By Katherine Harris
The women’s track and field team dominated in its last weekend of regular-season complete squad competition, winning the Bucknell Team Challenge on Saturday. The Bison beat out top teams including Duquesne, Penn State and Towson, earning a decisive 196.5 total points, over 70 more than second-place Duquesne.
On the track, it was the 800 meters where the Bison shone the brightest. Hana Casalnova ’14, Beth Braunegg ’14 and Caroline Tolli ’13 swept the top three spots on the day, with times moving them all into the school record books in the event. Casalnova’s 2:10.70 put her third in school history, while Braunegg and Tolli’s 2.11:74 and 2:12.02 put them now at fifth and sixth, respectively.
“This weekend’s meet fit really well into our schedule. We are only two weeks out from the Patriot League Championship, so it was really important to simulate that competition with a scored meet against some really solid teams,” Tolli said.
There were also many other victories for the Orange and Blue that day, including a win in the 4×800 meter relay with a time of 9:14.76. Katie Jessee ’15 ran a 10:16.86 and marked her first career victory in the 3,000 meters, while Taylor Funk ’12 showed she’s back in peak form with her 14.75 seconds winning the 100 meter hurdles. Also impressive was Kelly Grosskurth ’12 grabbing the victory in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 11:10.90.
The Bison also performed strongly on the field, with Autumn Schellenberger ’14 and Emily Ando ’14 taking first and second in the pole vault, both clearing 11’ 7.75’’. Abby Monaghan ’13 bested the field with the discus, breaking into fourth in the school record books with a throw of 151’ 9’’. In the javelin, Kat Folger ’12 broke her way into third in school history with a throw of 156’ 6’’.
“I am so proud of the girls on this team. We are really pulling together and the pieces are falling into place. I am very happy with our overall performances; we had a lot of great throws, jumps and times,” Monaghan said.
This weekend, the Bison will split up, with select members traveling to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays from Thursday through Saturday, with the rest of the team traveling to Bloomsburg’s Maroon & Gold Invitational on Friday. This will be the last chance for the Orange and Blue to prepare for the Patriot League Championships the following weekend.