BALTIMORE, Md. – Rain poured down for the duration of the UMBC Big Dawg Invitational on Saturday and competition was called off early due to lightening in the area, but the Bucknell track and field team found a way to power through the tough conditions, winning 12 of the 27 events contested over the course of the meet. The women’s team boasted seven individual champions, while five different members of the men’s squad turned in the top marks in their respective events.

“I was very pleased with how well many of our athletes competed today in spite of the bad weather,” reflected head coach Kevin Donner at the conclusion of the meet. “I was taking mental notes on which of our athletes competed hard and did not use the weather as an excuse, and  I would say most of our team passed this test.  You never know what the weather will be like in the championship meets later in the year, so this was a valuable experience for all of our athletes”.

The Bison women won three different events on the track and four on the field, performing especially well in the throwing disciples. Senior Emily Waksmunski, the indoor track and field Scholar Athlete of the Year, finished first in the 800m with a time of 2:18.06, while classmate Hana Casalnova topped the field in the 1500, crossing the line at 4:38.83. Sophomore Jenn Silvestri completed the trio of champions in the running events, winning the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:05.21.

Senior Alyssa Cardillo’s leap of 5.44m in the long jump earned her first place in the event, while sophomores Abigail Brundage, Sophia Nnadi and Dayna Simone each won a throwing event. Brundage topped the shot put with a heave of 12.18m, Nnadi was victorious in the hammer throw with a mark of 45.79m, and Simone’s toss of 34.21m in the javelin gave her first-place accolades.

The men’s team took four wins on the track and one on the field, earning the top spot in 400m, 800m, 1500m, 400m hurdles and the discus. Freshman Jacob Ashkettle turned in a time of 49.99 in the 400m to win the event, while sophomore John Westwood and senior Tyler Erhard had the best performances in the 800m and 1500m, respectively. Westwood produced a winning time of 1:55.12, while Erhard crossed the line in 4:01.16. Sophomore Grant Reynolds was victorious in the 400m hurdles with a mark of 56.97, while junior Jack Fellows’ heave of 50.27m was the best performance in the discus.

The Bison will return to action next weekend for a two-day competition, traveling to Williamsburg, Va. for the Colonial Relays on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 5.