LANCASTER, Pa. – A sensational first-day performance capped by a gold medal in the 4x200-meter relay has the Ursinus College women's track and field team in prime position to finish as high as second at the Centennial Conference indoor championship.
When action concluded Saturday at Franklin & Marshall, Ursinus had accrued 38 points to finish the day in third place. The Bears lead Haverford by three points and are just three behind Swarthmore in second.
Freshman Kate Hunt and sophomores Michela Coleman, Gianna Speranza, and Rachel Coleman delivered the goods in the sprint relay, posting a time of 1:48.92 to edge Haverford by just over a tenth of a second and claim the Bears' first gold medal in the event since 2015. The time was a little more than a second behind the program record established in 2016.
Hunt and Speranza also qualified for the finals in the 60-meter dash and were joined by fellow sophomore Molly Rodebaugh, giving the Bears nearly half of the field for Sunday's showdown. All three either bested or matched their personal records; Hunt placed fourth in 8.10 seconds, Speranza equaled her PR with an 8.25 to take seventh, and Rodebaugh's career-best 8.33 was enough to claim the last qualifying spot by a fraction of a second.
Senior Brittany Gasser, sophomore Neve Durrwachter, freshman Madison Tillman, and senior Gabrielle Manto finished in fourth place with a 12:52.71 in the distance medley relay. Manto finished with a nice kick to edge out Johns Hopkins and hand Ursinus an extra team point.
Senior Caroline Buckley, last year's silver medalist in the triple jump, placed fourth with a mark of 34-4.75 to add another five points to the Ursinus tally.
Senior Morgan Cope gave the Bears another fourth-place finish in the pole vault, landing six inches off the podium pace with a mark of 10-0.75.
Freshman Rosie Cuomo came within a whisker of making the finals in the 60-meter hurdles, but her career-best clocking of 10.08 was .03 seconds out of eighth place. Fellow rookie Tori Bearden also recorded a big PR with a 10.22 to finish in 11th.