Zymet, Funk, Bella Win Gold as Bison Women's Track & Field Places Second at PL Championships
May 5, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. - Jennifer Zymet (Paramus, N.J./Paramus), Taylor Funk (Mt. Pleasant, Pa./Mt. Pleasant Area) and Sarah Bella (Mendham, N.J./West Morris Mendham) finished with gold medals and the 4x100 relay set the second Bucknell record of the meet, but the Bison women were edged out down the stretch to place second at the Patriot League Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday. Navy ended Bucknell's streak of three consecutive titles with a 156.5 to 133.5 advantage in the team standings.
Bucknell nursed a slim lead for nearly the entire meet. In the early goings, it was a two-way battle between the Bison and Lehigh with Bucknell rarely pulling in front by more than five points. Navy then began to make its move late on Saturday, first overtaking the Mountain Hawks after the 400 hurdles. After Funk's win in the event, Bucknell had 115 points, compared to 110 for Navy and 98 for Lehigh.
The Mids pulled within three points of Bucknell after the 200 meters, then took the lead for the first time that day following the high jump. Despite getting points from Emily Ando (Weston, Conn./Weston) in the field event, Bucknell saw its lead disappear as Navy took a 146.5-132.5 advantage. With only the 4x400 remaining, the 14-point difference was too much for the Bison to overcome.
"It's always tough when you finish second at Bucknell because of our high expectations," said head coach Kevin Donner after the meet. "However, I give credit to Navy as they had a tremendous second day. We had some great performances in some areas and a few others struggled and Navy capitalized on that to win the meet."
With all the results in the books, Navy claimed its second Patriot League outdoor title with 156.5 points. Bucknell was second with 133.5, followed by Lehigh (118), Army (83), Lafayette (79), Holy Cross (55), Colgate (51) and American (6).
Although the Bison were unable to collect their fourth consecutive team trophy, it was not for a lack of effort and strong performances. Competing in her final league championships, Funk won the 400 hurdles in easy fashion and scored in three other events. Her 400 hurdles performance came with a time of 1 minute, 1.95 seconds. Not only was the mark the fastest of the senior's career, but it was also nearly two seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Earlier in the day, Funk placed third in the 100 hurdles (14.50) and ran the lead-off leg of the record-breaking 4x100. Funk, Zymet, Emma Rice (West Roxbury, Mass./Boston Latin School) and Sasha Hornock (Dover, Pa./Dover), finished fourth in the relay in 47.45 seconds. The quartet topped the previous Bucknell record, which was set at the 2011 Patriot League Championships by Zymet, Funk, Christina Muccio (Andover, Mass./Andover) and Hornock, by .25 seconds.
Funk later helped Bucknell's 4x400 to a sixth-place finish in 3:56.23.
One Bison who successfully defended her title was Zymet in the 400 meters. The sophomore won the long sprint for the second straight year with a career-best 55.72. That time now ranks second all-time at Bucknell.
As a freshman in 2009, Bella won the league title in the shot put. On Saturday, she returned to the top of the podium this year as a senior having thrown 44 feet, 11 ½ inches. The mark was more than one foot better than the closest competitor. Navy finished second through fourth in the event.
Over the course of the 2012 championships, Bucknell set 11 new program top-10 marks, including two school records. Among the new marks on Saturday were Leah Goeke's (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley) 11:02.70 in the steeplechase and Hana Casalnova's (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) 2:09.90 in the 800 meters. Goeke was second in the steeplechase to earn her all-league honors in the event for a second consecutive season. Her time keeps her third in program annals.
Casalnova placed third in the 800. The sophomore clocked in under 2:10 for the first time in her career and is now third all-time at Bucknell as well. Beth Braunegg (Williamsport, Pa./Loyalsock Twp.) was fifth in the event (2:12.30).
Casalnova and Braunegg were both part of the 4x800 relay that broke the Bucknell and Patriot League records yesterday. They joined Emily Waksmunski (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) and Caroline Tolli (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) in the 8:44.94 performance.
Other notable finishes included Alexandra Romanelli (Galloway, N.J./Absegami) and Jessica Matsinger (Frazer, Pa./Great Valley), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the triple jump. Emily Liggett (Grosse Point, Mich./Lawrenceville School (N.J.)) and Tolli were fourth and fifth in the 1,500 meters.
The 100 meters was also an area where the Bison collected plenty of points. Hornock was third, while Kim Nagotko (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) and Rice were fifth and sixth, respectively.
Bucknell will be back in action May 11-13 for the ECAC Championships in Princeton, N.J.