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WEST LONG BRANCH, New Jersey – Several veterans came through where expected while some fresh faces impressed on the biggest stage as the Quinnipiac women's outdoor track and field team wrapped up a successful day one at the MAAC Championships held on the campus of Monmouth University. Through 13 scored events, Quinnipiac currently sits in 4th place (out of nine teams) with 37 accumulated points. Quinnipiac's 37 points are an eight-point improvement from the 2014 MAAC Championships while the Bobcats enter day two with plenty of room for more. The host Monmouth owns the day one lead with 128 points while Manhattan (103) and Rider (93) round out the Top 3.
Perhaps the most successful event on the afternoon should come as no surprise to the Bobcats fans as the 10,000m event was filled with the blue and gold on the top of the leaderboard. Quinnipiac, a program with a long running tradition of success in the distance events, continued their dominance on Saturday as three Bobcats placed within the Top 8 as each earned points for QU in the team standings. Freshman Emily Wolff (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) led the way as she finished 2nd (out of 13 competitors) with a time of 36:51.07. The rookie, who was running in her first career 10,000m event, now stands in 4th place on the all-time record list at Quinnipiac. The career-bests continued with junior Ashley Carle (Jackson, New Jersey) who placed for the first time in her career at a conference championship, earning 4th place with a time of 38:14.79. Carle also finds herself high on the QU all-time record list as she now has the 8th-best time in the history of the program. Junior classmate Kristina Ketchum (Foxborough, Massachusetts), running in her first career conference championship meet, scored an impressive 8th place result with a personal-best time of 39:58.17. Ketchum's previous career-best of 41:23.36 was shattered in a standout individual effort.
The success in the distance events continued into the 3000m steeplechase as three more Bobcats all placed within the Top 8 overall to each earn points for QU in the standings. Graduate student Christina Faust (Macungie, Pennsylvania) put forth an inspired effort as she became just the third Bobcat in program history to run the event in under 11 minutes, placing 5th overall (out of 11) with a time of 10:59.80. Ever-improving sophomore Cameron Chaplen (Thomaston, Connecticut) bested her previous personal-best by more than 14 seconds as she placed 6th with a time of 11:10.07, moving her up a spot to 6th place on the all-time list at Quinnipiac. Joining Faust in her final collegiate conference championship appearance, graduate student Jessica Soja (Simsbury, Connecticut) also set a new personal-best as ran the event in 11:50.86 which was good enough for 8th place overall.
Moving into the middle distance events, Quinnipiac's success only grew as the 4x800m relay group of sophomore Alyson Caron (Andover, New Jersey), freshman Darby Ginley (Warwick, New York) and juniors Tracy Campbell (Wall Township, New Jersey) and Medinah Nabadduka (Windsor, Connecticut) came through in record-breaking fashion for the Bobcats. Seeded 5th overall heading into the MAAC Championships, the group of Bobcats finished 3rd (out of seven) on Saturday with an outdoor program record time of 9:07.38. Quinnipiac's group outkicked both Rider and Marist at the end, two higher-seeded relay groups heading into the day, by just under four seconds. This is also the 3rd straight season in which Quinnipiac has placed in the Top 3 at a conference championship in the 4x800m relay.
The final scored event that saw the Bobcats earn points came in the long jump as two underclassmen in sophomore Bonnie Pisciotta (Lindenhurst, New York) and freshman Leah Pfrommer (Killingworth, Connecticut) placed 4th and 5th, respectively. Pisciotta put together a result of 5.32m while Pfrommer came through with a jump of 5.23m to give the Bobcats two long jumpers to place at a conference championship for the first time in program history.
Two preliminary sprint events were held and both featured a heavy dose of the blue and gold as three Bobcats advanced to the 100m finals for the first time in program history while freshman Jessica Lee (Montgomery, New Jersey) advanced to the final of the 100m hurdles. Both finals will be held on day two of the MAAC Championships on Sunday.
If the 100m dash preliminary is any sort of precursor to the finals on Sunday, fans in-attendance will certainly be in for a show as the Top 3 finishers on Saturday were separated by a mere .08 seconds. Junior Shameal Samuels (Hartford, Connecticut) cruised to a 3rd place result as she clocked in at 12.52 seconds. Joining her in the finals will be junior classmate Alea Simons (Piscataway, New Jersey) as well as Pisciotta. Simons checked in with a 6th place finish with a time of 12.74 seconds while Pisciotta was not far behind in 7th place with a time of 12.78 seconds.
Lee held up with a strong showing in the preliminary of the 100m hurdles as she crossed the finish line with a time of 14.74 seconds which was good enough for 3rd place (out of 13) on Saturday.
Quinnipiac heads into day two with Bobcats fielded in the high jump, triple jump, javelin, 4x100m, 4x400m, 1500m, 100m hurdles final, 100m dash final, 200m, 400m, 800m, 400m hurdles and 5000m. The Bobcats will be looking to improve upon their 6th place result at the 2014 MAAC Championships.
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