SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- The Bryant University track & field team is back in action as it travels to Maine to compete in the Bates Invitational hosted by Bates College. The meet will be held on both Friday and Saturday with both the men's and women's teams competing.
"The focus for this week's meet at Bates is to go out and compete," Bryant University head track & field coach Mitchell Switzer said. "We will be dueling a very strong team from UMaine and we aren't focusing on marks as much as we are on place finish. At NECs that's what ends up being most important, and this week we have a perfect setting to prepare for that."
The Bulldogs are coming off of a successful meet on Staten Island, the Spartan Invitational, in which two school records were set. The foursome of senior Melissa Lodge (Hopkinton, Mass.), Olivia Weiss (Newton, N.J.), Jacklyn Sullivan (Plymouth, Mass.) and Emily Cluck (Johnson City, N.J.) set a program record in the women's distance medley relay, finishing the event nearly 12 seconds faster than the previous record. All four will be in action this weekend but in different events.
Cluck will also be running in the 60-meter dash, along with Shirley Carrington (Dorchester, Mass.), Shannon Gay (Woburn, Mass.) and Kathryn O'Connor (Windham, Mass.). Carrington finished ninth overall in the 60 meter last week at the Spartan Invitational.
On the men's side, freshman Chris Fasano (Lake Grove, N.Y.) set a new school record in the shot put, throwing for a distance of 15.03 meters (49 feet, 3.75 inches). The distance was good for second in the conference and qualified him for the NEICAAA Championships in February. Fasano will participate in the shot put again in the Bates Invitational, joined by classmates Thomas McNeil (Foxborough, Mass.) and Brett Cloutier (North Attleboro, Mass.). Fasano will also be participating in the weight throw, an event that the freshman is fourth all-time at Bryant in.
In the 60 meter dash, Evan Smith (Chester, Conn.) will be one of six Bulldogs to participate in the marquee event. In the season-opening Alden Invitational, Smith ran the second-fastest time in program history, finishing the event in 7.10 seconds. The mark is a Division I program record and is second to only Bryant Hall of Famer Hafiz Greigre's time of 6.81 seconds.
Bryant also competed in the Bates Invitational last year.