Women’s Track and Field race to first place at Bryant Black & Gold Invite

The Rams beat second-place Worcester Polytechnic Institute by 40 points. PHOTO CREDIT: gorhody.com

In their first full squad meet of the outdoor season, the University of Rhode Island Women’s Track and Field team traveled to Bryant University this past weekend to compete in the Bryant Black and Gold Invitational. 

After two days of competition, Rhode Island finished on top with a final score of 155.5 team points against 12 other schools from across New England. The team scored roughly 40 points higher than second place Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who finished the invitational off with 111.5 team points. 

“It was definitely a great meet for the team,” Head Coach Laurie Feit-Melnick said following this weekend’s contest. “It was the team’s first full outdoor meet, and it felt really great to see all the hard work they’ve been putting in at practice to be prepared for the transition.”

The Rams proved they were a force to be reckoned with a number of athletes breaking both personal and seasonal-best times, while closing out the day with several top 10 finishes across the board. 

The meet was highlighted by the first place finish from senior Trinity Smith in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.12 seconds. With this time, Smith broke the previous Bryant facility record of 14.21 seconds, set back in 2018 by Central Connecticut State’s Melissa Wolliston.

Smith also finished second in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 63.31 seconds, a season-best for the Brooklyn, N.Y. native. Virsavia Goretoy finished seventh in the event with a time of 1:07.59 and Hasna Badji in eighth with a time of 1:08.06 to rack up more points for the Rams.

Senior Xiana Twombly put together a successful meet, opening her day off with a first place victory in the 100 meters, finishing 0.21 seconds ahead of Bryant’s Christina Capozzi with a time of 12.33 seconds. 

“It felt really nice to open the season off with a win,” Twombly said. “It definitely boosted my confidence, but I’m a perfectionist, so I wouldn’t say it was my best performance. There’s always room for improvement.” 

Contrary to her belief, Feit-Melnick noted that it was Twombly who contributed the most individual points to the team’s total.

In the 200 meters, Twombly finished third with a time of 25.12 seconds before boasting a silver medal in the long jump with a distance of 5.27 meters. She also competed alongside Trinity Smith, Ciara French, and Sydney Federico in the 4×100 meters, earning a second place finish with a time of 45.36 seconds. 

Battling the cold and windy conditions, Rhody continued its dominance in the field events when graduate student Samantha Andrews opened her outdoor season off with a bang, winning both the discus and hammer events.

Andrews won the discus with a distance of 42.46 meters, and the hammer with a personal-best of 57.23 meters. She is now ranked third in the Atlantic 10 and 30th in NCAA East prelims for the hammer and moved into the fourth spot all-time in school history for the event.

Julia Campezato finished second in the javelin with a season-best of 47.71 meters and currently leads the A-10 and ranks 19th in the East Prelim in the javelin. 

Following the success of last weekend, the team returns to competition this weekend, when they will travel to Providence to compete at the Brown Invitational on Saturday.