Bison place among elite competition at Outdoor Classic meet

Elise Covert, Sports Co-Editor

The Bison track and field teams hosted the Bison Outdoor Classic, one of the premier meets on the East Coast, on April 14-15 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Competition kicked off on a beautiful Saturday before the spring chill returned to the air Sunday, but the Orange and Blue excelled in all conditions and capped the weekend with a number of impressive performances.

For the men, the sprinters put on a series of strong performances. Billy Melchionni ’19 led the way with an individual win in the 200-meter dash, as well as a clutch anchor performance in the Orange and Blue’s first place victory in the 4×400-meter relay. Jeffrey Brown ’20 finished just a fraction of a second behind Melchionni in the 200-meter dash for second place. Additionally, Melchionni and Alex Dessoye ’21 placed second and third, respectively, in the 400-meter run.

In distance, James Weissenborn ’20 shattered his personal best time by 26 seconds in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 16th place. Riley Gardner ’21 had a time of 9:00.59 in the 3,000-meter run to place sixth.

In the field, Nicholas Lombardo ’18 qualified for the IC4A meet with a high jump of 6-9.5, good enough for sixth in the meet, and asserted himself as one of the elite high jumpers in the Patriot League. Reggie Harris ’19 finished seventh in the triple jump, and Aidan Krombolz ’21 placed sixth in the javelin with a 199-foot hurl. Nicholas Marino ’21 and Matthew Fay ’19 both had top-ten efforts in the pole vault.

On the women’s side, Chrissy Bendzinski ’18 smashed the school record in the 1500m, finishing with a time of 4:16.54, currently the seventh fastest in the nation. Teammate Colleen Buckley ’18 qualified for the ECAC meet in the 5000-meter race, placing 11th with a time of 16:59.46, a personal best.

The 4×400-meter team of Rebecca Rooney ’20, Emily Ryan ’18, Gianna Mincone ’20, and Tiara Tardy ’21 took second in their event, finishing about five seconds behind Duquesne. Tardy also had an impressive individual performance in the 800-meter, finishing fourth out of 128 runners. Jennifer Dietrich ’21 also placed fourth in the 400-meter event, and Kafilat Oladiran ’18 came in sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.75 seconds.

In field events, Maura Fiamoncini ’21 continued her striking success, winning the javelin with a stadium record of 178-2 feet. The Bison placed four in the top ten in the event. In the triple jump, Kaitlin Salisbury ’20 came in fourth out of a field of 34 athletes.

The Orange and Blue will continue competition when they host the Team Challenge, their final home meet of the season, on April 21.

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