The Belmont Abbey Women's Indoor Track & Field team competed this afternoon at both the Mountaineer Indoor Track Meet from Boone, NC and the Wake Forest Invite from Winston-Salem, NC. The sprinters and field event athletes competed in Winston-Salem, while the distance runners competed in Boone. In Boone, Belmont Abbey finished in ninth place overall and fourth among Division 2 teams.
In Boone, freshman Hannah Zenker came in first place out of seven non-Division 1 runners in the Mile, with a strong 5:50.30 run. The Winston-Salem, NC native is currently ranked first in Conference Carolinas in the event. Freshman Brette Linkenhoker was also impressive, as she came in third place among Division 2 runners in the 800 Meter Run (2:49.29) and second among Division 2 competitors in the 400 Meter Dash, which she ran in 1:10.10.
In Winston-Salem, the Crusaders had some strong performances in the sprint events. In the 200-meter run, freshman Maya McQune came in second place in her heat, with a 27.12-second run. She placed ahead of a Division-1 opponent. Also in the 200 meters, freshman Abigail Dixon's 30.68-second race earned her a third-place finish in her heat, and first among Division 2 runners.
Also, sophomore Julia Otranto set a personal best and Belmont Abbey record in the 800-meter run, clocking a 2:28.66 race. This earned her a 16th-place finish overall in the event and second in her heat. It also puts her in third place in the Conference Carolinas Performance List.
In the Triple Jump, junior Natalie Nelson came in third place in her heat with a 10.45m jump, a new personal best. She was good enough for second place among Division 2 competition in her heat.
Head Coach Nick Radkewich offered the following comments: "It was challenging for the young team to split up, they are used the support from the whole team, but overall I felt the strategic selection of meets based on events produced some great results. Julian is continuing to improve with the completion of the throws training area on campus, it will be exciting to see where he finishes the season nationally overall and for freshman. Julia Otranto had the biggest breakthrough performance setting a new Abbey record in the 800m event. Her preparation began following her making the finals in last year's Conference Carolinas Outdoor Championships in the 1500m event. The hard work is starting to pay dividends."
Belmont Abbey will compete next weekend in at the UNCG Duals in Winston-Salem, NC.