Track and field posts record-breaking weekend

Becky Chambers, Senior Writer

The track and field team hosted the Bucknell Team Challenge at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on April 22. It was a record-breaking meet, with two school records shattered and the Bison men’s and women’s teams both taking home the gold.

Christine Bendzinski ’18 and Matthew Fay ’19 were the two record breakers of the day. Bendzinski shattered an 11-year-old record in the 800-meter run in 2:08.76, bringing home the win for the race. Fay broke a 17-year-old record in the pole vault, vaulting 16-9 and a quarter, winning the event and smashing his personal best of 16-2 and three quarters along with the previous record of 16-3.

“The Bucknell Team Challenge brought a lot of PR’s and great performances. We showed our depth by holding out some people and putting others in off-events, and still came up strong to win. Being at home definitely helps, and it was our last chance to have everyone on the team together, cheering each other on,” Bendzinski said.

Several other Bison made notable performances in their contributions to the overall wins. Joseph Breen ’17 won the discus with a throw of 157-8. In the triple jump, Nicholas Lombardo ’18 came in first after a leap of 23-0 and three quarters. Ross Pirnie ’17 won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:32.11 while William Melchionni ’19 won the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.28. Jordan Jackson ’17 was also victorious in the 800-meter run, coming in first with a time of 1:53.48. Jacob Stupak ’20 rounded out the winners with a first-place finish in the 3,000-meter run, which he ran in 8:41.52.

For the women’s team, Margaret Thomson ’19 came in first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:03.20. Elyse Pettaway ’17 became the fifth-fastest in school history for the 400-meter dash after she won the event in 56.57. Lauren Gronbeck ’20 finished first in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:07.11. Meg Sangimino ’17 kept the trend going, placing first in the javelin with a throw of 152-7. Stephanie Easse ’17 won the discus for the second week in a row when she had a throw of 148-1. The 4×100-meter relay team, consisting of Carli Lucke ’18, Carly Reiner ’17, Allison Sharkey ’17, and Kaitlin Salisbury ’20, took gold in the event with a time of 47.15. This is the Bison’s third team victory.

The Bison will divide and conquer the weekend of April 28-29, sending one group to the Penn Relays and another to the Bloomsburg Invitational.

“Next week we hope to finish out the season strong at Penn Relays and Bloomsburg, and are looking forward to Patriot Leagues in two weeks. We’re expected to have a huge crowd at Lehigh as usual, and couldn’t be more excited to compete,” Bendzinski said.

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