Women’s track and field races into first place in season opener

Lauren Whelan, Assistant Sports Editor

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Taking its talents to Monmouth University, the Bison women’s track and field team came in first place in its season opener on March 28. Kate VanNess ’16, Efe Agege ’18, Chrissy Bendzinski ’18, Elyse Pettaway ’17, and Sophia Nnadi ’16 all recorded first-place finishes in their respective events.

In the 5000 meter race, the Orange and Blue stunned the competition, stealing the first four slots in a field of 35 runners total. VanNess was the first-place finisher, followed closely by Elizabeth Sheprow ’17, Meghan Carroll ’16, and Justine Schnell ’15.

In the triple jump, Agege leapt 38-0 ¾ to place first, leading the pack of 16. Additionally, Bendzinski won the 3000-meter race, pulling ahead of the pack of 17. Despite their status as first-year students, Agege and Bendzinski are not newcomers to success, and both saw similar results in their respective events during the winter indoor season.  

The other first-place finishes for the Orange and Blue came from Nnadi (shot put) and Pettaway (200-meter dash).  

“Starting the season with a win kind of served as a huge confidence-booster, especially because the conditions for the competition weren’t the greatest. I’m just excited to build off that win,” Nnadi said.

Numerous other Bison athletes placed in the top bunch of finishers for the day, including Rebecca Skovira ’16, who placed third in the javelin (130-7). 

At another meet in Raleigh, N.C., Bison runner Kate Scott ’17 ran one of the fastest 10,000 meter runs in program history, placing second on the all-time list with a time of 35:32.54. The first-place slot has been held by Judy Perry since 1987 (35:05.14).

The women’s track and field team also traveled to Susquehanna on March 29 and competed in the Jim Taylor Invitational. Five Bison achieved first-place finishes in their respective events: Leigh Ann Labate ’16, Kylie Pearse ’15, Tara Lee ’16, Stephanie Easse ’17, and Isabelle Hinckley ’18 each had notable showings on the day. The Bison found success in both the track and field events, with two of the first-place finishes coming from distance running, two from throwing, and one from jumping.

Next up for the Bison are the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va. on April 3-4. 

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