YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio/AKRON, Ohio – The Bucknell track and field team had an incredible day of racing on Friday and didn’t miss a beat on Saturday, turning in dominant performances at both the Youngstown State National Invitational, held at the university’s Watson and Tressel Training Site (WATTS), and the Akron Invitational, held at Stile Field House. The Bison, who are competing with the single-minded focus of a team destined for championship glory, finished the day with a new school record, more IC4A/ECAC qualifiers and a slew of personal best performances.
“It was a huge weekend for both our men and women,” said head coach Kevin Donner, “It seemed like just about everyone had season best marks, and I believe that we are now set up nicely for the league meet. We will clean a few spots up at the Bucknell Tune-Up next Friday, and we will be ready to go when we host the Patriot League Championships in two weeks.”
One of the highlights of the full day of competition was senior Jennifer Zymet’s lightning fast performance in the 400m race at the Akron Invitational. She finished in a personal best time of 55.93, taking fifth but setting a new school record and qualifying for ECACs in the process. The previous program mark of 56.74 was set by Yetunde Daniels in 2000.
Four male runners turned in IC4A qualifying times in their respective events at Akron, and two of them produced times that ranked them among the top performers in program history. Sophomore John Westwood finished fourth in the mile with a time of 4:12.31, while sophomore Anthony Menza ran the 400 in 48.97, a time that makes him the fifth fastest performer in program history. Sophomore Ryan Johnson and junior Alex Jagelsky finished just hundredths of a second apart in the 800, as Johnson crossed the line in 1:52.33 with Jagelsky just a step behind him in 1:52.44. Johnson’s mark makes him Bucknell’s tenth all-time performer in the event.
Senior Ray Holmes represented the Bison in the field events at Akron, winning the triple jump with a personal best leap of 49-09.25. The mark qualified him for IC4As and also elevated him to the second spot on Bucknell’s all-time performers list. The Bison concluded the day with a strong second-place finish in the 4x400 relay, as the team of Menza, senior Jacob Eaton Hall, junior Christian Lupica and junior Kevin Tapper combined for a time of 3:14.06, the second fastest ever produced by a Bucknell squad.
Members of the Bucknell track and field team also competed in the second day of the Youngstown State National Invitational. Sophomore Sophia Nnadi led the way on the women’s side, winning the shot put with a heave of 45-01.00, an ECAC qualifying mark that makes her the fifth all-time performer in the event in program history. Seniors Nathaniel Witter and Scott Weismiller finished second and third in the pole vault, turning in marks of 15-05.00 and 14-11.00, respectively, while senior Dennis Logan claimed the runner-up spot in the 800 with a time of 1:54.56, just shy of the IC4A qualifying time.
Bucknell, which is set to host the 2014 Patriot League Championships at Gerhard Fieldhouse from Feb. 21 to 23, will seek to finalize its championship lineup on Friday, Feb. 14 at the Bucknell Tune-Up. The Bison will host the meet, and competition is set to begin at 5 p.m. Live results will be available.