FAIRFAX, Va. - Junior Brianna Belo hit her third American University Track & Field school record of the season on Sunday, Feb. 26, closing the 2017 indoor campaign with a new all-time best in the 1000m run. Belo was just one of several highlights from the final weekend of the indoor season, as the Eagles closed the George Mason Last Chance Meet with seven personal records (PR's) and two additional All-Time Top Ten marks from freshman Arianna Lopez and junior Alaeldin Tirba.
"It is outstanding what the team did this weekend," Head Coach Matt Centrowitz said. "We didn't have any slumps coming off our conference championship from the weekend prior. That shows tremendous growth. I am very excited and the outdoor season looks very bright! These kinds of performances are what we will build the future of the program on. To name a few: Brianna Belo with a new school record in the 1k, Alaeldin Tirba with a massive personal best in the 1k, and Adriana with a major breakthrough. There are certainly big things to come."
Belo was the first collegiate finisher in the women's 1000m run, leading the rest of the field by nearly three seconds across the line. Her 2:50.97 finish also put her nearly three seconds under the previous American School Record in the event, held by recent Hall of Fame inductee, Samia Akbar, since 2003 (2:53.35). This is only the latest in a historical season from the junior, which has seen record marks in the 800m run (2:11.41) and 500m dash (1:12.63) in February alone.
Belo wasn't alone in her record book finish, though, as freshman Arianna Lopez added her name to yet another All-Time Top Ten list with the eighth-fastest 800m run time in AU history, 2:20.97. Lopez also owns the No. 7 slot in the 1000m run with her 3:01.68 PR from the Patriot Games, hosted by George Mason on Jan. 28.
On the men's side, junior Alaeldin Tirba claimed his first individual All-Time Top Ten mark with a first-place finish out of the collegians in the 1000m run field, crossing in 2:27.35 for the sixth-fastest time in school history. Tirba was one of three men to return to the track this weekend after hitting a new school record during their title run in the distance medley relay (DMR) at the Patriot League Championships a week ago. Tirba, along with junior Liam Purdy and sophomores Chandler Ross and Matthew Rainey claimed AU's first indoor conference title since 2009 in record fashion, dropping the ten-year-old school record by 0.61-seconds with their 7:31.30 crossing.
Other PR's out of the day include the trio of women in the mile, led by Adriana Hooks' third-place finish in 5:06.87. Sophomore Kailee Traficante was next in 5:36.94 for a PR and eighth-place finish followed closely by freshman Katelyn Deibler in 5:38.38 for ninth.
Sophomore Matthew Rainey closed out the PR efforts with the team's third first-place finish of the afternoon, leading the collegiate field in the mile with a final crossing of 4:17.44.
The Eagles will now look toward the outdoor season, set to kick off on March 25. For the latest on AU Track & Field, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.
500m Dash, Women - 2. Sammie Paul, 1:27.14
800m Run, Women - 5. Arianna Lopez, 2:20.97 #8 // 6. Kaitlyn McTernan, 2:24.39
800m Run, Men - 5. Justin Dignan, 2:02.92
1000m Run, Women - 1. Brianna Belo, 2:50.90 SR
1000m Run, Men - 1. Alaeldin Tirba, 2:27.35 #6 // 2. Chandler Ross, 2:30.25
Mile Run, Women - 3. Adriana Hooks, 5:06.87 PR // 8. Kailee Traficante, 5:36.94 PR // 9. Katelyn Deibler, 5:38.38 PR
Mile Run, Men - 1. Matthew Rainey, 4:17.44 PR // 2. Benjamin Doiron, 4:20.08 // 3. Gerard D'Ambrosio, 4:25.60