Bridle and Oladiran shatter records for women’s track and field

Bethany Blass, Sports Editor

At the Gulden Invitational on Jan. 23, Jess Bridle ’16 broke the 400-meter record and qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Indoor Championship with an impressive time of 55.88.  The invitational also saw another record-breaking time when Kafilat Oladiran ’18 earned the victory in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.77.  Several other women contributed solid performances to win 96.50 points for the Bison and tally triumphs in nine individual events.

“This meet was full of surprises, but for me I think one of the highlights was having a PR twice for the same race, the 60-meter hurdles,” Oladiran said. “I have to work even harder to stay healthy and get stronger and faster, not just for the hurdles, but for my other races as well. I’m super excited to see how far I can go this indoor season and also looking forward to the outdoor season.”

Bridle also took a victory in the 200-meter run with a time of 25.12 to qualify for the ECAC championship and earn the fifth fastest time in school history. Her accomplishments at the event earned her the MVP title for the day. Jen Silvestri ’16 defeated 10 opponents in the 500-meter with a time of 1:16.11. Emma Harris ’18, Jamie Kenney ’18, and Natalie Waterhouse ’19 finished in the top five in the event for the Orange and Blue.

“This may have been one of our best early season meets ever. Our top athletes really flexed their muscles and showed dominance,” head coach Kevin Donner said. “We will be having a tremendous battle with Boston University next month for the league championship. We will need our depth to come through to win the meet. We showed that we have the top guns to compete with Boston, but the middle tier kids need to step up and get those fourths and fifths.  The league has improved a lot and we need to continue to improve as well.”

For the longer events, Sarah Chandler ’17 took the 800-meter title, and Christine Bendzinski ’18 prevailed in the 1,000-meter run. Both runners successfully ran ECAC-qualifying times. Other individual wins for the Bison came from Kate Scott ’17 in the 3,000-meter and Lauren Hudson ’18 in the high jump.

Abigail Brundage ’16 was the dominant thrower in the shot put, tallying a throw of 45-7¾. Teammate Sophia Nnadi ’16 filled the runner-up spot in the shot put with a heave of 44-9½, allowing both Bison to qualify for the ECAC championship.

The Orange and Blue will continue their season Jan. 29-30, as they send competitors to two different events. The Bison will compete at both the Penn State National Invitational in State College, as well as the Bison Open & Multi in Lewisburg.

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