Women’s Track & Field take home CAA championship
Managing Sports Editor
24 point scoring athletes, 16 medals and one trophy.
In their first CAA championship since 2014, the university’s women’s track and field team saw several of their athletes reach personal bests, including senior Alexis Lipnicky with a personal-best throw of 143 feet and 1 inch to win the javelin by exactly one centimeter to get her team started Friday night in Elon, N.C.
On Saturday, senior Jeanette Bendolph ripped up the track for a meet record in the 800 meter, clipping the line in 2:08.69. Her performance is the fourth-fastest time in school history and almost two seconds better than her previous personal record.
Both Bendolph and Lipnicky won individual gold medals, along with freshman Halima Scott in the 200 meter. Scott also placed second in the 400 meter, earning one of the team’s six silver medals.
Other silvers were earned by Taliah Cintron in the 400 meter hurdles, Susanna Weir in the 3000 meter steeplechase, the Rochester/Pinkney/Leaks/Scott team for the 4-by-100 meter relay, Ashley Bailey in the pole vault and Halimah Roberson in the triple jump.
Seven bronze medals were brought home by Carlyn McGrath in the heptathlon, Roshelle Leaks in the long jump, the 4-by-400 meter relay team of Khoury/Stovall/Armor/Meyer, Analise Kaminski in the 3000 meter steeplechase, Olivia Goncerz in the 100 meter hurdles, Stephanie Bazan in the 10000 meter and Michaela Meyer in the 800 meter.
“From day one, this team was all in and pushing each other every single day,” Head Coach Wendy McFarlane-Smith told BlueHens.com after the meet. “Today, we saw the benefits of that hard work and that mentality and leadership. When you’re working for something bigger than yourself, that’s what it really is all about.”
Other athletes earning points for the team were Leaks in the 100 meter (5th) and 200 meter (6th); Sydni Stovall in the 400 meter (6th); Valerie Romero (4th) in the 1500 meter; Diana Dunn (5th), Mackenzie Jones (7th) and Roxanne Ramirez (8th) in the 5000 meter; Carlyn McGarth (4th) in the 100 meter hurdles; Carly Pettipaw (7th) in the 400 meter hurdles; Ramirez (4th) and Lauren Zodl (5th) in the 3000 meter steeplechase; Ruby Mullen (5th) in the triple jump; Myrissa McFolling-Young (4th) in the discus throw; and Sofia Janotti (4th) in the heptathlon.
“It’s hard to put things into words right now,” McFarlane-Smith added. “I woke up two days ago with a gut feeling about this group and to see the efforts put forth all weekend, it was incredible.”