LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell track and field team accomplished exactly what it set out to on Friday evening, turning in a plethora of fast performances at the Bucknell Tune-Up meet, hosted by the Bison at Gerhard Fieldhouse. The squad was joined by competitors from Bloomsburg, Shippensburg and Lehigh in a meet that allowed some athletes to earn their spots at the upcoming Patriot League meet and prepared others for championship-caliber performances next weekend. When all was said and done, the Bison turned in 13 first-place finishes and eight ECAC/IC4A qualifying marks in a highly productive day of competition.
“We got exactly what we were looking for today,” said head coach Kevin Donner, “I told our team that I was hoping a few athletes would come out of the woodwork to make our decision for the league lineup difficult, and we definitely had that. We also had a few more athletes qualify for ECACs and IC4As, and it was the perfect tune-up for many others. We are ready to have a great meet next weekend.”
On the women’s side, senior Hana Casalnova, senior Emily Waksmunski, junior Betsy Edinger and senior Emily Ando all achieved ECAC qualifying times with strong performances in their individual events. Casalnova won the 800 with a time of 2:15.67, while Waksmunski and Edinger claimed the top two spots in the 1000, finishing in 2:55.08 and 2:58.15, respectively. Ando represented the Bison in the field events, tying for first in the pole vault with a mark of 11-09.75. Bucknell’s 4x400 meter relay team also proved its mettle on Friday evening, as the team of senior Jennifer Zymet, sophomore Jess Bridle, freshman Allison Sharkey and sophomore Jenn Silvestri combined for a time of 3:52.82. The quartet blew away the rest of the field by more than 10 seconds, qualifying for ECACs and turning in the eighth-fastest performance in program history.
In addition, freshman Laura Papili, senior Alyssa Cardillo and sophomore Sophia Nnadi each contributed a first place finish for the Bison, while freshman Carly Reiner ran her way onto the program’s top 10 performers list. Papili won the 500, finishing with a time of 1:19.38, while Cardillo’s leap of 17-08.75 earned her top honors in the long jump. Nnadi, who has turned in strong performances in the throwing events over the past several weeks, took runner-up honors in the shot put and won the weight throw with a heave of 50-09.25. Reiner competed in the 60 meter dash, finishing third and tying for eighth all-time when she finished in 8.00.
The men turned in equally impressive performances over the course of the evening, highlighted by IC4A qualifying marks by sophomore Anthony Menza, senior Tyler Erhard and junior Jack Fellows. Menza finished third in the 200, crossing the line at 22.57, while Erhard raced to victory in the 1000, producing a winning time of 2:29.01. Fellows, who has dominated in the throwing events as of late, won the weight throw with a toss of 62-03.75, a personal best mark which made him the fifth-best all-time performer in program history.
Four other Bison also earned victories in the meet, while freshman Joseph Breen recorded a top ten program mark in the shot put. Breen finished second in the event with a heave of 52-01.25, making him the sixth-best all-time performer in program history. Senior Dennis Logan raced to the top spot in the 500, finishing in 1:06.63, while junior Grant Reynolds also found a win on the track, hurdling to a time of 8.33. Senior Nathaniel Witter won the pole vault with a mark of 15-03.00, and junior Kevin Keller earned top honors in the long jump, leaping to a mark of 22-01.50.
Bucknell will return to action at its biggest meet of the indoor season next weekend, seeking a sweep of the championship titles when it hosts the Patriot League Championship Meet at Gerhard Fieldhouse. The annual conference meet will begin with the multi events on Friday, Feb. 21 at 12 p.m. and will run through Sunday, Feb. 23. Live results and full coverage of the meet will be available on BucknellBison.com.