LEWISBURG, Pa. – Headlining a tremendous all-around day for the Bucknell mid-distance contingent at the Bucknell Team Challenge, freshman Tiara Tardy won the 800-meter run and also anchored the team’s runner-up 4x400-meter relay. The Bison scored 212 points to finish in first place in the scored meet, easily outdistancing nearest chasers Duquesne (125) and Binghamton (91).
"The women’s team had a very good day", said head coach Kevin Donner. "The weather was the best we have seen so far this year, and it looks like we are finally rounding into form as a team after a slower than usual start. We had a large amount of season-best marks and personal bests, but more importantly, our athletes were trying to win and score. It seems the team is excited about the next two to three weeks; I sure am. It’s also an honor to see the seniors compete for the last time at home. We host seven or eight home meets a year, so these athletes have been to about 30 home meets, and many of them had their best marks today."
Tardy was the top runner in the 800 with an ECAC-qualifying time of 2:10.84, finishing almost a full second ahead of the second-place runner. The Bar Harbor, Maine, native set an in-season best by 2.42 seconds and moved up to fifth on Bucknell’s all-time-top-10 list. Gianna Mincone (2:13.49), Emma Cousins (2:17.00), and Ashley Blair (2:18.84) earned top-10 finishes -- 3rd, 7th, and 9th -- in the 800.
About an hour and 50 minutes later, in the final track event of the day, the 4x400 relay squad of Natalie Waterhouse, Carli Lucke, Jennifer Dietrich, and Tardy earned a runner-up finish with a time of 3:53.36. The Bison were trailing by a couple of body lengths entering the final leg when Tardy turned it on, but Duquesne’s anchor Kel-Lisa Sebwe was able to hold on and finish just .03 in front of Bucknell for the top spot (3:53.33).
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase earlier in the day, Payton Capes placed first with her best time of the season, clocking in at 10:56.65. The freshman now ranks sixth on Bucknell's all-time list, bumping down a spot teammate Margaret Thomson (10:57.35), who currently ranks seventh on the list.
Kafilat Oladiran had a quality showing for the Bison in the 100-meter high hurdles. Oladiran crossed the line in first place with a time of 14.69, to finish a tick faster than the 14.75 she ran at last weekend’s Bison Outdoor Classic. Janiel Slowly (5th, 16.33), and Harper Stewart (9th, 17.93) rounded out a solid high hurdles contingent. Bucknell’s top finisher in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles was senior Alison Varano, who took fourth on Senior Day in 1:04.79. Katie Sabatino (1:05.57), Chelsea Reynolds (1:07.18), Makenna Cerney (1:07.28), Alexandra Koumas (1:07.58), and Cayleigh Glew (1:10.88) placed 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th, respectively.
Bucknell also got a nice time from its 4x100 relay team, which included Lucke, Kaitlin Salisbury, Dietrich, and Oladiran. The group placed third in 47.24, to move up to fourth on the all-time list. In the 100-meter dash, Lucke (2nd, 12.61), and Taylor Kennedy (5th, 12.97) both earned top-five finishes. Salisbury was the team’s top finisher in the 200-meter dash, placing third in 24.99. Lucke was five spots back with a time of 25.64.
In the 400-meter run, Dietrich, Rebecca Rooney, Waterhouse, Shaylyn Fahey, Emily Ryan, and Michaela Mincone all had quality showings. Dietrich (5th, 57.97), Rooney (8th, 58.83) and Waterhouse (9th, 58.84) placed in the top-10.
Moving over to the throws, Kasey Getkin, Taylor Oxley, and Hanna Beer took the top three spots in the javelin throw. Getkin placed first with a toss of 139-11, Oxley took second (125-7), and Beer rounded it out with a third-place standing (125-5). In the shot put, Delia Sipe earned a top-10 mark with a toss of 44-4, which ranks eighth all-time; in addition to her first-place throw in the discus (137-9). Ella Schultz won the shot put with a toss of 44-4 1/4. Molly Montalvo rounded out a strong throws contingent by taking the top spot in the hammer throw with a toss of 167-7. Katie Wisotsky (4th, 135-08), Ella Schultz (5th, 134-10), and Danielle Line (8th, 131-11) also performed well.
In the jumps, senior Lauren Hudson finished the final home meet of her career on a high note. The Amherst, New York, native set a personal record, clearing 5-6 to move into a tie for third on the all-time list with Norine Nadeau, who also cleared (5-6) in 1996. Lexy Forrestal (5-4 ½) and Alexandra Butz (5-4 ½) moved into a tie for ninth on the top-10 list to round out a solid high jumps contingent.
Alexa DiGregorio finished fifth in the long jump with a leap of 16-11 ½; she also placed 10th in the triple jump (32-11 ¼). Salisbury was the top finisher in the triple jump, finishing second by leaping 37-6 ¾ feet. Alexis Auman closed out a strong event for the Bison with a sixth-place standing (36-02 ¼). Chloe Brown took third in the pole vault, clearing 11-1 ¾.
The Bison will compete one last weekend before the Patriot League Outdoor Championships. Bucknell will send a group of athletes to compete at the Penn Relays (Apr. 26-28), while another contingent will compete at Bloomsburg (Apr. 28).