WASHINGTON - Four new all-time top ten performances and 11 personal records (PR's) highlighted the weekend for the American University track & field team as the Eagles doubled-up at the Dr. Sander Invitational at the Armory in New York, N.Y., and the Patriot Games, hosted by George Mason.
The weekend's events started on Friday in New York City with the Dr. Sander Invitational at the historic Armory Track. Of the seven student-athletes that made the trip, six walked away with either a new season record or a personal best, including senior Liam Purdy who led the field in the 800-meter run. Purdy's final time of 1:52.81 was not only a new PR, but also brought him closer to breaking into the top-two of AU history as he now sits within a second of the program's second-fastest time (1:52.14).
Senior Alaeldin Tirba also walked away with a new All-Time Top Ten time after he placed fourth in the 5000m field with the tenth-fastest time in AU history, 14:33.79.
On the women's side, freshman Shelbi Wuss highlighted the day's events with a fourth-place crossing in the 3000m run. Wuss' 10:08.66 finish was good for her first all-time top ten mark as she enters the record book at No. 9.
Senior Brianna Belo, junior Adriana Hooks and sophomore Arianna Lopez all improved on their season performances so far this season. Hooks crossed in third overall for the women's 5000m in 17:17.24, Belo was fifth in the 800m (2:13.54), and Lopez closed in 30th in the mile (5:17.12).
The seven Eagles made the quick turnaround into Saturday's Patriot Games, hosted by George Mason. There, they joined another group of personal record performers led by sophomore Emily Houghton, who landed at No. 5 in the AU record books for the 500m dash with her fourth-place finish (1:23.35).
Belo and junior Ben Doiron earned the team's only two event wins of the day. Belo led the 800m field in 2:17.23 while Doiron clocked through with a new PR in the 3000m run, 8:41.83.
Junior Grace Goulding (200m), sophomore Emily Houghton (200m), sophomore Lucia Rose (400m), junior Matthew Rainey (mile), sophomore Caleb Brown (mile), and freshman Michael Weidenbruch (3000m) rounded out the weekend's PR performances.
The Eagles will be back on the road for the Camel City Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Feb. 2-3. From there, AU will head into the postseason with the Patriot League Championship, hosted by Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa., from Feb. 17-18.
For the latest on American Track & Field, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.
HEAR FROM COACH GRAHAM...
"All in all, this was a significantly better weekend of performances in both NYC and at George Mason. A big win in the 800m by Liam Purdy at the Armory, and two more equally impressive performances by Brianna Belo and Ben Doiron in the 800m and 3k at Mason. Across the board, we saw a lot of improvement in racing and aggressiveness. We're looking forward to building on this momentum as the championship season approaches."
RESULTS - FRIDAY
800m Run, Women - 5. Brianna Belo, 2:13.54
800m Run, Men - 1. Liam Purdy, 1:52.81 PR #3
Mile Run, Women - 30. Arianna Lopez, 5:17.12
3000m Run, Women - 4. Shelbi Wuss, 10:08.66 PR #9 // 15. Nadia Stratton, 10:42.27
5000m Run, Women - 3. Adriana Hooks, 17:17.24
5000m Run, Men - 4. Alaeldin Tirba, 14:33.79 PR #10
RESULTS - SATURDAY
Long Jump, Men - 4. Trevor Patton, 6.55m (21-6)
200m Dash, Women - 22. Grace Goulding, 29.27 PR // 24. Emily Houghton, 29.58 PR
400m Dash, Women - 7. Chia-Ry Chang Urena, 1:04.37 // 8. Lucia Rose, 1:05.60 PR // 13. Sammie Paul, 1:09.49
500m Dash, Women - 4. Emily Houghton, 1:23.35 PR #5
800m Run, Women - 1. Brianna Belo, 2:17.23 // 2. Arianna Lopez, 2:20.99
800m Run, Men - 5. Liam Purdy, 1:58.32 // 13. Faolan Coogan-Pluck, 2:02.23 // 20. Justin Dignan, 2:07.39
1000m Run, Women - 3. Kaitlyn McTernan, 3:07.40 // 5. Jude Mabone, 3:10.28
1000m Run, Men - 8. Jim Belfatto, 2:39.71 // 9. John Pagliaro, 2:40.79 // 11. Chris Tibbetts, 2:42.83
Mile Run, Women - 6. Shelbi Wuss, 5:11.74 // 7. Adriana Hooks, 5:12.15 // 12. Kassidy Ayres, 5:26.81 // 15. Nadia Stratton, 5:35.66
Mile Run, Men - 6. Matthew Rainey, 4:16.12 PR // 7. Alaeldin Tirba, 4:18.23 // 19. Caleb Brown, 4:49.94 PR
3000m Run, Women - 11. Katelyn Deibler, 11:18.15
3000m Run, Men - 1. Ben Doiron, 8:41.83 PR // 6. Michael Weidenbruch, 8:56.78 PR // 7. Gerard D'Ambrosio, 8:57.30 // 10. Tommy Sommer, 9:14.28 // 17. Max Lustig, 9:21.28