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Women’s track and field places fifth, men seventh at outdoor UAA Championships

By Hannah Vickers

Section: Sports

April 30, 2010

In a weekend full of stiff competition, the Brandeis track and field teams stepped up their game and walked away from the University Athletic Association Championships in St. Louis with three championship performances, one meet record, two school records, two NCAA qualifying standards, and five all UAA honors.

“The amazing success our athletes had this weekend in only our first championship meet is going to really come to fruition this weekend and the weekends to come,” co-captain Lucia Capano ’11 told The Hoot in an e-mail.

“Well I’m wicked excited,” co-captain Suzy Bernier ’10 told The Hoot.

As she should be. After taking the UAA title indoors earlier this season for high jump she turned around and claimed it again in the outdoor event. In the process she broke her own school record by a quarter of an inch, propelling herself over five feet, six inches above the ground.

“I knew what I was going for,” Bernier said. “There were three of us still in and they had all made it before I did so I got up there and had to [make it].”

With the jump Bernier improved her previous NCAA qualifying height by 0.03 meters. This was the second UAA title for Bernier, both of which came this year.

Grayce Selig ’11 took home her first UAA title later in the day when she ran the 1,500-meter in 4:36.79, more than half a second faster than second place.

“This weekend’s races were really all about putting ourselves in a position to place and get as many points for the team as possible,” Selig said in an e-mail to The Hoot.

Selig had set a new school record the week before of 4:33.91 but her time at UAAs was still good enough to be an NCAA provisional mark.

The final UAA title of the day came courtesy of the 4×800-meter relay, where Selig took her second title of the day. Classmate Emily Own, Erin Bisceglia ’12 and co-captain Beth Pisarik ’10 were also on the team. They combined for a time of 9:18.83.

That time not only broke the UAA meet record by almost four seconds but destroyed the previous school record by nearly 18 seconds. The Judges were eight seconds ahead of the second place squad.

“The 4×800 was great,” Selig told The Hoot. “We have such a strong middle distance team and and so I know there is a lot more to come from each of them, both in their individual events or if we decided to do another relay … It was a great way to finish a good weekend.”

The 4×100-meter relay team, made up of co-captains Capano and Michelle Gellman ’11 and rookies Brittany Bell and Anifreed Sinjour, took home third place and All-UAA honors. This was the sixth event of the meet for Capano who also competed in the long jump, the high jump, the 100-meter dash, the 4×400 and the triple jump where she finished fourth. Her teammates were certainly impressed with the diversity of events she competed in.

“Luci did a great job this weekend too even though she didn’t get all UAA honors,” Bernier said.

“It’s definitely difficult to prepare for a number of events that require quite a bit of technical work,” Capano told The Hoot in an e-mail. “I practice approaches for both of the horizontal jumps, block starts for the 100m, handoffs for the relay and triple jump form. The 4×100 is probably my favorite event because I love running curves, and when you’re running a curve and are catching the girl who started in front of you is totally exhilarating.”

Alyssa Pisarik ’12 also took home All-UAA honors when she took home second place in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:49.76.

With so many incredible schools in the UAA, the pressure was definitely high.

“I tried to think of last weekend as just another race,” Selig said, “but there was so much great competition in the 1500 so it is definitely a confidence booster going into the upcoming races.”

While the men did not take home first place in any events, they did have three team members claim All-UAA honors.

Co-captain Paul Norton ’11 received his fourth All-Association this season for his second place finish in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:19.47. Aaron Udel ’10 also finished second in his event, coming in just .37 seconds behind first place in the 800-meter run, to take All-Association honors. Devon Holgate ’11 took his first individual All-UAA honor in the 1,500-meter run, taking third place with a time of 3:57.69, shaving three seconds off his season-best time in the process.

Both teams will be competing in the New England Division III Championships this Saturday, May 1.

“I’m excited for this weekend,” Bernier told The Hoot. “So far I haven’t lost an outdoor meet–four wins in a row. Hopefully I can get one last one in this weekend then its All New Englands.”

“We have all been training hard and most importantly consistently,” Selig said. “So hopefully it will be another great weekend for our team and hopefully we’ll get some more qualifying times out of the way for meets later in the season.”

The Hoot wishes luck to all the athletes competing this weekend as well as for the rest of the season and congratulates the seniors on four wonderful years on the team.

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