Philadelphia, Pa. - Despite cool weather and even some confusing conditions on the track, the Bryn Mawr 4x100m team came away with a solid showing at Penn Relays earlier Thursday afternoon.
Tonja Nixon has been in the lead-off position all season for the Owls, so there was no reason to expect anything else from the senior in her eighth appearance at Penn Relays. Nixon traveled to the distinguished event all four years of her high school career, and she has been back all four years of her collegiate career as well. The senior led off with a strong leg, fighting through a slight hamstring issue on the long curve. Next up was Prerana Vaddi, who has been another solid performer all season in various roles for the Owls. A shaky handoff saw Vaddi still in good position but chasing the pack down the back stretch.
That's where things got really exciting for Bryn Mawr. The officials had set the first two Bryn Mawr runners in the first lane, but pushed the 3rd Bryn Mawr runner down into lane one. Despite the pandemonium and random athletes obstructing the track, Vaddi successfully accomplished a reasonable hand off to senior Tehzeeb Tyebjee, who, after dodging and weaving through the chaos, managed a competitive split. Freshman standout Hadiyyah Graves continued to show great fortitude, running down the anchor leg from Kingsborough CC and surpassing that team by almost a full second on the last leg. The Owls final time of 54.01 is not quite their fastest in the event this season, but the experience was still worth the trip for the four relay team members.
Meanwhile, the Bryn Mawr 4x400 meter relay also put on a great show on the day. The quartet of Elaine Schmidt, Rebekah Gallop, Hadiyyah Graves, and Alex Beda put together a time of 4:21.62, the fastest Bryn Mawr has shown in the event since 2010.
With the jitters, yips, and gremlins out of the way, the same squad will be back for the Centennial Conference championship meet next weekend. That foursome will be hungry to chase Swarthmore and Gettysburg, who finished slightly ahead of them in the overall standings this afternoon. The rest of the Owls track and field team will be in action tomorrow afternoon in the West Chester University Open for one final tuneup before the conference meet takes place.