Before breaking records at her weekend track meet, Bison track and field star Jess Bridle ’16 ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and put on her lucky pink and blue socks. After physically and mentally preparing for an array of vigorous events, Bridle arrived at Gerhard Fieldhouse on Jan. 23 for the Gulden Invitational with her sights set on achieving a new personal best and qualifying for the ECAC Indoor Championships.
The Tewksbury, Mass. native did not disappoint, as she crossed the 400-meter finish line in 55.88, pushing her past previous record holder Jenni Zymet (2014). Bridle also secured an impressive win against 17 competitors in the 200-meter, finishing with an ECAC-qualifying time of 25.12.
Bridle’s astounding success thus far into her senior campaign has not come easily, as she has worked through injuries and setbacks throughout her four years that have pushed her to keep striving for results.
“This is the first year that I have been able to train throughout the fall which I have learned is extremely beneficial. As a result, I have also learned that track is about consistency whether that is consistency in your training, eating, sleeping. So, I think after four years I have learned how to find that balance,” Bridle said.
Bridle owns the school records in the indoor 300-meter and 400-meter after making significant improvements from past years, and she is also a member of the record-holding indoor and outdoor 4×400 meter relay teams and the outdoor 4×100 relay team. She knows the commitment and dedication it takes to achieve such results.
“Breaking a record is the greatest feeling. It reminds you that everything you did to get there was worth it and that you would gladly do it again,” Bridle said.
Without the plague of injury this fall, Bridle was able to fine-tune her skills and prepare extensively for her last season as a member of the Orange and Blue squad. As a senior, she recognizes the importance of leading her large team to success by pushing her younger teammates to be driven and dedicated. However, a strong work ethic does not mean they can’t enjoy the activity they all love.
“I would tell the underclassmen to enjoy it because being a part of a team is invaluable, especially being a part of BUTF. I would also tell them make the sacrifices necessary to succeed because these four years go by quickly, and there is nothing better than working hard for something and accomplishing it,” Bridle said.
As a junior, Bridle ran one leg of a winning 4×100 relay team at the Patriot League Championships and received points for a fourth-place finish in the 4×400 relay. However, this year she has her sights set on attaining the ultimate team goal for the last time: winning both indoor and outdoor Patriot League Championships. Despite outstanding individual success, Bridle believes that her team environment has been essential in helping her achieve such recognition.
“Jess, we’re seniors! Let’s have fun because this is what we love to do,” teammate Drea Bourgal ’16 said throughout the meet.
It is this passion and dedication that Bridle utilizes every day of practice and every weekend during meets that will hopefully drive her to achieve more and more success, one pre-meet peanut butter and jelly at a time.
– 200 (25.12)
– 400 (55.88)
– 200 (25.54)
– 400 (57.62)