LEWISBURG, Pa. – Junior sprinter Billy Melchionni earned Bison Athlete of the Week honors on Monday, following his sensational performance at the Patriot League Outdoor Track & Field Championships over the weekend.
Melchionni won the 200- and 400-meter dashes, and then he capped off the meet with a come-from-behind anchor leg to lead the 4x400 relay to a gold medal. Melchionni was named Track Athlete of the Meet for the second straight year. He was the first repeat outdoor Athlete of the Meet since Bucknell’s Rob Arent in 2010 and 2011.
Melchionni made history in winning the 200-meter dash. His time of 20.99 in the finals set a school record and made him the first athlete in school history to break the 21-second barrier. He ran a 21.07 in the prelims a day earlier, which shattered Justin Hicks’ previous school record of 21.16, set in 2013.
Melchionni’s time of 47.30 in the 400-meter dash was the second-fastest in Bucknell history and gave him the Patriot League title in the event for the second straight year. The only Bison to go faster in the 400 is Hall-of-Famer Thomas McLean, whose 46.84 in 1976 still holds up as the school record.
Capping the outstanding day for Melchionni and the Bison was the title in the 4x400 relay, the program’s first in the event since 2011. He was joined by Steve Rizio, Alex Dessoye, and Robert Dessoye to earn the gold medal with a time of 3:12.47, good enough for fourth on the program’s all-time list. The same four runners won the title for the Bison at this year’s Patriot League Indoor Championships.
The Bison men’s squad finished in third place at the Patriot League Championships, trailing only Navy and Army West Point. Melchionni and the Bison are back in action this weekend at the IC4A Championships at Princeton.