By Brandon Scalea
A pair of Pennsylvania meets for the track and field team featured several event wins, many personal records and a handful of ECAC-qualifying marks.
Rider sent competitors to the Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell on April 15, and the Chester Quarry Classic at Widener.
At Bucknell, junior Sara Gardner continued her run of recent outdoor success. She took first place in the 100-meter hurdles with an ECAC-qualifying time of 14.01.
Head Coach Bob Hamer said she has come a long way in her Bronc career.
“Sara is very talented and she has worked very hard to become technically better,” he said. “She is also a tremendous competitor and that makes a big difference when it comes time to perform. Everyone likes to say they’re a great competitor, but she actually is one. Coach [Brett] Harvey has done a great job in coaching and mentoring her.”
Gardner said she hasn’t really had to change much to find the success she’s been having.
“I think the key lately has just been making sure I stay healthy and really focusing on technical things with my coach right now,” she said. “I just need to focus on the next few races before the MAACs are here. We as a team have really stepped up and it seemed as though everyone had a new personal record or a really incredible race.”
Gardner’s classmate, Lexie Fraction, also had a big day in Pennsylvania. Fraction won both the 100-meter sprint and 100-meter hurdles at Widener. She finished with times of 14.84 and 12.49, respectively.
Hamer was very pleased with Fraction’s most recent performance.
“She has been getting faster in the sprint events and that will eventually pay dividends for her in the hurdles,” he said. “Winning the hurdles was a big confidence boost for her and we’re looking for her to carry that forward into a bigger meet this week at Princeton.”
On the men’s side, another junior impressed, taking first in two events at Widener. Christian Patrick took first place in 110-meter hurdles (14.81) and the high jump (1.90 meters).
Some other notable performances were by freshman Peri Pavicic and sophomore Brook Wilson. Pavicic finished 11th in the 3,000-meter with a personal record time of 10:32.62. Wilson came in 19th in the 800-meter run with a mark of 1:54.01. The women’s team as a whole finished No. 12 at Bucknell, with eight ECAC or IC4A qualifying performances.
Hamer thought the men’s team had a good showing at both locations, but insisted the team needs to keep up the intensity.
“I’m very hopeful this momentum will carry forward into the final phases of the outdoor season,” he said. “They are always working hard and it was good to see them shine a bit this weekend. We need to have the same kind of results in the next few weeks.”
The Broncs next compete on April 21-22 in the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton.