The women’s track and field team competed in its first invitational of the outdoor season over the weekend and took 22 top-eight finishes at the Widener University Invitational.
“We had a very nice start to the outdoor season. The weather was good and the competition was just the right mix,” head coach Barbara Hartwig said. “I was very pleased with our start. I felt people competed very hard and that our results were good for the first meet in over a month.”
The ‘Jackets had two runner-up finishes for the day. The 4×100-meter relay team of freshmen Melissa Skevington and Kyra Pinsky, sophomore Jamie Landry and junior Michelle Andrews took second place with a time of 52.42 seconds. Senior Kate Odian placed second in the hammer throw, taking it a distance of 44.61 meters. This distance was just short of NCAA provisional qualifications.
In other relay events, the 4×400 team took fourth with the final runner crossing the line at 4:10.93.
In the field, sophomore Bridget Mayne placed in three events. She finished seventh in the hammer throw with a distance of 37.58 and fifth in the shot put with a throw of 10.81. Her best throw of the day came in the discus, where she placed fourth with a distance of 37.34, qualifying her for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships. Sophomore Jonelle Redhead also had a sound day, placing fifth in the discus with a throw of 34.94 and sixth in the hammer throw with a distance of 40.28. The final placing thrower was junior Anjuli Cherukuri, who placed seventh in the javelin with a throw of 31.11.
“The throwers did an awesome job, especially considering the weather we have had and the change over to the outdoor events,” Hartwig said.
In the jumping field events, Skevington brought in a third place finish in the long jump, making her mark at 4.88 meters. She also placed fourth in the triple jump, landing at 10.20. Two other athletes placed in the triple jump. Landry placed seventh, jumping 9.78, and junior Kathryn Knowles placed eighth at 9.68. Landry also placed in the high jump, clearing the bar set at 4.69. In the pole vault, Cherukuri cleared 3.26 for fourth place.
The Yellowjackets also shared success in the hurdles. Andrews placed fourth in the 100 hurdles, crossing the line at 16.67 seconds, and senior Whitney Silkworth finished seventh in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:09.15.
“Our hurdlers did well in their first time out in the 100s and 400s,” Hartwig said. “It’s quite a change from the five hurdles indoors, and they handled it well.”
In other running events, junior Kellie Hasselwander placed third in the 5,000 with a time of 18:40.50, she was surrounded by two Villanova University runners in front of her and one behind. Villanova is a Division I school. Freshman Lisa Cole took fifth in the 1,500, crossing the finish at 4:55.49. In the 400, junior Stacie Woods took fifth and freshman Prashanthi Chodagiri took eighth with times of 1:01.94 and 1:02.57, respectively. Senior Stacy Allen returned to her post in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finished fifth in the event, finishing in 12:24.88.
“We will continue to sharpen our skills and try to make major improvements for each upcoming meet,” Hartwig said.
Weather plays a big role in the outdoor season, but Hartwig thinks it may work to UR’s advantage.
“We live in the Northeast, so we have to expect some issues with the weather,” she said. “I think we could be a more competitive team outdoors than we were indoors. We have the benefit of some added events that we are very competitive in.”
This weekend, UR is scheduled for a meet at home on Saturday. The gun is scheduled to go off at 10 a.m.
However, weather may pose a problem. If the temperature is below 40 degrees, the meet will be cancelled.
Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.