Bison dominate PL Indoor Track and Field Championships

Becky Chambers, Senior Writer

The men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to Boston Feb. 17–19 for the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships. The women’s team brought home the trophy, winning the Patriot League indoor title, while the men earned a fourth-place finish and a few All-Patriot League nods.

Feb. 17 kicked off the multi events with Alexis Auman ’19 and Isabella Bjorkeson ’19 participating in the women’s pentathlon, and Grant Smith ’19 and Adam Mszanski ’17 participating in the men’s heptathlon. All four athletes scored in the top-10 for the program.

Things began to heat up on Feb. 18. Nicholas Lombardo ’18 saw a lot of success, coming away with two gold medals in the long jump and the high jump with scores of 24-5 and 6-11, respectively. Drew Dorflinger ’20 also saw the top of the medal stand after winning the 5,000-meter in 14:22.24. The 4×800-meter relay team of Kyle Adams ’18, Jordan Jackson ’17, Louis Tobias ’17, and Scott Gulizio ’19 took third with a time of 7:33.13. Will Carter ’17 won silver in the long jump and received All-Patriot League recognition alongside Lombardo.

“We saw a lot of good things from this meet that we can use as a stepping stone for outdoor track. While I am never content with fourth place I am very proud of how our team battled and think that we gave it all we had. I’m also very proud of the girls’ team for taking home the title! ’Ray Bucknell,” Lombardo said.

The women’s 4×800 meter relay team shattered the school and Patriot League record with a time of 8:50.58. The team consisted of Emma Harris ’18, Margaret Sliney ’20, Sarah Chandler ’17, and Christine Bendzinski ’18. Colleen Buckley ’19 and Lauren Hudson ’18 won silver medals in the 5,000-meter and high jump, respectively. Molly Montalvo ’19 earned a bronze in the weight throw.

The Orange and Blue continued their success into the final day on Feb. 19. Lombardo and Dorflinger were honored as Patriot League Male Athletes of the Meet. Carter broke the school record in the 200-meter dash in 21.48 and added another bronze to the medal count. Joseph Breen ’17 also won bronze in the shot put.

Bendzinski went back out on Feb. 19 to win the mile and the 3,000-meter run, breaking the broke the school and Patriot League record in the 3,000 meter. The Bison were not done winning medals there. Kaitlin Salisbury ’20 won for the 60-meter in 7.66. The distance medley team of Kathleen Fitzgerald ’17, Emily Ryan ’18, Sliney, and Chandler smashed another record, winning gold with a time of 11:42.17. Chandler garnered two more medals: a gold in the 1,000-meter run and a bronze in the mile. Carli Lucke ’18 stood on the winner’s podium after earning silver in the 60-meter dash. Jenna Farmer ’19 also won second in the 1,000-meter run. Carly Reiner ’17 won third in the triple jump with a distance of 39-7. After totaling the most medals for women, the women celebrated the coveted title of Patriot League Champions.

“Last year, we lost to Boston University at their home facility by a small margin, so coming back to their track, there was self-imposed pressure to achieve to the best of our ability. There were a lot of highs and lows during this weekend, but the best part was the support we had through it all. We were clearly the most spirited in the Patriot League, and that spirit carried over into an exhilarating environment that helped us succeed. Boston is a great team, and it was amazing to win after taking second last year,” Bendzinski said.

“Going in as the underdog and walking out of Boston’s home track with the win is something I will never forget. We never doubted that we could win, but we also recognized that Boston is a talented team and it was never going to be easy to beat them. I’m so proud and lucky to be a part of this team and this championship,” Buckley said.

The teams will return to Boston on March 4–5 to compete in the ECAC and IC4A Indoor Championships.

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