meters (149’4″). Last year’s hammer throw champion, Westfield State senior Julianna Miller, placed third with a throw of 42.93 meters (140’10”).
The Owls were dominant in the field events, as sophomore Ashley Craig (Westford Academy/ Groton, Mass.) won the MASCAC championship in the pole vault and Meghan Howe took first place in the triple jump.
After breaking her own school in the pole vault last week, Craig finished first among all Alliance pole vaulters, clearing 3.5 meters (11’5.75″). Howe won the MASCAC triple jump with a best jump of 10.63 meters (34’10.5″).
The Owls also ran strong in the track events, as junior Ashley Monahan (Agawam/ Springfield, Mass.) and sophomore Jessie Cardin (Sutton/ Sutton, Mass.) won the MASCAC 800 meter dash and the 1500 meter run, respectively. Monahan took first in the MASCAC 800 meter dash, finishing in 2:22.17. She also placed second behind Cardin among MASCAC runners in the 1500 meter run.
Cardin was a repeat winner in the 1500, finishing in 4:47.96. She also placed second in the 5000 meter run, with a time of 17:58.04.
Both women also competed on Westfield’s MASCAC winning 4×800 meter relay team, which finished in 9:42.70. Sophomore Autumn Brown ran the first leg, followed by Monahan, junior Nicole Lanoie, and Cardin.
In the 3000 meter steeplechase, freshman Kara Penney (Rockland/ Rockland, Mass.) finished first among MASCAC runners, followed by Lanoie in second place.
Sophomore Sabrina Pray (Mansfield/ Mansfield, Mass.) also had a strong day for the Owls, placing third in the MASCAC 100 meter hurdles and second in the long jump.
The qualified Owls will compete in the New England Division III Championships next weekend at Springfield College. – Courtesy of Westfield State Sports

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