The Richmond women's track and field team finished first place in five events at the 11th-annual Fred Hardy Invitational, which took place on Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, at the Fred Hardy Track within Robins Stadium.
On the first day, the Spiders placed first in three track events: women's 3000-meter steeplechase, women's 5000-meter and women's 1500-meter races.
Richmond started the competition with success in the first event of the contest. Kelly Bailey, senior, took first place in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11 minutes, 9.47 seconds. Emma Nowak, junior, earned a third place finish at 11 minutes, 49.86 seconds after a strong final 100 meters.
"Things simply went my way on Friday," Bailey said. "I was able to grab the win and a personal best." "Fortunately, we both had very solid races, which helps set a tone and hopefully motivates our teammates to get out there and keep at it."
The Spiders took another first and third place finish in the 5000-meter. Tara Hanley, senior, ran the race in 17 minutes, 53.77 seconds to win the event, and Ave Grosenheider, freshman, took third place with a time of 18 minutes, 22.12 seconds.
"It means a lot to win on home turf," Hanley said. Training has gone well this season for Hanley. She said she was stronger and could handle more miles and intensity than when she was an underclassmen.
Richmond posted the most dominant performance of the competition by sweeping the top three spots in the 1500-meter. Amanda Corbosiero, sophomore, came in first place at 4 minutes, 27.16 seconds, followed by Taylor Clevinger, redshirt senior, at 4 minutes, 30.92 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Hayley Preschutti who finished at 4 minutes, 35.37 seconds.
The second day saw more success for the Spiders, highlighted by first place finishes in the women's 4-x-800 meter relay and the women's 3000-meter races.
The first-place relay team of Sarah Hipwell, Stephanie Hughes, Marisa Ruskan and Preschutti finished with a time of 9 minutes, 19.93 seconds, well ahead of the competition. Hughes, sophomore, also placed second in the women's 800-meter at 2 minutes, 14.80 seconds and Hipwell, freshman, took a third place finish in the same event with a time of 2 minutes, 16.87 seconds.
The final Spider first place of the contest was achieved by Shelby Cain, sophomore, in the women's 3000-meter race. She finished at 10 minutes, 9.69 seconds to take home the gold. Colleen Carney, freshman, came in third place with a time of 10 minutes, 27.04 seconds.
Three more Richmond seniors also saw podium finishes in the women's 400-meters, the women's 200-meters and the women's long jump. Jade Gregory came in second place in the 400 with a time of 55.89 seconds, Mary Allen came in second place in the 200 with a time of 25.02 seconds and Janel Francis finished in third place in the long jump, recording a 5.71-meter jump in the field event.
"We have had a lot of girls run fast times, record long jumps and far throws," Bailey said. "All of these performances are exciting considering it's very early in our spring season."
Richmond also recognized graduating seniors on both the men's and women's cross-country programs and the women's track and field team on the final day of competition. Nine seniors – six women and three men – were recognized.
Although the track and field team is losing strong runners in its graduating seniors, there is a large number of underclassmen girls to continue the team's winning ways.
"Leaving the team will be bittersweet," Hanley said. "I have confidence in Courtney Thompson, a sophomore who is small, but is hugely talented and can command a room."
Richmond head coach Lori Taylor did not respond to requests for comments by press time.
Contact sports writer Aidan Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org