LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell track and field program will send five athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary Meet, which will be held May 26-28 in Jacksonville, Florida at Hodges Stadium. Christine Bendzinski, Kate Scott along with Dayna Simone will represent the Bison women, while Nicholas Lombardo and John Westwood qualified on the men’s team.
UPDATE: Due to a medical scratch in their respective event, Bucknell men's track and field members Joseph Breen (shot put) and Grant Reynolds (110-meter hurdles) will join the group of Bison athletes making the trip to Jacksonville.
Christine Bendzinski – 1,500-meter
First Round (Thursday, 5:30 p.m.) – Quarterfinals (Saturday, 6:30 p.m.)
Bendzinski enters with the 12th-fastest time in the region, which came at the Bison Outdoor Classic. She was the runner-up in the event with a time of 4:19.99, which is a Bucknell school record. She earned the silver medal in the event at the Patriot League Outdoor Championships in 2015 and 2016. Last weekend, Bendzinski became one of three Bison to win an individual title at the ECAC Outdoor Championships, winning the 1,500-meter race. The sophomore is a 10-time All-Patriot League selection and a three-time selection to the Academic All-Patriot League squad.
Kate Scott – 5,000-meter
Semifinal (Saturday, 8:05 p.m.)
Scott looks to continue a successful outdoor campaign at the NCAA East Preliminary Meet. The junior is the school record holder in both the indoor and outdoor 5,000-meter event. Her qualifying time of 16:38.31 came at the Bison Outdoor Classic, where she placed second in a field of 33 runners. The junior is also a two-time Patriot League champion in the 10,000-meter race, and last weekend became one of three Bison to win an individual title at the ECAC Outdoor Championships. She finished first in the 10,000 with a new personal-best of 35:15.07, which ranks second in program history.
Dayna Simone – Javelin
First Round (Thursday, noon)
Simone enters the meet with the 39th best throw in the javelin, which came at the Patriot League Outdoor Championships. She won the silver medal in the event with a toss of 149-8, which is a personal-best and ranks fourth in school history. In addition to the championship meet, the senior has scored at three meets this outdoor season, including the Colonial Relays, Mason Spring Invitational and ECAC Championships, where she earned All-East status.
Nicholas Lombardo – High Jump
First Round (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.)
Lombardo looks to continue a strong outdoor season when he makes his first appearance at the NCAA East Preliminary Meet. The sophomore set school records in the indoor and outdoor high jump this season. His qualifying time for the high jump event came in his record-setting performance at the Bison Outdoor Classic, where he finished second in a field of 16 participants. Lombardo’s leap of 6-11 ranks 40th among those entered in the event. Lombardo is a four-time All-Patriot League selection, which includes a title in the long jump at this year’s outdoor championships. Last weekend, he put together his best performance at the IC4A Championships, taking third in the long jump.
John Westwood – 1,500-meter
First Round (Thursday, 6:00 p.m.) – Quarterfinal (Saturday, 6:45 p.m.)
Westwood enters with the 36th-fastest time in the region, which came at the Bison Outdoor Classic. The senior finished fifth in a loaded field of 59 runners. His time of 3:45.04 is a personal-best and ranks third in school annals. An Academic All-Patriot League selection, Westwood won the title in the 1,000-meter race during the indoor season at IC4A Championships. He is a six-time All-Patriot League selection, doing most of his damage in relays. Westwood is a two-time Patriot League champion in the DMR and a two-time winner in the 4x800-meter relay.
Joseph Breen – Shot Put
(Saturday, 6:00 p.m.)
Breen is a late addition to the list of Bucknell athletes heading to Jacksonville. His qualifying toss of 56-5 ¾ at the Penn Relays is a program record, helping him earn Patriot League and ECAC Field Athlete of the Week honors. The mark breaks his own school record of 56-3 he posted in 2015 at the Patriot League Outdoor Championships. At this year’s outdoor championship meet, he earned All-Patriot League status with a second-place finish in the shot put.
Grant Reynolds (110-meter hurdles)
First Round (Friday, 5:30 p.m.) – Quarterfinal (Saturday, 7:20 p.m.)
Reynolds looks to continue a strong senior season when he makes his first appearance at the NCAA East Preliminary Meet. His qualifying time of 14.25, which ranks second in program history, came at the Patriot League Outdoor Championships, which helped him win the gold medal. Reynolds also earned All-Patriot League honors in the 400 hurdles, placing second. Last weekend, the senior earned All-East honors in the event at the IC4A Outdoor Championships. In addition to his success on the track, he is a two-time Academic All-Patriot League selection.
The top 12 competitors from each event will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon on June 8-11.