Chester, Pa. - With the temperatures rising on a beautiful spring day, and the wind at their backs, the Bryn Mawr track and field squad set out today prepped for great meet, and the team came through in great fashion.
The mid-distance crew took to the track in the 1500 meter run to open up the day for Bryn Mawr. First up for the Owls was freshman distance specialist Kate Edwards, dropping down to run the 1500m for the first time this year and garnering an impressive PR in 5:04.09. In the very next heat was Junior Alex Beda, who was forced to lead most of the race as the pack went out slowly. Beda produced one of the most impressive performances of the day for an Owl, running the event in a time of 5:11.30 for a new personal record by 16 seconds. Junior Margaret Patchin broke 7:00 in the event for the second week in a row, and Lizzie Robinson and Jocelyn Martinez were both just a hair off of their personal best times as well.
The 400 meter dash followed next, and many athletes doubled back from the 1500m to gain some speed work. Up front, it was freshman Hadiyyah Graves running her fastest time of the season (60.90) for 4th place overall in the event. The sprint group looked strong, as junior Prerana Vaddi (65.37, PR) and senior Tezheeb Tyebjee (66.70, PR) both joined Graves in running Centennial Conference championship meet qualifying times. Beda returned after a fantastic 1500m to run her season-best in the 400m as well (67.04). Yue Yang broke 69 seconds for the second week in a row and Ashley Macina broke 70 for the first time this season. Robinson (70.35, PR) and Martinez (1:21.45) also doubled back to the 400m, putting up solid marks at this distance.
The 800 meter run saw a great deal of personal records and season best times as well, as the mid-distance group continued impress through out the day. Senior Elaine Schmidt looked to be back in great form, coming out of the second heat and garnering an 8th place finish in a time of 2:21.70, her season best. Rebekah Gallop was out hard in her heat too, winning the heat and continuing to drop time (2:26.30, collegiate PR). Emily Xiong completed her first collegiate race as well, running 3:28.45 (PR).
The sprints group simply would not be outdone on such a sunny day in April, however. The 100 meter dash saw 3 Owls make both personal record-setting and Centennial qualifying marks. Tonja Nixon (13.02, PR), Graves (13.32, collegiate PR), and Tyebjee (14.33) all put up top times in the event. The trio then repeated the feat in the 200 meter dash as well; Graves (27.11 collegiate PR, Qualified), Nixon (27.71 PR, Qualified), Tyebjee (29.07, PR). Those performances made for one of the most impressive days of sprints Bryn Mawr has seen in many years. They were joined in the 200m by a flurry of mid-distance athletes seeking out 200 meter personal records as well; Schmidt (29.08, PR), Gallop (29.57, collegiate PR), Yang (30.00, PR).
The 200 meter closed out the invitational for the Owls, as the team is saving their 4x400 for Penn Relays next Thursday.
"Early season is often about getting out and getting some solid racing in, but often, because of the hard work you're doing, the times aren't always where you want them," explained Bryn Mawr head coach Jason Hewitt. "Today, we gave the team a taste of what all that hard work was for, and they ran with it. It's a special moment for a coach when a season starts to come together and, for me, that moment was today. I can't wait to see what we do with our championships season."
The Owls will see plenty of action over the next week, as parts of the team will see action in the Penn Relays on Thursday and also at the West Chester University Open on Friday afternoon. That is all in preparation for the ultimate meet, the Centennial Conference Championship, set to take place from May 1-3 at Muhlenberg College.