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Speed Queen

When Katie Jo McMenamin ’16 won the 1,500-meter run and placed second in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships May 28, she became our first NCAA national
champion in track and field and the first Swarthmore woman to win an NCAA title of any kind. (The title also marks Swarthmore’s first NCAA national championship since the 1990 men’s tennis team won the crown.)

“It still hasn’t really sunk in that I won or that it’s all over, but I can’t imagine a better way to end my Swarthmore running career,” says McMenamin, a native of Lafayette, Colo., who finishes her career as a three-time All-American.

This milestone came as part of a whirlwind day for McMenamin. In a 24-hour span, she won a national championship, celebrated her 22nd birthday, and traveled more than 1,000 miles back to Swarthmore from Iowa to receive her engineering degree at Commencement.

Her track triumph occurred at Wartburg College, where McMenamin won the 1,500-meter run with a blistering time of 4:24.33—a program, Centennial Conference, and stadium record. Just a few hours later, she placed second in the 5,000-meter run, finishing with a time of 16:44.02. 

Following that run, the race back to campus for Commencement was on. McMenamin and Peter Carroll, head track and field coach, drove five hours to Chicago, stayed at a hotel, and caught a 5:40 a.m. flight back to Philadelphia.

Ultimately, McMenamin credits the Swarthmore community—particularly her fellow athletes—for helping her reach her goal.

“I’ve had a lot of teammates to look up to over the past four years and am honored just to have been able to represent our program at the highest level,” she says. “It’s really a team more than an individual accomplishment, and that’s what makes it so meaningful.”



Lizzie Kölln ’16 recorded the 100th goal of her career in a 16-5 win over Bryn Mawr.


The team tied for fourth at the Centennial Conference Championships with two silver- and two bronze-medal performances.    


Shortstop Marit Vike ’19 was named All-Centennial Conference and set a program record with 26 stolen bases.


Rookie of the Year Vamsi Damerla ’19 tied for second overall at the Centennial Conference Championship.


The team qualified for the Centennial Conference tournament for the sixth time in seven seasons.


The team defeated nationally ranked Johns Hopkins and Mary Washington for the first time in nearly a decade.