COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – All eyes will be on Collegeville this weekend as the Centennial Conference outdoor championship makes its return to Patterson Field, and the Ursinus College track and field teams hope to mix in some home cookin' to their efforts to ascend the league ladder.
Having hosted the last three CC indoor championships, Ursinus is the site of the outdoor meet for the first time since 2013. With a balanced roster full of scoring potential, the Bears hope to supplement a strong performance at the indoor meet, when they landed just 15 points out of second.
Senior Katherine Damato starts the Bears off with a return appearance in the heptathlon following last season's sixth-place showing. Opening night will include the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put, and 200, with the long jump, javelin, and 800 to round out the event on Saturday morning. Damato was strongest in the shot put and high jump last season, placing second in both of those events.
Junior Morgan Cope hopes to get off to a strong start in the pole vault, where her season high of 10-2.5 is good for the fifth seed.
Sophomore Alyson Manley caps the night in the 10k, where she is seeded eighth at 43:52.79.
Sophomore Kira Miller is seeded ninth in the 100-meter hurdles with a top time of 16.87, well in the hunt for points.
Senior Catherine Buczek is ranked fifth in the 400-meter dash with a seed time of 1:00.05 and will challenge for a place on the podium.
Junior Caroline Buckley will be in the mix for points in the long jump, seeded 10th at 15-10.25; she finished in that same spot at last season's outdoor championship. Senior Katherine Damato is right behind Buckley in 12th (15-8.25).
Speranza is pegged seventh in the 100-meter dash, based on her PR of 13.19 from the Widener Invitational. Swan (13.67) is seeded 12th and fellow rookie Molly Rodeabaugh (14.00) is 17th.
Buczek has a prime opportunity to become the first in school history to win the 400-meter hurdles at the outdoor conference meet. Buczek's personal best of 1:03.62 from the Penn Relays is tied for 33rd in all of Division III and is a full 1.68 seconds ahead of Gettysburg's Sarah Congdon, who owns the second-best mark in the conference this season. Buczek claimed silver in the event at last year's meet.
Sophomore Catherine Curran is the ninth seed in the 400 hurdles (1:10.38).
Speranza will also contend in the 200-meter dash, seeded ninth at 27.29 seconds.
The 4x100-meter relay takes center stage as the first team event on the track. Speranza, Buczek, Miller, and freshman Rachel Coleman come in with a third-place seed mark of 51.11 from the Penn Relays, only .27 seconds off the CC's top time this season.
Bordonaro is the Bears' top entrant in the javelin, seeded eighth with a season high of 108-5, and Rueda-Juarez is 12th at 97-8.
Next will follow the finals of the 110-meter hurdles, 400, 100, 800, 400 hurdles, and 200 (in that order).
Simoes is also in the points mix in the shot put, where she is projected sixth at 38-10.5. Rueda-Juarez (16th), junior Mikaela Bordonaro (18th), and Deravil will also be in action.
Buckley, last year's runner-up in the triple jump, is seeded sixth this time around with a high-water mark of 34-0.25, less than an inch and a half out of fourth.
Engel is ranked 24th in the 5000 meters (19:06.29).
Buczek, Kelly, Coleman, and Damato close the championships with the 4x400-meter relay, where they are seeded fourth.
The championship will be livestreamed on the Centennial Conference Digital Network. Live results and live video links are available in the championship hub link at the top of this page.