BOSTON, Mass. – Saturday was truly a special day for the Quinnipiac women's indoor track and field team as sophomore Shameal Samuels (Hartford, Conn.) won the 400m dash and followed that up by helping the 4x400m relay team pull off a stunning upset to win the event and claim a piece of two New England Championships. Sophomores Nia Baker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Kristen Ulrich (Clark, N.J.) and junior Becca Stabile (Haverhill, Mass.) all combined with Samuels to pick up one of the most impressive victories in program history as they stunned a crowded field to come away with the victory in the 4x400m relay. The Bobcats earned a total of 33 points to finish in 9th place out of 22 teams, good for their highest finish at the New England Championships in program history.
"Our 4x400 relay team was huge today and to win the event out of a slower section is just incredible," said Quinnipiac women's indoor track and field head coach Carolyn Martin. "I was extremely proud of all the girls today. We do a lot of planning and analysis of race strategy and I'm happy to say they all executed perfectly today. To win a race (4x400m) out of the slower section takes a lot of heart and confidence in your teammates which I think really embodies our entire track program."
Quinnipiac's foursome including three underclassmen along with Stabile was outstanding in the program's first victory at the New England Championships in any relay event. The Bobcats did so while running in the unseeded heat that typically runs at a much slower pace than their seeded opponents who all run in a separate heat. Stabile, Samuels, Baker and Ulrich combined to finish the event with a program record time of 3:47.66. They finished ahead of the likes of Northeastern, who won the event in the overall team standings, Rhode Island, Southern Conn. St., and Wheaton (Mass.). All four of the Bobcats finished with personal record splits as Samuels (54.4 seconds), Stabile (57.5), Baker (57.7) and Ulrich (57.7) all churned in outstanding efforts to lead the way for Quinnipiac.
Samuels shined again in the 400m dash finals as the No. 1 overall seed won the event and became the fastest runner in all of New England in the 400m. Despite the No. 1 ranking, Samuels was tested as she beat Northeastern's Camille Gooden to the finish line by .15 seconds. Samuels came in with the Quinnipiac record time of 55.08 seconds but bested that mark by an incredible margin of .70 seconds. Samuels finished the 400m finals with a time of 54.38 seconds, becoming the first individual New England Champion in school history.
Stabile continued an outstanding day for Quinnipiac with an incredible display in the 500m dash finals. The junior standout bested her own previous program record with a time of 1:13.52 on Saturday to earn a 2nd place finish and become the New England runner-up. Stabile, seeded No. 2 overall in the 500m, finished with a program record in her second straight 500m finals and proved herself as one of the best performers in the region.
Quinnipiac's group of one mile runners all performed incredibly well as the contingent of three Bobcats was led by sophomore Chelsea Savage (Pembroke, Mass.) who crossed the line with a personal best time of 4:59.19. She came up with a 9th place finish, one spot out of placing among New England's best, but she still managed to become just the sixth Bobcat to ever finish the one mile competition in under five minutes. Sophomore Tracy Campbell (Wall Township, N.J.) also impressed with a season-best time of 5:03.76 to land herself in 13th place, third fastest among the sophomore competitors.
Rounding out the day was senior Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.) who competed in the 3000m and finished with a time of 10:27.19. Quinnipiac's 4x800m relay team of Campbell, Savage, junior Katy Petrie (Cranston, R.I.) and senior Jess Soja (Simsbury, Conn.) raced to a 9th place finish with a season-best time of 9:21.97, the ninth fastest time in program history.
The Bobcats will move on to the ECAC Championships next weekend from Boston Univ. as Samuels, Stabile and the relay groups will all look to make one more mark on what is already the most successful season in program history.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com