RICHMOND, Va. – Coming off one of the best indoor track seasons in program history, the Quinnipiac women's outdoor track team posted an impressive start to the 2013 campaign in Day One action of Richmond's Fred Hardy Invitational. Senior Andrea Szarkowicz (Watertown, Conn.) won the 3000m Steeplechase event while junior Brianna Faust (Macungie, Pa.) churned in a personal best in the 5000m on her way to a fourth place finish. Overall the Bobcats had five Top-10 finishers on the afternoon to kickstart their 2013 season.
"We got off to a great start today," said Quinnipiac women's outdoor track head coach Carolyn Martin. "We had some great performances today and are hoping to see some even better runs tomorrow. I'm really proud of the Andrea's effort today in the steeplechase as well as Brianna and our distance runners are already in mid-season form."
Scarkowicz's victory in the 3000m Steeplechase is the first victory of her career in any event. A steady contributor throughout her career, her time of 11:17.05 is her fastest in the event since she ran an 11:15.84 on Feb. 9, 2011. She outran the second place finisher by more than 12 seconds and beat out a crowd that included eight runners who started the race and five total finishers.
Brianna picked up the best 5000m result of her career on Friday at the Fred Hardy Track with a time of 17:55.87. Her finishing time establishes a new personal best as she beat out her previous record of 17:59.34 from May 13, 2011. Her fourth place finish was good enough for fourth place out of a crowd of 16 runners that included five other Bobcats including her twin sister Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.) who crossed the line right behind her in fifth place with a time of 18:14.40. Graduate student Martha Santandreu (Hamburg, N.Y.) who finished in 18:42.01 for ninth place and freshman Ashley Carle's (Jackson, N.J.) time of 18:47.60 also paced the Bobcats in the 5000m.
As has been the case with numerous Quinnipiac teams in past seasons, the Bobcats continued to dominate the distance events with four impressive runners in the 1500m on Friday. Starting with junior Jessica Soja (Simsbury, Conn.), all four top Bobcat finishers crossed the line two seconds apart from one another. Soja led the way with her time of 4:44.90 which landed her a Top-10 finish in 10th place out of 56 runners. The Quinnipiac pack continued with freshman Tracy Campbell (Wall Township, N.J.) and senior Rachel Morelli (Philadelphia, Pa.) who were right behind Soja in 11th and 12th place with times of 4:45.32 and 4:45.52, respectively. Freshman Medinah Nabadduka (Windsor, Conn.) completed the foursome of impressive runs with a time of 4:46.67 which gave her a 14th place result. Out of 56 total competitors in the event, the Bobcats showcased their dominance with the most finishers in the Top-15 (four) than any other school in competition.
Highlighting the Quinnipiac effort in the short distance events was sophomore Rebecca Stabile (Haverhill, Mass.) who ran an impressive 1:04.71 in the 400m hurdles. The time was good enough for eighth place out of 32 runners in the event while it was a mere .46 seconds off her program record established on May 12, 2012.
The Bobcats will hit the track again tomorrow for a full slate of action beginning at 11:00 a.m. with the 100m hurdles. Quinnipiac will look to show well in the sprint events as these same Bobcats went on for a breakout season in the 2012-13 indoor track season with 26 record-breaking runs in eight different events.
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