MOUNT VERNON – Freshman Abrah Masterson became Cornell's first conference women's indoor champion in 10 years and led the Rams to a strong Day 1 showing at the Midwest Conference Track & Field Championships Friday in the Small Multi-Sport Center Arena.
The host Rams turned in five all-conference performances and stand fourth in the team race with 43 points after seven scored events. Cornell is just four points behind Grinnell in second, while Monmouth leads with 61.
Masterson raced to a convincing victory in the 5000-meter run with a season-best time of 18:40.86. She made her move with about a mile to go and coasted to the finish line, 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Diana Seer of Grinnell.
Masterson claimed Cornell's first indoor running title at a conference meet since 2004, when Jamie Scholz was crowned Iowa Conference champion in the 1,000. Masterson celebrated the victory with junior teammate Ashley Reynolds, who earned all-MWC honors with a third-place finish in 18:53.80.
Cornell also sent a pair of individuals to the all-conference podium in a hotly-contested mile run. Senior Laura Ettlin was runner-up in 5:11.93, just .25 seconds behind Grinnell's Sarah Burnell. It was Ettlin's third all-MWC indoor medal.
Sophomore Sam Martinez had just enough lean at the finish line to secure third place in 5:15.36. She nosed Monmouth's Kyra Kimber by a mere .007 seconds for the final all-conference position in the mile.
Junior Madison Acree earned all-conference status in the shot put. She placed third with a personal-best mark of 42 feet, 7 inches.
The Rams received four team points in the long jump from Ty Person, who placed fifth in 16-05.75. Freshman Sydney Strunk anchored Cornell's 4x200 relay of Deidre Franzen, Mariah Brandly and Person to a sixth-place finish in 1:51.56.
Freshman Nikki Leach advanced to the finals in the 60 hurdles with the third-quickest time (9.74).
Action resumes Saturday with field events at 9:30 a.m. Running events start at noon.