READING, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr track and field team made history in multiple ways earlier Saturday at the Crusader Invitational. The Owls won the meet as a team, a first in recorded program history at Bryn Mawr. Numerous Bryn Mawr athletes posted big finishes, along with several event victories along the way. That included a new school record in the shot put, where two different Owls blasted past the previous best to set a new mark in that event in the record books.
That shot put event was perhaps the biggest and most entertaining story on the day for Bryn Mawr. Four different Owls competed in the event, with Mecca Harris (5th - 8.94 meters) and Gwendolyn Vary (7th - 8.27 meters) each earning points for Bryn Mawr. However, the battle ultimately came down to Natalia Phillip and Halena Martin. The two freshman would showcase in the event and end up duking it out for the top spot. Martin would throw first, and on her very first toss of the day, she blew 10 centimeters past the previous school record of 10.61 meters, set all the way back in 2001 by Mary Beth Medvide. Not to be outdone, Phillip, who set the school record in the shot put in indoor just a few months ago, went on to tie that mark herself. Then, Phillip would go even farther, hitting an 11.00 meter best to re-set the school record again and win the event. Phillip, Martin, and Harris each qualified for the Centennial Conference championship meet with their marks today.
That same duo would also go 1-2 for collegiate throwers in the discus as well. This time it was Martin who took the top spot with her long of 28.70 meters. Phillip's 28.02 meter toss was not far off and was good enough for second, while Harris (23.99m) and Vary (23.30m) took fifth and sixth, respectively. Once again, Phillip, Martin, and Harris each qualified for conferences with their performances.
Bryn Mawr also found great success in the distance events on the day. In the 10k, Kate Edwards was a dominant force as usual for Bryn Mawr. The junior won the event going away, throwing down a time of 39:13 to take the top spot. That was a personal record for Edwards, and also good enough to qualify her for the Centennial Conference championship meet in the event.
In the 5k, it was Campbell Powell leading the charge for Bryn Mawr. The freshman took first place with a time of 20:52, over 20 seconds faster than the next-closest finisher, and a new personal record for Powell. Nina Inman (3rd - 21:21) and Hope Jones (23:15) also had strong races for the Owls, with each setting new personal records in the event as well.
Fellow freshman Anna Kyle got her own victory in the 1500 meter, taking first with a time of 5:21.30. That was a new personal record for Kyle as well. Chelsea Thangavelu finished close behind, taking second with a time of 5:45.39, while Vidya Ramaswamy took fourth with a new personal record time of 6:04.46.
Senior Ashley Macina earned a second place finish on the day in the 800, earning Bryn Mawr eight more points with a time of 2:37.75.
In the 100 meter dash, Tara Holman earned a second place finish with a time of 13.10, improving on her Centennial Conference championship qualifying time. Katie Billings finished a second behind in third place, also improving her own CC qualifying time. Other notable finishes for Bryn Mawr included a second place spot for Tahawney Terrell in the 200 with a time of 28.10, and Cailey Klink's second place finish in the 400 with a time of 1:05.72.
Back over on the field side, Rachel Greene took second place in the long jump with a mark of 4.71 meters. In the high jump, Irina Buchok set a new personal record with a high of 1.40 meters, good enough for third and a CC championship qualification. Katie Billings also set a new personal record in the event with a high of 1.30 meters. In the hammer throw, both Phillip and Vary set CC qualifying marks. Phillip took fifth in the event with a long of 26.00 meters, while Vary was right behind at 25.60 meters.
Bryn Mawr will look to keep the momentum from today's big win rolling when they get right back in action next week. The Owls will travel over to West Chester University for the two-day WCU Invite starting Friday evening.
"We were joined at the meet by the Billings, the Varys, the Greenes, extended Kyle family members, and at least one significant other. Many thanks to those who braved the cold and those who supported us from afar!" - Coach Hewitt