LEWISBURG, Pa. – Christine Bendzinski shattered the Bucknell and Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium records in the 1,500-meter run to lead the way for the Bison women's track and field team on a solid first day at the Bison Outdoor Classic.
Bendzinski put on quite performance at one of the biggest meets on the East Coast. The senior shattered the school record by over three seconds with a time of 4:16.54, breaking her own previous mark of 4:19.99 that was set in 2016. The Hebron, Connecticut, native also broke the stadium record set by Rachel Pocratsky in 2016, and she currently has the seventh-fastest time in the nation. For Bendzinski, it is the second outdoor school record she has broken this year; the other came a few weeks ago at the Raleigh Relays when she broke teammate Colleen Buckley’s year-old 5,000m record with a time of 16:17.66. Bendzinski has put herself in a position to qualify to the NCAA East Preliminary Meet in both the 5,000 and 1,500-meters.
In Saturday night's 1,500, Bendzinski locked up in a great duel with Point Park's Anna Shields, who this winter was picked as the NAIA Indoor Athlete of the Year after winning national titles in the mile and 1,000 meters. Bendzinski caught Shields on the final turn and out-kicked her coming down the stretch to win by just under a second. Cornell's Shannon Hugard, an honorable mention All-American in the 1,500 finished third, followed by Penn State's Greta Lindsley and Pittsburgh's Miranda Salvo.
Moving over to the throws, Maura Fiamoncini continued her hot streak in the javelin, breaking a stadium record and winning the event for a third consecutive week with a toss of 178-2. Bucknell had four competitors finish in the top 13 in the javelin, as Taylor Oxley (10th, 137-6), Hanna Beer (11th, 134-5), and Kasey Getkin (13th, 130-8) followed Fiamoncini. Freshman Danielle Line finished 13th in the discus after setting a career best with a toss of 132-6. Delia Sipe (20th, 125-06), Daija Misler (30th, 116-06), and Katie Wisotsky (36th, 107-11) rounded out the throws with solid tosses.
In the 5,000-meter invitational, Buckley finished 11th out of 69 runners with an ECAC-qualifying time of 16:59.46, which is her season-best. Teammate Lauren Gronbeck placed 30th by clocking in a personal-best 17:23.27 in the same event. Lindsay Schafer, who split an 18:48.40 finished 19th in the unseeded heats of the 5,000, while teammate Sara Christian took 40th.
Over in the unseeded heats of the 10,000, Christine O'Kane" took the top spot after crossing the line with a time of 37.36.02 to qualify for the ECAC Championships. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Emma Dolen took 11th (11:17.27) and Lauren Hazzard 12th (11:22.04).
The Bison found success in the jumps, where Kaitlin Salisbury went 38-0 ¾ feet in the triple jump to place fourth in a field of 34 athletes. Alexa DiGregorio placed 25th (34-9). Lauren Hudson took 15th out of 31 competitors in the high jump, clearing 5-3 ¾. Lexy Forrestal (5-1 ¾), Sydney Contrino (5-1 ¾), and Alexandra Butz (4-11 ¾) rounded out the Bison high-jump contingent.
"It was a great first day that included two stadium records, with Maura and Chrissy in the javelin and 1,500, respectively," head coach Kevin Donner said. "Salisbury got off a good triple jump as well, and I was pleased with the steeplers who ran in the hot weather. Chrissy will make the NCAA East Preliminaries with that time, and now we just need to set her up for the championships."
The Bison will continue competing at the Bison Outdoor Classic tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The action will be streamed live on FloTrack.