By: Jordan Cope, Staff Writer
Towson competed in the Penn Relays on Thursday at Franklin Field in Philadelphia and in the Delaware Classic on Saturday at Stuart and Suzanne Grant Stadium in Newark, Delaware.
It was the 121st Penn Relays and the Tigers competed in four events: the 4×100-meter relay, the 4×400-meter relay, the pole vault and the high jump.
“I am just so proud of the girls. We did it, you know,” Head Coach Roger Erricker said. “They stepped up and did what they needed to do. So that was special for us, very special for us.”
The highlight of the day for Towson was the 4×100-meter relay team qualifying for the Eastern Colleges Athletic Conference Final for the first time in school history.
Led by junior Kaitlyn Davis, junior Kelsey Fiddes, sophomore Zanae Freeland and freshman Brittany Shields, the Tigers placed 29th out of 98 teams with a time of 47.71 to clinch their spot in the ECAC Final.
“We worked and worked and worked on the baton exchanges, and they practiced so hard getting those down,” Erricker said. “They got them down, we had four great exchanges, and that’s what did it for us.”
In the ECAC Final, the Tigers finished ninth in the 12-team heat with a time of 48.26.
Led by senior captain Emily Wenger, sophomore Amanda Famularo, Davis and Freeland, the 4×400-meter relay team won their heat and finished with a time of 3:56.19.
“The experience is amazing. Everyone is there for track and it’s super exciting,” Wenger said. “The atmosphere is so fun and positive, but very competitive.”
In the field events, junior pole vaulter Maggie Rampolla placed 38th in the pole vault event while junior Emerald Vickers placed 64th in the high jump event.
“There were some really good teams. Just to be able to go out there and see the best was super,” Erricker said. “For us to be right there, that was really great for our experience and moving forward.”
In the Delaware Classic, Towson recorded 16 top 5 finishes and placed second with 112.50 points behind host and Colonial Athletic Association rival Delaware (318.50).
“It was very big for us. We had some women that really came through, got there spots for CAA Championships, and they will get to compete,” Erricker said. “It was a big day for us, a very big day for us.”
Freshman distance runner Colleen Cook highlighted the meet for the Tigers finishing first in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 11:01.25.
Behind Cook in the 3,000-meter run was fellow freshman Emma Harrelson with a time of 11:08 and junior Karen Cohen with a time of 11:38.40.
In the 800-meter run, senior middle distance runner and Towerlight contributor Kara Bucaro finished second with a time of 2:18.59 while junior distance runner Kelsey Kollar placed third with a time of 2:29.05.
Freshmen Emily Johnson was the runner-up in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 12:11.08.
Junior hurdler and jumper Wilhelmina Austin highlighted the field events for Towson, placing second in the triple jump with a distance of 37 feet, 10 inches and third in the long jump with a leap of 11’3.75.”
“Wilhelmina is a great example. She is going to the CAA Championships no matter what and she is one of our best athletes,” Erricker said. “But she just felt that she needed the extra meet and she wanted to get an extra meet in.”
Freshman thrower Taylor Weiss placed second in the discus event, recording a throw of 131’11.”
In the high jump event, junior multi-event performer Michelle Keller tied for third in the high jump with a height of 4’11.”
The Tigers would also see a pair of third-place finishes from freshman Emily Waldron and sophomore Brynn Washington in the pole vault event, recording a height of 11’3.75.”
Behind Waldron in Washington in the pole vault event was sophomore Courtney Rose, who placed fifth with a height of 10’10.”
Towson will look to carry its momentum from the previous two meets into the two-day CAA Championship meet which will take place May 1-2 in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“Everyone will really have to be on their top performance,” Rampolla said. “It is good competition and it is an exciting meet.”