COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr indoor track and field team kicked off their 2015-16 season earlier Saturday with a busy day at the Bow-Tie Classic, hosted by Ursinus. It was by all accounts a complete success, as the Owls would set 21 different personal records, two program records, and qualified 12 participants for the Centennial Conference Championship meet at the end of the season. The Owls also were the second-highest finishing Centennial Conference team at the event, as their third-place finish was better than both Haverford and Ursinus and just behind Dickinson.
Julie Gonzalez opened the meet for the Owls by becoming the first Bryn Mawr athlete to qualify for conferences with an impressive performance in the high jump. The first-year Owl would eventually put up a high of 1.40 meters into the event, and then she moved on to the pole vault. There, she tied the school record with a high of 2.75 meters, good enough to get her a fifth-place finish and qualify her for conferences in that event as well.
Another fellow first-year had an equally impressive debut later on in the day as Tara Holman showed some great flashes in her first collegiate meet. She opened with the 60 meter dash and tied the school record with a time of 8.30 seconds in her heat. However, that was also good enough to advance her to finals, where she shaved 5 hundredths off her time to become the new record-holder with a time of 8.25. That makes her the fastest woman on campus right now, and it also placed her fifth in the event and the third-fastest Centennial Conference runner on the day. Later on in the day, Holman would also take seventh place in the 200m with a time of 28.58, good enough to qualify her for both events at the conference championship at the end of the season.
In fact, the 60 meter dash proved particularly fruitful for many Owls on the day. Besides Holman, Assata Acey (8.59), Katie Billings (8.92), and Tahawney Terrell (9.08) all qualified for conferences with their impressive performances. That was certainly enough to draw some praise from Owls head coach Jason Hewitt. "We have had a solid distance team for the past couple years now, but this new generation of sprinters has really helped to create a balanced attack through every event on the track" Hewitt proclaimed. "It's great to start to see the team as a well-rounded track team."
It wasn't just the sprint group who put on a show today, however. The distance runners rolled right into the season already looking like they were in peak shape. The 5000 meter squad looked dominant, starting at the top with senior Hannah Hastings. She would claim second place in the event with a time of 18:34, enough to qualify her for conferences. Kate Edwards (4th place - 19:20) also qualified for conferences in the event, while Chelsea Thangavelu (6th place - 20:25) set a new personal best with her strong performance. Sophie Webb finished 11th with a time of 21:19.
The 3000 meter team didn't disappoint either with 4 outstanding races, one from each class year. Alex Beda (11:20, PR), Ashley Macina (11:38, PR), Lizzie Robinson (12:26, PR), and Hannah Kim (13:04, PR) all put on strong performances in the event. Meanwhile, Rebekah Gallop was the Owls' top scorer today with a third-place finish in the mile run (5:31) and a 2nd place finish in the 1000m (3:20).
Over in the shot put, first-year Sasha Moiseyev-Foster made her first collegiate appearance with a long of 5.37 meters. Senior Margaret Patchin got her season off to a great start with a 6.63m long, while Gwendolyn Vary qualified for conferences with an impressive throw of 8.61 meters.
"This team is well-balanced and has depth like never before," Hewitt closed. "We're young, as a group, but we're strong and we're only going to get better!" The Owls will look to continue that process next week as they travel to Princeton for the New Year's Invitational. That meet is set to take place on Friday, the 11th, with things set to kick off at 4:30 PM.