Quinnipiac indoor track & field wins three events at Yale Season Opener

Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

NEW HAVEN, Conn — Quinnipiac indoor track & field made the trip to Coxe Cage to compete in the Yale Season Opener meet Saturday afternoon, where the Bobcats took the win in three events and placed top five in multiple others.

Along with the Bobcats was Columbia, Hartford, Sacred Heart, Southern Connecticut State and Yale.

The Bobcats began their morning with a strong start in the long jump. Freshman Sydney Lavelle took first-place after an impressive 5.41 meter jump. Following her were freshman Erin Brennan and junior Camille Sweet, who took third and fourth in the event, respectively.

Sophomore Olaitan Olagundoye place third in the high jump clearing a height of 1.59 meters. (Peyton McKenzie)

After the long jump, sophomore Olaitan Olagundoye was able to just clear 1.59 meters in the high jump on her third attempt. She was unable to clear the next height at 1.63 meters, but still secured third in the event overall.

Brennan rounded out the jumping events after her finish in the long jump with a 3.35 meter pole vault. Despite not clearing the starting height at the 2022 Boston University Sharon Colyear Danville Season Opener on Dec. 3, she was able to secure fourth place today.

Headed to the track, sophomore Riley Smith improved on her 40.10 300 meter from last meet running the event in 40.01 seconds. In the second and third heats followed freshmen Isabella Anzaldo, Elise Barricelli and Michelle Tota who all ran within 0.17 seconds of each other, taking fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively.

The Bobcats took the most athletes to the 60 meter hurdles finals out of any other school with Lavelle, sophomore Avery Jordan and junior Camille Blain making it through the preliminary round. Lavelle leaned at the line to take her second win of the day with a 9.09 second sprint. Jordan followed in 9.28 seconds, rounding out the podium in third place.

In the distance events, freshman Sophia Jones battled freshman Emily Raymond of Sacred Heart for third place in the 800 meter. The two remained neck-in-neck for the entirety of the first three laps. In the end, Jones outkicked Raymond, finishing the race in 2:28.20.

The 3000 meter was a bloodbath, forcing Sacred Heart sophomore Alisha Stadnicki to step off the track during her tenth lap around as well as Hartford junior Sarah Kulpa two laps later. Senior Mia Pestle was able to be resilient, finishing the race in 10:41.83 and taking second place.

Sophomore Riley Smith had a great showing at Yale, winning the 300 meter overall with a time of 40.01 seconds and anchoring the 4×400 meter relay in 55.8 seconds. (Peyton McKenzie)

Closing out the afternoon was the always exciting 4×400 meter relay. Quinnipiac’s ‘A’ team — comprising Anzaldo, Lavelle, Barricelli and Smith — got gapped early in the heat. However, they were able to slowly work their way back, thanks largely to Smith’s impressive 55.8 anchor leg. The team finished in fourth place with a time of 3:57.85, about three seconds slower than what the relay team ran last the week prior.

The Bobcats won’t be back in action until Jan. 15, when they will travel to Amherst, Massachusetts to participate in the UMass Invite. The solid performances seen at Yale coupled with the recent No. 2 preseason ranking are sure to make for an exciting season for the team.