LANCASTER, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr track & field team got the 2019 Centennial Conference Championship off to a fast start earlier Saturday at Franklin & Marshall. The Owls smashed two school records and took home plenty of points towards the team score, as Bryn Mawr sits in seventh place at the end of day one of the championship.
First-year Rachel Eaglin got the day started for the Owls by opening the pentathlon with the 60 meter hurdles. Eaglin got her campaign underway in very strong fashion, finishing with the second-best time of the event. Her new personal record time of 10.06s gave Eaglin 701 points towards her score. She then followed that up with a season-best performance in the high jump, where she took second again by clearing 1.47m and picking up another 588 points.
While Eaglin was in the midst of her pentathlon chase, there was plenty of other action going on around the center for the Owls. Jennica Terry got her sophomore championships underway with a great performance out of the gate in the sprint events. The defending Centennial Conference Outstanding Track Performer and Outstanding Rookie of the Year ran the third-fastest time in the 60 meter dash prelims, as her 8.08s time was easily enough to get her into tomorrow's finals. Terry also earned her way into the finals of the 60 meter hurdles, as she ran easily the fastest time of the day in the prelims (9.20s). A pair of seniors also put on strong performances in those same events. Katie Billings ran an 8.85 in the 60 dash, while Julie Gonzales posted a solid 10.83s performance in the 60 hurdles.
Back over in the pentathlon, Eaglin was on events three and four, starting with the long jump. There she topped 4.25 meters, good enough for fourth in that event, and then she went on to take fifth and set a new personal record in the shot put to help her maintain momentum in the pentathlon.
Then, it was Gonzales' turn to make some noise. Already the school record holder in the pole vault, the senior went out to try and push that mark even higher one more time in her indoor career. She easily cleared 2.92 meters, then bumped the bar up to 3.07 meters. That would reset her own record, which came on a 3.04 meter jump last week. Gonzales just missed on her first attempt. However, she pulled it off on the very next try, topping 3.07 meters to extend her own program record.
By chance, that happened to occur at exactly the same time as Eaglin came through the line in the 800 to wrap up the pentathlon and set a new program record of her own. The first-year ran a 3:05.15 in the event, good enough for 319 more points. That pushed her total to 2370, easily surpassing the previous program record of 2025 points set by Marissa Mirecki in the 2015 Centennial Conference Championship.
Gonzales was not done however. With the bar now up to 3.22 meters, the Texas native just missed on her first two attempts, but had one more crack at it. That was all she needed to put up one more excellent vault. This time, Gonzales cleared the bar, but not cleanly. A slight touch sent it bouncing and bobbling for a moment that must have felt like an eternity. There must have been a little "senior season" magic on this day though, as the bar finally settled back on its supports, and Bryn Mawr had another, even higher school record from Gonzales. That performance was also good enough to earn her a third place in the event as well.
The Owls wrapped up their opening day with the distance medley and 4x200 relays. In the DMR, Emily Haller, Mariam Mshvidobadze, Emily Darrow, and Sarah Keane combined to post a time of 14:59.04, good enough to beat out the squad from McDaniel. Then, in the 4x2, Bryn Mawr's team of Billings, Mshvidobadze, Ritvika Patodia, and Gonzales combined to run a 2:13.91 and earn another point towards the team total.
With the strong performances on the day, the Owls collected a total of 13 points and sit in seventh place as a team. They are ahead of Gettysburg, Franklin & Marshall, and McDaniel as the championship heads into day two. Action on the final day will kick off at 11:00 AM on Sunday.