Women’s track and field takes top places in Bison Open & Multi, Penn State National Invitational: Reiner sets impressive record for Bison

Charlotte O’Donnell , Contributing Writer

Participants of the women’s track and field team placed in top spots in both the Penn State National Invitational and the Bison Open & Multi on Jan. 30-31. With the team split, the Orange and Blue were nevertheless undeterred in their quest for victory.

The Bison saw success in numerous events at the Penn State National Invitational, with contestants placing in the top five spots. The Orange and Blue’s 4x400m team, consisting of Jess Bridle ’16, Allison Sharkey ’17, Jen Silvestri ’16, and Laura Papili ’17 ran an impressive time of 3:47.75. The Bison athletes competing in the distance medley relay also made a name for themselves by not only taking third place overall, but also taking first place in the school’s record books. The powerhouse combination of Sarah Chandler ’17, Christine Bendzinski ’18, Emma Harris ’18, and Bridle proved to be a potent mix, as the Bison broke the 14-year-old school record for the DMR, cementing 11:34.61 as the new fastest performance for the Orange and Blue. Chandler also represented the Bison well in the 1000m run, taking fourth place with an ECAC-qualifying time of 2:52.70. Chandler’s impressive time makes her one of many Bison record-makers of the weekend, as she set the fifth fastest time in the program’s history for the event. Lauren Hazzard ’19 also made waves with her 5:04.37 mile time.

The Bison Open & Multi was another opportunity for the Bison to make their mark on personal and school records. Carly Reiner ’17 was particularly noticeable in her efforts, as she placed first in the triple jump with a personal best mark of 38-2¾. This jump also earned her the eighth best performance in school history. Plagued with shin splints and struggling to overcome the stress of a fouled second jump, Reiner had one last attempt to place well; her coach and teammates all rallied to her side in unfailing support, and it was to the cheers of her teammates that Reiner made her impressive jump.

Beating 26 jumpers in the field, Reiner says that her success inspired her and helped give credence to her determination.

“Instead of giving up and accepting defeat, we need to push our mistakes aside and persevere,” Reiner said.

Alison Varano ’18 also adheres to the notion of perseverance, as she placed second in the long jump, 800m, and 60m hurdles in the pentathlon to earn her third place overall. Varano has made it a goal to always set a new personal record in order to help her team succeed, and she commented on her performance, saying that she was very happy with the pentathlon’s outcome.

“However, there is still room for improvement,” Varano said.

Abigail Brundage ’16 and Molly Montalvo ’19 each placed first in her respective section for shot put, with Brundage tossing a serious 45-10, and Montalvo posting a score of 38-2. Chrissy Haney ’16 showed considerable speed, placing third in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.24. Katie Fitzgerald ’17 of the 1000m run, Lauren Hudson ’18 of the high jump, and Devon McDonald ’16 of the long jump all placed second, proving the indefatigable prowess of the Bison.

The Bison will next compete Feb. 5-6 in the Youngstown State University National Invitational in Youngstown, Ohio.

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