WASHINGTON - A school record performance by senior Brianna Belo highlighted Friday's events for the American Track & Field team as the Eagles traveled to Williamsburg, Va., for the 53rd Annual Colonial Relays. In all, six of the 15 AU student-athletes left with personal record (PR) times, including two that landed in the program's all-time top ten lists.
Belo edged in just under her own program record in the 800-meter run, leading the 69-woman field with a final time of 2:07.52. Her previous record of 2:07.53 was from the 2017 season. She was followed by sophomores Emily Houghton and Lucia Rose, who crossed with a new PR of 2:31.75.
Both the men's and women's 1500m fields were also highlighted by PR's, starting with junior Matthew Rainey who closed in ninth overall with a final time of 3:48.98, the 10th-fastest time in program history.
On the women's side, sophomore Arianna Lopez led the way for AU with a PR performance of 4:42.04 for 33rd in the field. She was followed by sophomore Kaitlyn McTernan and senior Kassidy Ayres, who crossed with a new career-best of 4:56.72. Freshman Nadia Stratton rounded out the Eagles' performers in 77th overall.
Junior Tommy Sommer closed out the PR finishes for the day after he topped his previous best with a 10:13.14 crossing in the men's 3000m steeplechase.
Hear from Coach Graham...
"We had some very strong performances today down at the Colonial Relays with a number of significant PR's for both the men and women highlighted by Brianna Belo lowering her own school record ever so slightly. Most impressive, though, was the way she did it. She took the lead with 325-meters to go into a strong headwind to run away from an impressive field. This time should easily qualify her for the First Round of the NCAA Championships in May. Matthew Rainey also ran well in a strong field and lowered his PR by about two seconds. He's got a lot more room to improve and certainly will."
Long Jump, Men - 11. Trevor Patton, 6.49m (21-3.50) (w)
800m Run, Men - 78. John Pagliaro, 2:04.37 // 79. Caleb Brown, 2:04.68
800m Run, Women - 1. Brianna Belo, 2:07.52 PR SR // 71. Emily Houghton, 2:25.93 // 80. Lucia Rose, 2:31.75 PR
1500m Run, Men - 9. Matthew Rainey, 3:48.98 PR #10 // 81. Faolan Coogan Pluck, 4:14.34
1500m Run, Women - 33. Arianna Lopez, 4:42.04 PR // 68. Kaitlyn McTernan, 4:56.06 // 71. Kassidy Ayres, 4:56.72 PR // 77. Nadia Stratton, 5:03.01
5000m Run, Men - 57. Gerard D'Ambrosio III, 15:47.62
3000m Steeplechase, Men - 32. Max Lustig, 10:08.42 // 33. Tommy Sommer, 10:13.14 PR
The Eagles will retake the track on Saturday, April 14, for the George Mason Spring Invitational. For the latest on American Track & Field, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.