May 07, 2016
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Brianna Belo cut five seconds off her previous career-best and used a school-record time to win the women's 800-meter run Saturday at the Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Bucknell.
Belo, a sophomore from Philadelphia, ran 2:08.23 to win on Saturday. Her time bested the school record of 2:09.79, posted by Zaia Wharton in 2006. Belo already holds the AU school record outdoors in the 400.
Despite having the seventh-best time in the PL coming into the championships, Belo bested Navy freshman Amanda Agana (2:09.16) and Holy Cross senior Catherine Gildea (2:10.03).
Belo led the field by four-tenths of a second at the halfway point of the race and earned the win despite a late charge by Agana over the final lap.
"She took over before the first quarter was over," said AU head coach Matt Centrowitz. "She kept getting better and better late in the season."
Belo earned AU's first individual women's victory at the Patriot League Outdoor since Octavia Rinehardt won the 5,000 in 2011.
Coupled with Brendan Johnson's win on Friday in the men's 10,000, the Eagles posted wins by a male and female student-athlete outdoors for the first time since 2006.
"This was a good weekend all around," said Centrowitz. "I haven't had this much fun in a long time.
"The whole team really paid their dues. Individually, I'm happy to see them achieve at a high level.
"I think our team went into the championship ready, but Friday's 4x800 relays really started us off well," said Centrowitz. The women finished third and the men were fourth in the longest relay events of the meet.
Also on Saturday, senior Kelseagh Budris finished fourth in the women's 1,500. Her time of 4:31.85 was just off her season-best.
Freshman Matthew Rainey earned 10th in the men's 800, running 1:53.14.
Freshman Adriana Hooks improved on her seventh seed to place third in the women's 5,000. Her time of 17:12.29 was only two seconds off her previous season-best.
Johnson followed Friday's win with a third-place finish in the men's 5,000. He ran 14:15.39, just missing on second place by 0.02 seconds. Johnson moved into 10th all-time at AU with that time, which was five seconds better than his Penn Relays mark last weekend.
"Brendan's 10,000 was a very competitive race," said Centrowitz. "He was very confident and it seemed like he had the same determined look on his face the whole way."
American placed seventh in the men's team standings with 21 points, with the women finishing eighth with 27.
Bucknell scored a 40-point win over Boston University in the women's team standings, while Navy had a 103-point edge over Army West Point to win the men's team championship.