BOSTON – The city of Boston was host to one parade on Tuesday. Three days later, the Ursinus College women's track and field team held a parade of its own.
The Bears added two new program records to a seemingly unending parade of personal bests during a dazzling display at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational hosted by Boston University on Friday.
Amidst a steady sequence of new individual standards, Brittany Gasser continued her assault on the program's indoor annals by breaking her own school record in the 800-meter run. The senior's time of 2:17.20 shattered her previous benchmark of 2:19.99 set two weeks ago in Ohio, a clocking that already had upended a time that had stood untouched for a decade. It now stands as the top time in the Centennial Conference this season.
Not to be outdone, junior Sophia Simoes staked her claim to the top spot in program history with a toss of 42 feet, 9 inches in the weight throw; it eclipsed the previous record held by senior Mikaela Bordonaro by just shy of a foot. Like Gasser's 800, Simoes' mark is the best in the conference.
Gasser's historic run was one of five personal bests in the 800 for the Bears' contingent. First-years Madison Tillman (2:31.30), Rachel Conhoff (2:35.42), and Lauren Ferguson (2:38.80) joined junior Alyson Manley in achieving new collegiate bests, while sophomore Meredith Steele marked a new season best with a 2:38.18.
The 200-meter dash was even more fruitful for Ursinus, as six sprinters secured new PR's. Freshman Kate Hunt moved up to third in the CC with a 26.59, and sophomore Rachel Coleman narrowly edged her previous personal record with a 27.02, good for fifth. Sophomore Gianna Speranza (27.34) joined rookie Tori Bearden (28.65) and sophomores Molly Rodebaugh (28.88) and Neve Durrwachter (29.26) in notching a new career best.
Sophomore Michela Coleman knocked more than a second off her former personal record with a 1:00.41 in the 400-meter dash, jumping just ahead of Gasser for third on the conference performance list.
The Coleman twins joined Hunt and Gasser to make a run at the Bears' indoor record in the 4x400-meter relay, completing the race in 4:05.88 to finish second in their section and land less than a second-and-a-half off the program's best time.
Freshman Rosie Cuomo (10.20) and Bearden (10.40) each posted new PR's in the 60-meter hurdles, with Bearden shaving more than a third of a second off her previous low.
Bordonaro grabbed a season best in the shot put (32-9.00), where sophomore Vikki Rueda-Juarez was just off her top mark of the season at 33-7.25.