For the first time in two years, the A-10 Championship did not come down to a second-day battle between UD and Charlotte. This time around it was Temple and Dayton locked into a fierce fight on Sunday, but the Flyers could not ultimately hold off the Owls, who won their first-ever A-10 track and field title by a slim 5.5-point margin.
The Flyers finished with three individual winners and 12 overall medals at the event. In total, two Dayton school records fell and 22 athletes also put up or tied season best marks over the course of the two-day meet. Dayton's 4x100 foursome of Jada Henderson, Katie Nageotte, Lauren McCormick and Lauren O'Brien broke the school record on Saturday with their time of 47.17, while junior Ashley Cattran also etched her name into the school record book with her time of 4:26.6 in the 1,500-meter run.
Mallory Barnes led the team with two individual crowns (hammer throw, shot put) and earned Field Performer of the Meet honors, while Nageotte added a first-place effort on Saturday to complete her indoor/outdoor sweep of the pole vault event. Both Nageotte and Barnes are First Team All-Conference for the indoor and outdoor seasons.
With this weekend’s runner-up performance in the books, the Flyers have now placed second as a team at each of the last three A-10 Outdoor Championships.
The story of the meet, however, was the toppling of perennial power, Charlotte, which finally fell after four consecutive Atlantic 10 Outdoor Championships. The Owls out-scored Dayton 143.5-138 for first, while Charlotte dipped to third with 137 team points. Temple’s 143.5-point total was the lowest team score to clinch a conference title since 2002 and ended the 49ers remarkable run atop the A-10.
Dayton’s shot put crew held up its end of the bargain on Saturday, sweeping the top three spots in the event – they also duplicated this impressive feat at the indoor conference meet. Barnes was the gold medal winner with a mark of 48-08.25, tying her season best toss, but junior counterpart Johnna Zaccari put up a distance of 46-08.00 to clinch second. Senior Sarah Allen closed out her Flyer career with a season best mark and the bronze medal (45-11.75).
Two more seniors, Emily Krizmanic and Emma Steinmetz, stood out in the heptathlon and finished out their careers with season best efforts. Krizmanic finished third overall with 4,408-points. Steinmetz placed fourth in two different events on Saturday, taking fourth in the heptathlon (4,348-points) and launching the longest javelin throw of the season by a Flyer (131-00) to take fourth in that event.
On the track, mid-distance stalwart Ashley Cattran nabbed two top-three finishes over the course of the afternoon. The junior took third in the 800-meter in 2:10.81 and also ran a season best time of 4:26.60 to score a second-place result in the 1,500-meter run. Classmate Liz Coorey also medaled with her third-place effort in the 1,500, which was the result of a season best pace (4:31.54).
It was a day full of season best times for the Flyers, as 11 different athletes put up their best marks of the year. Dayton also got season best times from both of its relay squads on Sunday. The 4x100 foursome finished third overall (47.17), while the 4x400 group brought home a fifth-place finish (3:51.91).
Scoring additional points in the sprints, seniors McCormick and O’Brien clocked in with their best times of the season as well. In addition to being a part of the school record 4x100 team, McCormick posted consecutive top times in the prelims and finals to win fourth-place (12.11) in the individual 100-meter dash, while O’Brien improved her personal record twice this weekend to score seventh (12.40).
Henderson, also competing in the 200-meter dash, recorded a personal record (25.02) and earned eighth-place in her first-ever outdoor conference meet.
UD scored three more times in the 5,000-meter, where Elissa Mason led the way with a fourth-place time of 17:34.75. Junior Maureen Bulgrin, who took third in the 10,000-meter event, also scored with her sixth-place finish of 17:38.73 in the 5K. Coorey also turned in a strong time of 17:39.38 to score a seventh-place standing.
With another successful conference meet wrapped up, the Flyers will turn their focus to the upcoming Cardinal Twilight meet at the University of Louisville on May 14, which will lead the team into the NCAA East Regionals in Greensboro, N.C. from May 27-29.