COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr track and field team kicked off their indoor season earlier Saturday at the Bow Tie Classic, and the Owls got off to one of their best starts in program history. Three different student-athletes set new school records, three Owls won their events, and there were 11 different qualifications to the conference championship meet as well. As a team, Bryn Mawr trounced Centennial Conference rivals Haverford and Ursinus, scoring 112 points and finishing second only to Division II Lincoln.
Tara Holman kicked off her 2016-17 campaign with a big win in the 60 meter dash. The Owls sophomore qualified in the top spot for the finals with a time of 8.31. Holman would then dominate the final, winning the event with a time of 8.16. Rachel Greene and Katie Billings also did a great job to qualify for the final as well. The duo finished fifth and sixth, respectively, and that was good enough for them to join Holman in qualifying for the conference championship. Another bright spot in the 60 was the effort of Naidelene Raymond. The Owls sophomore set a new personal best in the event with a time of 10.74.
Freshman Cailey Klink was a force for the Owls in both the 200 and 400. In the shorter of the two, Klink took fifth place with a time of 28.86. That time is a new personal record for her, and it is also good enough to qualify her for conferences. She would also qualify for the conference championship in the 400 with another fifth place finish.
Moving up to the 500, the Owls found another new school record. Sophomore Haley Varnum took second place in the event with a time of 1:24.55 to shatter the previous program best. Cecilia White, Megan Braught, and Cate Roa each also set personal records in the event, as that trio placed as well. White took third with a time of 1:41.65, Braught broke the 2-minute mark with a 1:58.05 finish, and Roa took sixth in a time of 2:03.11. That Owls quartet accounted for a big 21-point performance in that event.
Bryn Mawr's Emily Williams took fourth place in the 800 meter run, finishing with a time of 2:43.91. Her teammate Kinbrae Sperstad also put on a terrific performance in the event, setting a huge personal record with a time of 3:25.51.
As the distances increased, the Owls had a chance to showcase the all-around depth of their running group, picking up yet another victory. Elizabeth Robinson took an early lead in the event and ultimately finished fourth with a time of 12:37. However, it was Nina Inman who took her first collegiate victory, finishing first in a time of 12:16.97.
In the 60 meter hurdles, Julie Gonzales set another new school record. The sophomore posted a time of 10.84 in the event, surpassing the previous program best and also qualifying her for conferences at the end of the season. That performance is made even more impressive by the fact that she participated in the event right after winning the pole vault. Gonzales posted a long of 2.73 meters, easily outjumping the next-closest finisher.
In the high jump, freshman Irina Buchok took fifth place overall for Bryn Mawr. Buchok put up a best of 1.32 meters to finish in the top five, and it was also good enough to qualify her for conferences as well.
Shot put saw another school record fall, as first-year Natalia Phillip shattered the previous program best. Phillip posted a long of 11.91 meters, which not only set the new standard at Bryn Mawr, but also gave her second place in the event and qualified her for conferences as well. Mecca Harris and Gwendolyn Vary also qualified for conferences in the event, with Harris throwing a long of 9.81 and Vary reaching 8.77. Cate Roa also had a strong performance in the event, setting a new personal record.
"This is the best start I've seen from our squad in the time I've been here and I'm sure it ranks as one of the best starts in the history of the program!" exclaimed Bryn Mawr head coach Jason Hewitt after the fantastic day.
The Owls will look to build upon this fantastic start when they get back in action next week. Bryn Mawr will travel to Princeton University next Sunday for the New Year's Invitational.
"The team was supported today by the Billings', the Gonzales', and the Vary's, as well as Alumnae Margaret Patchin ('16) and Prerana Vaddi ('16). Many thanks to all who where able to attend and those who supported us from afar". - Coach Hewitt