Dion tops Panthers with strong efforts in sprints
MEDFORD, Mass. – The Plymouth State University women's indoor track & field team continued its solid inaugural varsity season Saturday, tying for 13th place out of 18 teams at the Tufts Stampede at the Gantcher Center.
The Panthers and Assumption College scored five points each in the meet to finish 13th, 2.5 points behind 12th-place Connecticut College and one point ahead of 15th-place Franklin Pierce University. Stonehill College won the women's team title with 173.50 points, with host Tufts runner-up with 168.50 and Wesleyan University third with 118.
Senior Cierra Dion (Manchester, N.H.) had a strong day for the Panthers, recording her personal-best performances in the 60 meter dash and the 200 meter dash. She placed 14th out of 32 sprinters in the 60 meters with a time of 8.40 seconds, and she was 12th out of 45 runners in the 200 with a time of 28.38 seconds.
Dion also joined with classmates Diana Perez (Cranston, R.I.), Brianna Warnick (Derry, N.H.) and Amanda Bomely (Middletown, Conn.) to lower their best mark in the 4x200 meter relay by a second, finishing an impressive fourth as a team in a time of 1:53.87.
Three other Panther freshmen athletes reached Little East Conference championship qualifying marks for the first time -- Isabella Mongillo (Hamden, Conn.) in the 400 meter dash (1:07.55), Ashley Bergeron (Berlin, N.H.) with a 12:09.05 in the 3,000 meters, and Selena Baillargeon (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) in the shot put (9.76 meters/32'0.25").
Other notable season-best performances were turned in by Perez in the 200 meters (29.27 seconds), sophomore Rileigh Goulette (St. Albans, Vt.) in the 800 meters (2:39.21); and freshman Lora Giguere (Tolland, Conn.) in the mile run (5:54.50).
"Today gives our team great confidence heading into the second half of the season," said PSU head coach John Ostler. "Nearly everyone achieved or came close to a season best performance today; as a coach, I can't ask for much more. Cierra Dion is steadily becoming the force we know she can be after a couple years away from the sport."
The Panthers compete again next Saturday at the Dartmouth College Indoor Classic. PSU will host the Little East Conference championships and the New England Alliance Championships at the new Davis Track on Saturday, Feb. 13.
-- 30 --