Men and women’s track teams claim first place in Bucknell Team Challenge

Kaelyn Long, Senior Writer

The men’s and women’s track teams competed in the Bucknell Team Challenge on April 20, a home meet against Binghamton, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Penn State, St. Francis (PA), and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC.) The men’s track and field team claimed first place, finishing with 321.5 total points, while the women’s team also secured first place with 301 points.


On the men’s side in the 400, Robert Dessoye ’21 (48.62), Alex Dessoye ’21 (48.72), and Steve Rizio ’20 (48.72) all met IC4A qualification standards. R. Dessoye broke into the University’s top 10 times for the event by 0.01 seconds.


“Team energy was good,” R. Dessoye said. “Even with lackluster weather, everyone was there supporting each other, and the team is coming together as a family at the right time for leagues.”


In the 100 meter dash, Jeff Brown ’20 finished in first place with a time of 11.12, while Ryquan Harris ’20 placed third with a time of 11.30. Brown also won the 200 with an impressive time of 22.0, reaching an IC4A standard. Rizio was second at 22.32. Brown finished his day off with a win in the 4×100 with teammates Harris, Rizio, and Billy Melchionni ’19, finishing with a time of 41.94. In the steeplechase, Terryl Ferrel ’20 outlasted the competition by 13 seconds, placing first with a time of 9:29.71.


In the field events, Micah Sims ’20 took first in the long jump, reaching the IC4A standard and personal best score of 23-4.75. Steven Bolger ’19 took second place with a jump of 22-2.25. Reggie Harris ’19 also took home second place in the triple jump with a distance of 46-10. C.J. Falcioni ’20 won the shot put (50-8.25) and threw a remarkable 185-2 in the hammer throw. Will Briggs ’20 won the discus, reaching an IC4A standard with a 157-1 throw. Matt Fay ’19 won the pole vault event (16-8.75) while Nicholas Marino ’21 tied at second place (14-11). Jordan Montero ’21 took home second in the javelin with a throw of 190-0.


Scott Gulizio ’19 earned a strong time in the 800, finishing in second place (1:53.65). Connor McMenamin ’21 earned second in the 1500 with a time of 3:59.50. In the 3000, Owen Chase ’22 finished second with a time of 8:53.84. Jack Memoli ’22 placed second in the 110 hurdles with a season-best time of 15.16.


Meanwhile, on the women’s side, the team as a whole finished with seven first-place finishes. A school record was broken in the high jump by dual athlete Taylor O’Brien ’22 in just her second collegiate meet as a member of the team. O’Brien, who is also a member of the women’s basketball team, recorded a jump of 5-7.25. Michaela Bracken ’22, Alexandra Butz ’21, and Lexy Forrestal ’20 had a three-way tie for second place with jumps of 5-3.

“It feels amazing just being able to join a team and it already feels like I’m part of the family atmosphere and how supportive everyone is. Breaking the record won’t stop me from continuing track; it will just push me to do better and help the team as a whole,” O’Brien said. “It’s very tough doing two sports but in the end, it’s all about the love of what you do and I love basketball and track and being able to do both again really makes it all worthwhile.”


In track events, Tia Tardy ’21 placed first in the 800 with a time of 2:12.00, while Gianna Mincone ’20 placed second with a time of 2:14.89. The Orange and Blue took six of the top seven spots for this event. Kaitlin Salisbury ’20 earned first place in the 100 with a time of 12.11. The 4×400 team also placed first, with a team composed of Bracken, Becca Rooney ’20, Mincone, and Tardy (3:54.84). Rooney also finished second in the 400 with a time of 58.12. Alexandra Koumas ’20 placed third in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:05.63.


In the 4×100, the team of Gianna Macones ’22, Rooney, Bracken, and Salisbury were just edged out of first place, placing behind the Saint Francis team with a time of 47.89. Despite the loss, their time ranks ninth in history for the Bison and qualifies them for the ECAC meet.


Delia Sipe ’21 got a first-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 44-8, and Molly Montalvo ’19 also took home the win in the hammer throw with a throw of 171-0. Maura Fiamoncini ’21 won the javelin with a season-best throw of 168-7. Kasey Getkin ’19 placed second in the event with a 133-0 throw. In the long jump, Alexis Auman ’19 and Macones tied for third with a jump of 17-4.75.


The men’s and women’s teams will next compete at the Penn Relays held from April 25-26 at the University of Pennsylvania.

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