By Emily Hayes
Another week, and another postseason meet for the Bridgewater State University men’s and women’s indoor track and field team.
This past weekend, only qualified members from both teams competed at the New England Div. III Championships.
The Bears were led by senior Joshua Danner-Hicks, who placed second in the triple jump. Danner-Hicks currently ranks fifth in the country in the triple jump and for his performance, he was named Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Men’s Indoor Field Co-Athlete of the Week.
Also turning in solid performances for the Bears were sophomore Conor Murtagh with a third place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Junior Chinedu Chukwu placed third in the 60-meter dash and junior Brian Espinosa placed third in the long jump.
For the women, senior Becca Geldmacher earned All-New England honors in the 600-meter run and the 4×400-meter relay. Senior Karen Anselmi, freshman Amanda Lane, and freshman Abbie Pustis were also a part of 4×400-meter relay team that finished fifth with a time of 4:05.35.
Even with this past meet, both the men’s and women’s teams are still riding high from their performances at the MASCAC Championships where the Lady Bears captured the title and the men placed second.
“My favorite part about this past season was winning the championship,” said junior distance runner Krysta Zbikowski. “I’ve never been a part of a winning championship team. It was a goal that I had and just to be able to help my team make history at the school was awesome.”
For the Lady Bears, the MASCAC Championship was the first time in the school’s history that they won the indoor title.
“Winning our conference was a nice capstone to a very rewarding season on the women’s side,” said women’s head coach Michael Salem. “They did a phenomenal job of maintaining composure and pushing themselves.”
Even though the men’s team fell just short, Espinosa said they were able to get that far because they came together as a team.
“Our team chemistry is definitely building up, it’s pretty clear to see,” Espinosa said. “We all know each other more. We all have good relationships. Win or lose we’re all there for each other, whether your teammate beats you or not. We support each other.”
As both teams prepare to transition to the outdoor season, they’re setting new goals and preparing for a what the new season has in store.
“I think as a group the men are still defending outdoor conference champs and I know they’re looking forward to defending that,” Salem said. “The women’s side, this is the first time since 1997 that a women’s track and field team is going to have to defend their title from indoor to outdoor. It would be nice to give them that challenge and hopefully help them attempt it.”
The indoor season continues this weekend at the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association Championships while the outdoor season will begin March 22 with the BSU Bears Invitational.
Emily Hayes is a Comment sports writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.