Track and field concludes busy weekend, women’s relay breaks school record

Becky Chambers, Staff Writer

Men and women’s track and field teams had a very busy weekend dividing and conquering to participate in both the Youngstown State Invitational in Ohio and Notre Dame’s Meyo Invitational on Feb. 3 and 4. It was a weekend filled with top-10 finishes, broken records, and qualifying times.

The meet on Feb. 3 started off strong as the men racked up two first-place finishes at the Youngstown Invite and three IC4A qualifying times at the Meyo Invite. Jacob Ashkettle ’17 came in first in the 500 meter out of a field of 24 runners with a time of 1:05.72, followed closely by Sean Conway ’20 and Steve Rizio ’20 in second and third place, respectively. Jordan Jackson ’17 tallied his first career win in the 1000 meter with a personal best of 2:30.65. He was followed closely by Kyle Adams ’18 and Nick Pacelli ’20. Over at the Meyo Invite, Will Carter ’17 qualified for the IC4A Championships in the 60 meter with a time of 6.97.  Joining him were Luke Giugliano ’17 and Drew Dorflinger ’20 who both qualified for the championship in the 5000 meter with times of 14:34.66 and 14:37.73, respectively.

“I always enjoy visiting Youngstown every year.  The meet was an excellent opportunity for the team to compete with some unfamiliar Midwest teams and reach for some PRs and season bests. This is the core of the season, and I am confident heading into our home meet with two wins. The team is coming together, and with only one more meet before the league championships, everyone on the team is feeling hungry. I’m excited about what is to come for the team, and I believe there are great things coming for the Bison. Our team has identified as a family, and the herd will be moving strong into these next few weeks,” Jackson said.

The women kicked off the Meyo Invite on Feb. 3 by breaking the previous school record of 11:34.61 in the distance medley relay with a time of 11:27.11.  Sarah Chandler ’17 started the race, running her 1200m meters in 3:29.8.  Allison Sharkey ’17 ran the second leg, the 400 meters, in 58.1 and passed it off to Margaret Sliney ’20 who finished her 800 meters in 2:12.7. The relay was anchored by Christine Bendzinski ’18 who ran the remaining 1600 meters in 4:46. At the Youngstown Invite, eight Bison earned spots in top-10 finishes for the program, including Kathleen Fitzgerald ’17 who placed second in the 1000 meter with a time of 2:58.37.

The men had six top-10 finishes at Youngstown on Feb. 4 with Jackson picking up his second win in the 800 meter with a time of 1:56.10 and Reggie Harris ’19 winning the triple jump with a jump of 45-11 3/4. Joseph Breen ’17 also took second in the shot put with a throw of 53-3 1/2. At the Meyo Invite, William Melchionni ’19 had a personal best in the 400 meter with a run of 49.45. Joining the IC4A qualifiers from Feb. 3 was Scott Gulizio ’19 with a qualifying run of 1:53.59 in the 800 meter.

Feb. 4 was also a good day for the women. Colleen Buckley ’19 posted a ECAC-qualifying time of 9:51.30 in the 3000 meter, pushing her to sixth on the all-time list. Lauren Gronbeck ’20 posted a personal best of 10:04.34 in the same race. At Meyo, both Kaitlin Salisbury ’20 and Carly Reiner ’17 moved up on the triple jump top-10 list with jumps of 38-9 and 38-8 1/4, respectively.

“We had great efforts at both meets preparing us more and more for the Patriot League Championship in two weeks at Boston,” Chandler said. “The team has traditionally gone to Youngstown and done well, and we saw that again this year. This was the team’s second time going to Notre Dame. It was a good meet for our program as we raced against some real high caliber schools and branded the Bucknell logo out west, where it isn’’t as well known here on the East Coast.  It is going to be a great Patriot League meet and we are excited to compete for a championship. We won cross country and really want to keep that streak going through indoor and outdoor,” she said.

The Bison only have one more meet before the indoor Patriot League Championships. The teams will be hosting the Bucknell Tune-Up on Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. before heading to the Patriot League Championships on Feb. 17-19 in Boston.

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