Bison Women's Track Collects Seven Gold in Win at Bucknell Team Challenge
April 21, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - With some of the top marks in program history, Bison women's track and field claimed a convincing win at the Bucknell Team Challenge at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on Saturday. A total of nine program top-10 marks fell, including three in the 800 meters courtesy of Hana Casalnova, Beth Braunegg and Caroline Tolli, in the squad's final home meet of the year.
As a team, Bucknell finished with 196.5 points, beating out second-place Duquesne, which totaled 121. Penn State (110) and Towson (68.5) rounded out the top half of the standings.
Contributing to the team total were Casalnova, Braunegg and Tolli, who finished 1-2-3 in the 800 meters with the best times of their careers. Casalnova led the field with a time of 2 minutes, 10.70 seconds, keeping her in third place in the program record book. Braunegg, who was previously unranked in the program's top 10, is now fifth with a mark of 2:11.74, while Tolli improved from 10th to sixth at 2:12.02.
Casalnova was one of seven Bison to claim an individual victory on their home track. Not surprisingly, considering its success in the open race, Bucknell also won the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:14.76. Kelly Grosskurth was the victor in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:10.90), and Taylor Funk won the 100-meter hurdles (14.75). Katie Jessee earned her first career win in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:16.86.
In the field events, it was Abby Monaghan in the discus with a career-best throw of 151 feet, 9 inches. The first time at better than 150 feet, Monaghan now ranks fourth in program annals. Autumn Schellenberger won the pole vault with a career best of her own. The sophomore cleared 11-7 ¾, just edging out second-place teammate Emily Ando with fewer misses.
Bucknell could not have pulled out the team win with just a handful of individual victories, however. The Bison also had more than two dozen finishes in the top five throughout the day. Among them was Kat Folger who broke the 150-foot barrier for the first time in her career in the javelin. With a throw of 156-6, the senior is now third all-time at Bucknell. Funk also moved up the record lists in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:02.43, the third-fastest by a Bison. The senior was ranked ninth entering the meet.
"Both teams really competed well today and both seem to be jelling at the right time," said head coach Kevin Donner referring to both his men's and women's squads. "I asked for some athletes to put the coaches in a tough situation regarding selecting a 32-person Patriot League team, and many did so. When we have 36 to 38 people who are potential Patriot League athletes, it means we will be very good in two weeks."
Bucknell will split squads next April 26-28, its final weekend before the Patriot League Championships. A select group of Bison will head to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays Thursday through Saturday. Bucknell will also compete at Bloomsburg's Maroon & Gold Invitational on April 27.