Historic day for track and field program as Lodge, distance medley win Gold

Photo by: DSPics.com
Photo by: DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Melissa Lodge (Hopkinton, Mass.) won an individual gold medal in the mile and the distance medley relay team took home gold as well as the Bryant University track and field program put the finishing touches on it's best performance at the Northeast Conference Championships in program history.

The Bulldog women finished with 42 points, the most they have ever scored at the NEC Championships, and finished eighth. The men finished tied for eighth with 12 points. The eighth-place finish is also the highest finish for the women's program.  

"This is a great day for Bryant Track and Field," head coach Mitch Switzer said. "We came into the NEC Championships riding an already successful season and exceeded our expectations. Our athletes stepped up in a big way, from our upperclassmen leadership to our talented freshman. I am very proud of how we performed and excited for the future of this program."

Lodge highlighted the day for the Black and Gold as she became the first athlete in school history to take home a gold medal at the indoor championships. She won the mile with a new program record of 4:55.28. Lodge won the event by over seven seconds. She was joined in the event by Olivia Weiss (Newton, N.J.) (7th) and Emily McNeil (Shelton, Conn.) (10th).

Bryant also claimed its first-ever gold in a relay event as the women's distance medley relay took home the honor. McNeil, Weiss, Jacklyn Sullivan (Plymouth, Mass.) and Lodge combined to win the event with a time of 12:17.20.

The Bulldogs also got outstanding individual performances from Emily Cluck (Johnson City, N.Y.) and Sullivan. Cluck finished sixth in the 200m with a time of 25.59 and Sullivan finished second in the 800 with a time of 2:14.31 to earn a silver medal.

This all comes after Jonee Harrison (Dorchester, Mass.) became the first female thrower in program history to medal as she finished second in the weight throw on Saturday.

On the men's side Milan Duka (Belgrade, Serbia), Richard Landry (Holyoke, Mass.) and Matt McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.) all scored. Duka finished sixth in the 800, Landry finished seventh in the mile and McGovern finished eighth in the 5000.

Bryant also scored points in the 4x400 and the distance medley relay. The 4x400 relay team finished eighth, while the distance medley relay team placed fourth.