Bucknell Women's Track & Field Powers to Third Straight Patriot League Championships Title
May 7, 2011
EASTON, Pa. - Bucknell women's track and field claimed its 12th Patriot League Championship trophy in program history behind three individual titles and a second broken school record at Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex on Saturday. Among the winners was Jennifer Zymet (Paramus, N.J./Paramus), who won the 400 meters and led off the gold medal 4x100 relay that registered the fastest time in Bucknell annals. Jamie Leacock (Howell, N.J./Howell) was also the top finisher in the 400 hurdles, while Kevin Donner received his second consecutive Coach of the Year nod.
The team title was Bucknell's third straight and 12th overall. The win came with 189.5 points in the team standings after the Orange and Blue had found itself in third after the first day of competition. Only second-place Navy contended with the Bison in the end, however, totaling 164 points. Lehigh was third with 84, while Lafayette was fourth with 64 points. Making up the bottom half of the standings were Holy Cross (62), Army (60.5), Colgate (31) and American (26).
"Our women got off to a great start on day two, and the team really fed off the energy and enthusiasm that was being generated," said Donner, who repeated as Coach of the Year for the outdoor campaign. "It was a tremendous team effort across all the event areas."
Donner has now been named the Patriot League Coach of the Year six times in his Bucknell career, more than any other coach in the league's women's track history.
The only two-time winner for Bucknell at the 2011 championships, Zymet earned her first career titles on Saturday. The freshman kicked things off in the 4x100 where she, Taylor Funk (Mt. Pleasant, Pa./Mt. Pleasant), Christina Muccio (Andover, Mass./Andover) and Sasha Hornock (Dover, Pa./Dover) won with a school-record time of 47.80 seconds. The quartet had previously been ranked fifth in program history after their performance just last weekend but improved on their time by nearly a second. They are the first 4x100 relay at Bucknell to run a sub-48.00 and the first to win a Patriot League title since 1993.
Zymet made it 2-for-2 with a win in the 400 meters where she recorded a career-best time of 56.12 seconds. Prior to the meet, she had not ranked among the Orange and Blue's top-10 but now finds herself second all-time. A third career-best mark came in the 200 meters where Zymet was second overall in 24.91 with Bucknell's fastest time in 11 years.
Zymet also helped the 4x400 relay to a third-place finish at Lafayette. She followed Hana Casalnova (Grove City, Pa./Grove City), Leacock and Muccio, anchoring the relay to a time of 3:54.01. Zymet finished her first outdoor championship meet with a hand in 34 points for the team.
After finishing out of the top three in the 400-meter hurdles last season, Leacock returned to the winner's podium in the event on Saturday. The senior, who also won in 2009, took gold in 1:03.46 and was one of three Bison to score in the race. Funk was third in 1:03.97, while Hannah Jones (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg Area) was fifth in 1:04.05. Funk and Jones now rank ninth and 10th, respectively, at Bucknell in the event.
Top-10 times fell to Funk and Leacock in the 100-meter hurdles as well. Funk was third at the meet and also moves into third in the record book with a time of 14.47. Leacock, who was fourth in the race, is now tied for sixth in program annals thanks to her 14.57 mark.
Hornock earned all-league honors for the first time in an individual event, placing second in the 100 meters. With a mark of 12.37, Hornock just missed the gold medal after being edged at the finish line six-hundredths of a second behind Stephanie Okpoebo of Holy Cross. Okpoebo also won the 200 meters in which Hornock was fourth. After running a career-best at that distance in yesterday's preliminary heats, Hornock did one better on Saturday, improving to 25.22 in the final.
Not all the action was happening in the sprints as Sarah Moniz (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) earned another All-Patriot League citation, this time in the 5,000 meters. The senior, who helped the 4x800 relay to a second-place finish on Friday, was second in the 5K as well with a time of 17:39.17.
Moniz was also third in the 1,500 meters (4:32.02), followed closely by Emily Liggett (Grosse Pointe, Mich./The Lawrenceville School (N.J.)) in fourth. Liggett finished in 4:34.55, giving her sixth on the program's record lists after being unranked prior to the race.
In the field events, Rebecca Misko (Morristown, N.J./Madison) was second in the discus and the shot put. Her discus mark of 152 feet, 11 inches equaled her personal record set earlier this season, while her 43-5 ¾ in the shot put was a career best that ranks seventh among the Orange and Blue. Improving on her career best in the discus was Abby Monaghan (La Plata, Md./La Plata), who was fourth overall with a throw of 144-8. Monaghan now ranks eighth all-time at Bucknell.
While Misko and Monaghan had established themselves as two of the league's top discus throwers throughout the year, Emily Ando (Weston, Conn./Weston) put up a surprise performance in the high jump. The freshman, who was fourth in yesterday's pole vault competition, tied for sixth in the high jump by clearing 5-3. It was Ando's first time competing in the event this spring.
A pair of fourth-place finishes for Casalnova and Kristin Bretscher (Farmingville, N.Y./Centereach) came with the best marks of their careers. Casalnova was fourth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:11.29, while Bretscher's placing came with 4,258 points in the heptathlon. Both marks rank among Bucknell's top-10.
In addition to the Bison's two school records - the 4x100 and Laura Rycek (Northampton, Pa./Northampton Area) in the javelin yesterday - Bucknell posted 17 new program top-10 marks over the course of the Patriot League Championships. Funk, Hornock and Zymet each earned three of those finishes.
Bucknell will be back in action May 13-15 for the ECAC Championships in Princeton, N.J.
Final Team Standings