AMHERST, MASS. – Sophomore sprinter Nathaniela Bourdeau won both the 100m dash and 200m dash to be selected the meet's Most Outstanding Track Performer and to lead the Saint Joseph's women's track and field squad to a seventh-place team finish in a field of 13 teams at the 2017 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, held at UMass' Track and Field Complex this Saturday and Sunday. Led by Bourdeau's 20 points from her two individual victories, the Hawks totaled 61.5 points on the weekend.
The seventh-place team finish marks the program's highest finish at the outdoor conference championships since the 2004 squad placed 5th.
Saint Joseph's also earned the silver medal in the 4x400m relay and the bronze medal in the 4x100m relay and saw fifth-year senior Dannah Hayward go sub-1:00 in the 400m hurdles twice on the weekend en route to the bronze. The 4x400m relay of freshman Caroline Duffy, senior Angelena Minniti, senior Courtney Foster, and Hayward broke the program record (3:43.44) - again - while Hayward's pair of sub-1:00 times are program records.
For the first time in her collegiate career, Bourdeau went sub-12.00 for 100m - twice - at the league meet this weekend. Bourdeau checked in with a then-collegiate-best time of 11.94 in Saturday's preliminaries, just 0.09 seconds behind VCU's Latrice Morris. On Sunday, Bourdeau used a PR of 11.89 to edge past Morris' 11.93 for the title.
Bourdeau also checked in with a then-season-best 200m time of 24.62 in Saturday's preliminaries to rank seventh entering Sunday's finals; the sophomore then went for a PR 24.28 to edge out Richmond's Mary Allen (24.36) for the title.
Bourdeau becomes the first A-10 200m champion in program history and the second A-10 outdoor 100m champion, joining Andria Smythe (2004). The sophomore becomes the first Hawk on either the indoor or outdoor conference level to win two sprint events at the same conference meet.
The Hawks earned 14 points from their relays as the 4x400m relay of Duffy, Minniti, Foster, and Hayward clocked in with an SJU record-breaking time of 3:43.44 for second place and the 4x100m relay of freshman Aliyah Stokes, Duffy, sophomore Kelly Liebl, and Bourdeau crossed in 47.30 for third place.
That same 4x400m relay had broken the previous school record (3:47.31) in 3:45.41 at the Penn Relays last week. On Sunday, those same four Hawks took nearly two more entire seconds off of that time for their new school record.
That wasn't the only record Hayward would crush on the weekend. The fifth-year senior, who owned the program record in the 400m hurdles at 1:00.04 entering the conference meet, accomplished what no other Hawk in program history had accomplished on Saturday afternoon as she ran the program's first sub-1:00 time in the event, clocking in at 59.92 to own the second-fastest time entering Sunday's finals.
Hayward would then run sub-1:00 again, this time clocking in with the current school-record time of 59.89 to place third for six points for the Crimson and Gray.
In addition to running on SJU's scoring relays, Duffy added a fifth-place finish in the 200m (24.46 PR) and Foster turned in a fifth-place finish in the 400m (season-best 55.98) to combine for eight additional points from the sprint events.
The Hawks earned 8.5 points from the high jumpers, as senior Emely Ramirez went for 1.65m, good for fourth overall and five points, and junior Claudine Andre tied for fifth with a mark of 1.65m for 3.5 points.
In addition to scoring performances, senior Sarah Regnault (800m, 13th, 2:13.50), sophomore Lindsey Oremus (5k, 16th, 17:37.46 PR), sophomore Britton Gagliardi (10k, 16th, 38:51.88 PR), senior Julia Jenkins (3000S, 11th, 11:26.17), and Liebl (LJ, 10th, 5.50m PR) turned in SJU's highest finishes in their respective events while the quartet of Weimer, junior Caroline Keegan, senior Kiersten Moylan, and Regnault placed 11th (season-best 9:11.38) in the 4x800m relay.
Qualifying Hawks will return to action at next weekend's ECAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, to be hosted by Princeton University at Weaver Stadium in Princeton, N.J. from Friday, May 12 through Sunday, May 14.