Samantha Andrews had one of the many career-best marks from this past weekend, tossing 16.21 meters in the weight throw. PHOTO CREDIT: gorhody.com

The University of Rhode Island Women’s Track and Field team put together one of their best weekends of the season, setting over two dozen personal bests and collegiate records at this weekend’s BU Valentine Invitational. 

With over 100 teams competing in Boston this past weekend, Head Coach Laurie Feit-Melnick knew this meet was crucial in completing the last hurdle before the final stretch of the regular season. Feit-Melnick only had one thing to tell her athletes ahead of the meet. 

“We all know this is a huge meet,” she said. “Just go out there and do the best you can in whatever flight you get.”

And her team did just that. 

Among the athletes that achieved personal bests this past weekend was senior hurdler Trinity Smith. She placed second in the 60 meters with a time of 8.66 seconds. The time also qualified Smith for the ECAC Championships that will take place in early March. 

This race was crucial for Smith, who has recently struggled returning back to the track after contracting COVID-19 over the Christmas break. 

“It’s definitely been difficult to return,” Smith said. “With the A-10’s approaching, my main focus was getting back into athletic shape, easing back into the workout regime.”

In addition to the added workout regime, Smith attributed assistant coach John Melnick towards her success during the meet. 

“Coach Melnick has been extremely supportive throughout my recovery, always pushing me to do my best” Smith said, “He’s extremely understanding and always ready to offer a helping hand.”

Bethany DeLoof continued her stellar past couple of weeks with another great performance in the 200 and 400 meters, finishing with career-bests and a qualifying spot at the ECAC Championships. In the 1000 meters, Hanna O’Connor, Kaylen Hughes, Lindsay Turgeon, Erin Hurley and Elise LePage all achieved personal-best times. 

Senior Becca Durham also achieved a personal best of 4:57.57 in the mile run for fourth in her heat and 71st overall. Corina Vidal and Sabrina Charron also achieved personal best times, finishing in just over five minutes. Senior jumper Xiana Twombly finished third in the long jump with a leap of 5.62 meters. 

In the field events, Caroline Larkin achieved a personal best in the pole vault, leaping 3.45 meters. Graduate student Samantha Andrews finished with a career-best 16.21 meter mark in the weight throw to finish ninth. 

“Coming off of last year, we didn’t really get to do much,” assistant coach John Melnick said. “I tell the girls, take every opportunity that is presented to you because you never know when it’ll be your last.”

With that mentality in mind, the team looks towards the future, with the upcoming A-10 Championships set to take place from Feb. 25-27 at George Mason University. In the meantime, the team has one final tune-up meet before that big race — the Brown Pre-Conference. The meet is scheduled for this Saturday at 10 a.m.