Collegeville, Pa. – The Bryn Mawr indoor track and field team opened their 2014-15 campaign earlier Saturday, and if the results of today are any indication of how the rest of the season will go, the Owls have plenty of good things in store. Bryn Mawr spent the day shattering numerous personal and school records at the Bow-Tie Classic, hosted by Ursinus College.
Senior Elaine Schmidt set the tone early for Bryn Mawr with a fast third-place finish in the 500 meter dash. Schmidt came home in a time of 1:27.31, breaking a 16-year old school record in the event set by Audrey Ting in 1998 by 1.49 seconds. It was the fastest of her heat in the event, and gave the Owls another six points towards their total. Rachel Hager also competed in the event, finishing in tenth place with a time of 1:41.24. Schmidt went on to post a time of 11:18 in the 3000 meter run, good enough to qualify her for the conference championship as well.
Freshman Kate Edwards continued the fast start for the Owls with a solid third-place finish in the 5000 meter run. In her first collegiate indoor event, Edwards earned the Owls six points with a fast time of 19:10.87 in the event, just ten seconds out of second place. That time was thirty seconds better than her previous best in training, and was also good enough to get her into the conference championship event in February.
Bryn Mawr earned another point in the 400 meter dash, thanks to a great run from freshman Hadiyyah Graves. The Morrisville, Pa. native posted a fast time of 1:03.72 in the event to take home eighth place in the hotly contested event, again fast enough to put her in the conference championship as well.
Two more Owls qualified for the championship on the day. Sophomore Gwendolyn Vary led the way for Bryn Mawr in the shot put, finishing in 19th out of 37 contestants with a longest throw of 8.81 meters, almost half a meter better than her previous best. Later on, Rebekah Gallop ran a 2:33 in the 800 meter dash, setting her up for the championship in the spring. All in all, five Owls qualified for the conference championship on the day, more than any season-opening meet in the past five years.
Along with all of the qualifying marks, the team totaled 15 personal records on the day. Other notable amongst these efforts was a solid race by Ashley Macina in the 5000 meter run. The sophomore ran the grueling event in a time of 21:25, a personal record by almost two minutes. Senior Tehzeeb Tyebjee ran a very fast 60 meter dash, completing the event in 9.26 seconds. Yue Yang (6:15) and Carissa Yao (6:43) both posted good efforts in the mile run. Fellow captain Marissa Mirecki made a great throw of her own in the shot put, posting a 6.67 meter toss. Two other Owls put up excellent performances in the 3k - Alex Beda came home in 11:51, while Betsy Helm posted a 13:07.
The team had several relays in action as well in the today's event. The 4x200m team of Graves, Tyebjee, Feliz and Nixon ran a 1:59.12, putting them six seconds ahead of last year's season-best time. The 4x400m team of Wiley, Beda, Macina and Gallop posted a 4:41.
"I couldn't be happier with where we are as a team right now," exclaimed head coach Jason Hewitt. "This team has worked hard this fall and it's showing right from the start. We're fit and we're hungry. Today was a good day to be the coach"
The Owls will be right back in action and looking for more personal records tomorrow at the New Year's Invitational hosted by Princeton University.