First-place finish for women at PL Indoor Track Championships

Jonathan Tewodros, Senior Writer

The women’s track and field team had a performance for the ages on Feb. 22 with a first-place finish at the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships in Annapolis, Md. The Bison showed their depth as a team, with plenty of scorers in multiple events. Head Coach Kevin Donner was awarded the Patriot League Women’s Coach of the Year award for leading the Bison to its third title in four years.

For the women, their three-day championship weekend, hosted by Navy at Wesley A. Brown Field House, was one of the greatest Patriot League meet performances in school history. The Bison won eight events and outscored a strong defending champion, Boston University, 180-112.5.

The Bison came together with multiple outstanding performances across the board. Christine Bendzinski ’18 led the way with a conference Rookie of the Year performance. She won the mile with a time of 4:56.83, the 1,000 meter run with a league record time of 2:52.13, and the 4×800 relay as the anchor on a team that also set a league record. 

“I’m so happy for our team. We’ve wanted this for so long after our big loss last year and we have an excellent group of leaders and coaches who brought us together at the time when it was most needed. I also don’t think we could’ve done it without all of our amazing fans who made the Naval Academy feel like home. It’s such an amazing feeling to be a champion and I hope we can carry it over into next season and the years to come too!” Bendzinski said. 

Other gold medalists for the Bison were: Kim Nagotko ’15 with a facility record-breaking 400-meter time of 56.45, Efe Agege ’18 with a winning triple jump leap of 39-5 ¼, Abigail Brundage ’16 with a winning shot put toss of 46-3 ½, Jen Silvestri ’16 with a winning 500-meter dash of 1.15.71, and the distance medley relay team of Sarah Chandler ’17, Laura Papili ’17, Emma Cousins ’18, and Katie Jessee ’15 (12:03.02).

“Winning this indoor leagues after coming off of a bad year meant the world to this team. Everyone put in tremendous effort all fall and winter to get us back to being champions. Every girl on the roster was confident and ready and it showed this weekend,” Silvestri said.

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