Women's Outdoor Track & Field Honors 13 Senior Class Members at Yale Springtime Invitational

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In a day that featured a gusty wind with chilly temperatures throughout, the Quinnipiac University women's outdoor track and field team managed to put a smile on everyone's face as they honored their 13 senior class members before the start of Sunday's Yale Springtime Invitational. The largest senior class in the history of the program featured many distinguished performers with individual accolades that will go down in the record books but they be missed more for their leadership and guiding spirit that has lifted the program to new heights the last few seasons.

Among this dedicated and triumphant senior class included star power in Becca White (Natick, Mass.), perseverance in Rachel Morelli (Philadelphia, Pa.), leadership in senior tri-captains Kelly Malloy (Sewell, N.J.), Kaitlyn Flynn (New Milford, Conn.) and Kate Hammerton (Campbell Hall, N.Y.), improvement in Val Zielinski (Hackettstown, N.J.) Christine Donnelly (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Jill Humphreys (Burlington, Mass.), vibrant personalities in Courtney Armstrong (Fair Haven, N.J.) and Kelsey Rayla (Dudley, Mass.) as well as one of the most prolific families, students, performers and people the program has ever seen in Amanda, Brianna and Christina Faust (Macungie, Pa.). All 13 members of the Class of 2014 were honored before the start of competition on Sunday and deserve recognition for their careers and dedication to the program.

As for the action on the track on Sunday from Yale's Cuyler Field/Dwyer Track the Bobcats were led by one of their standout freshman in Bonnie Pisciotta (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) who clocked in with a new program record of 12.60 seconds in the 100m dash. Racing in the fastest of three heats on the day, Pisciotta held her own against two talented sophomores to finish in 3rd place for her first career Top 5 finish in the 100m.

Pisciotta continued her phenomenal day at the track with another personal best, this time in the 200m. Despite having to deal with temperature in the 40s and a steady breeze all day, Pisciotta managed to stay warm and cross the line with an improvement on her personal best which is already in 2nd place on the all-time record list at Quinnipiac. She clocked in at 25.70 seconds in the 200m on Sunday to finish in 5th place overall for back-to-back Top 5 finishers. Pisciotta was again the fastest freshman in the event while she also placed as the 2nd-fasetest underclassmen in the field of 41 runners.

Continuing the strong showing from the underclassmen group for Quinnipiac in the 400m was a group of three Bobcats who each finished with a solid showing in the event. Sophomore Nia Baker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the way with a 4th place result and time of 59.35 seconds while freshman Cori Reid (Old Saybrook, Conn.) crossed the line right behind her in 7th place overall with a time of 1:00.44. Just missing out on a Top 10 finish was freshman Alyson Caron (Andover, N.J.) who managed an 11th place result with a time of 1:02.70.

The seniors started showing their metal in the 800m run where Donnelly (20th place, 2:27.29), Zielinski (22nd, 2:27.66) Armstrong (32nd, 2:33.10) and Rayla (45th, 2:56.71) all finished with more than respectable times on Sunday to lead a Bobcat contingent that had junior Katy Petrie (Cranston, R.I.) leading the way in 15th place out of 49 competitors with a time of 2:24.29.

The 800m run was just a prequel for the huge Bobcat contingent that featured in the 1500m run. A total of 10 Bobcats took the track for the 1500m event and six of the 10 finished in the Top 15 overall out of a field that included 53 runners. The run of Bobcats started with Morelli as she claimed 5th place, crossing the line in 4:51.80. Her senior classmate Humphreys was right behind her in 6th place with a time of 4:53.00. Running in their usual pack, the Faust sisters finished a mere 4.20 seconds apart. They were led by Amanda who finished just outside the Top 10 with an 11th place result (4:56.50) while Christina took 13th place (4:58.40) and Brianna wasn't far behind in 15th place (5:00.70). Sandwiched between the Faust contingent was a freshman in Cameron Chaplen (Thomaston, Conn.) who finished with the best result of her young career as she crossed the line in 12th place with a time of 4:57.15.

Showing the maturation of the program just within the last few seasons, the Bobcats fielded javelin throwers for the first time ever at the Yale Springtime Invitational. Sophomore Jennifer Mears (Vernon, Conn.) and Reid each took their turns and showed flashes of brilliance. They both advanced to the finals after the three-round preliminaries but Mears saved her best toss for last as she ripped a 33.78m throw that beat her previous high of the day by well over one full meter. That 33.78m throw for Mears gave her 2nd place overall out of 14 competitors while Reid tossed a 32.02m in the preliminary round that stood for 4th place in the javelin.

Quinnipiac now enters their Championship season with their first ever trip to the MAAC Championships starting on Saturday, May 3 and continuing into Sunday, May 4 from Lawrenceville, N.J. hosted by Rider University.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu