By Shanna O’Mara
The track and field team set several personal and university records when it split and competed at the Larry Ellis Invitational, hosted by Princeton University, on April 23 and the Widener Invitational on April 22 and 23.
At the Widener Invitational, senior Charles Wilks won the discus in an IC4A-qualifying distance of 48.49m. Senior Olivia Rosenberger won the triple jump with a distance of 11.17m and placed eighth in the long jump in 5.02m.
Sophomore David Gaynor placed third in the discus with a personal record of 44.43m, and senior Nasser Zayer ran the 5,000m in 15:55.09, finishing 39th of 65.
Junior Ariana Gagliardi ran a personal best time of 5:24.26 in the 1500m to place 46th of 100. Sophomore Dakota Karras placed third in the 100m hurdles in 15.29. Freshmen Brianna Best and Alexis Pignataro both set personal records, best in the 100m (12.76), and Pignataro in the hammer throw (38.35m).
On April 23, part of the team traveled to Princeton. Senior Daria Chedwick qualified for the ECACs in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.2 in the preliminaries and ran a 14.4 in the finals, placing second. Senior Stephanie Welte set a Rider record in the 800m elite heat, placing 34th of 80 in 2:11.34.
Senior Nicole Georgia also broke a Rider record, placing sixth in the 400m hurdles in 1:02.22.
“It meant a lot to me to break an individual school record,” Georgia said. “I was not expecting to break the record, so hopefully I’ll break the record again before my time as a college student ends.”
Sophomore Lexie Fraction ran the 100m hurdles in a personal record and ECAC-qualifying time of 14.44. Freshman Ashley Berry placed eighth of 22 in the discus with a distance of 136’6”.
For the men, junior Johnathan Jackson qualified for the IC4A in the 800m with a time of 1:52.19, placing 31st of 78. Seniors Darien Edwards and Tom McLaughlin also qualified in the same event with times of 1:53.26 and 1:53.79, respectively.
Senior Sam Knipper ran the 1500m in 4:01.24, and sophomore Danniel Belay placed eighth in the same event, finishing in 3:58.31.
“I was able to put myself in good position in the beginning and that set me up for a good finish and a personal best,” Belay said.
The Broncs will compete in the Penn Relays on April 28.
“There is still some room for tuning up and improvement before the conference championships coming up,” Belay said. “I feel like our team performed well this weekend to put ourselves in good standing as the championship season approaches.”