Bison runners set personal bests at Colonial Relays

Becky Chambers, Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s Bison track and field teams traveled to Williamsburg, Va., to compete in the Colonial Relays on March 31 to April 1. Despite battling inclement weather and delays, the women’s team came through to win the meet with 65 points with the men’s team tying 18th out of 46 schools.

Day one saw some great performances from both the men and the women. Drew Dorflinger ’20 qualified for the IC4As in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:51.68. Luke Giugliano ’17 placed seventh in the 5,000-meter run in 14:26.47, while Will Bordash ’18 finished 23rd with a time of 14:44.66. Both runners qualified for the IC4As. Jordan Jackson ’17 rounded out the day by meeting IC4A requirements after running 1:53.34 in the 800-meter run.

“Colonial Relays is always a great meet for the team. The weather is usually great and it’s an excellent opportunity for the Bison to see some good competition. Although the first day of competition was affected by a severe thunderstorm, we kept our focus,” Jackson said.

“Coach always says we’re not made of sugar, and we kept this in the back of our head as we competed. There were some great times and marks on both the men’s and women’s sides and the meet was a success. A few records went down and there were multiple heat winners, along with some placing. The herd is moving in full force and is hungry for success as we move into the middle section if our outdoor season,” Jackson said.

The women also had a strong first day of competition with two school records broken. Christine Bendzinski ’18 broke the 5,000-meter run record made by Kate Scott ’17 last season. Bendzinski ran the race with a time of 16:37.23, and Scott had finished in 17:10.51.  Sarah Chandler ’17 broke a 15 year old record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:39.30, shaving 30 seconds off of her personal record. Meg Sangimino ’17 garnered a gold medal for the Bison, winning the javelin with a throw of 139-06. Kaitlin Salisbury ’20 also placed in both the long jump and the 100-meter dash.

“Colonial Relays is a great meet and our team took advantage of that this weekend, taking our first program win. Despite some bad weather on Friday, we had a bunch of good individual marks and it’s always good to learn how to compete in bad weather. I ran in the steeplechase on Friday evening and then the distance medley relay on Saturday. I had a big personal best in the steeple and just grabbed the school record, which was an amazing feeling,” Chandler said.

The final day of the Colonial Relays saw even more success. The men’s sprint medley relay team placed second. The team consisted of Will Carter ’17, Bobby Gablein ’20, William Melchionni ’19, and Scott Gulizio ’19. Reggie Harris ’19 also placed second in the triple jump.

The women’s distance medley relay placed second and took three seconds off of the school record. The team, consisting of Chandler, Allison Sharkey ’17, Jenna Farmer ’19, and Bendzinski, finished the relay in 11:38.54. The 4×100-meter relay also had success, placing eighth and qualifying for the ECACs. Carli Lucke ’18, Carly Reiner ’17, Sharkey, and Salisbury ran with a time of 47.91. Reiner also placed fifth in the triple jump, while Stephanie Easse ’17 and Emily Fisher ’18 each placed in the discus.

“On Saturday, the distance medley team of myself, Allison Sharkey, Jenna Farmer, and Chrissy Bendzinski ran a school record time as well. Everyone did what they needed to do to hand off the baton in position for the next leg of the relay and it was enough to get the school record. I couldn’t be happier about this past weekend, it was a great start to my last season,” Chandler said.

“Colonial Relays was a great early-season meet for the team. We opened up some people and held other top-end athletes out, but still had a quality meet. Now we’re getting set up to hit some big marks at the Outdoor Classic in two weeks,” Guigliano said.

The track and field teams will be back in action next weekend for two different meets, one group going to the Sun Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., on April 7-8 and the other group running at the George Mason Spring Invitational in Fairfax, Va.

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