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28 personal bests, two school records posted by track and field at Illini Invitational

Bradley’s Tiana LoStracco runs during an indoor meet. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

On April 22 and 23, the Bradley track and field team traveled to Champaign, Illinois and followed up their flurry of personal bests from the previous week with a similarly impressive performance.

The Braves notched a total of 28 personal bests over the two-day meet at Demirjian Park, highlighted by two new school records and junior Will Smith taking home first place for the second consecutive week in the 800 meters.

On day one of the Invitational, the Braves recorded 20 personal bests, including a new school record in the women’s 200 meters from junior Hannah Ivy (24.69). In the same race, freshman Amiyah Davis also broke the previous record and now holds the school’s second-fastest time in the women’s 200 at 24.82.

Remaining on the women’s side, freshman Shae Fuller placed third in the long jump with a personal best of 18 feet, 5.25 inches. In the 1,500-meter event, sophomore Tianna LoStracco (4:22.84) and standout freshman Nicola Jansen (4:23.82) both set personal bests in a race that featured nine Bradley distance runners.

For the Bradley men’s team, it was an action-packed day of distance running. In the 1,500 meters, eight Braves participated, six of which notched a personal best. Among the top finishers, junior George Watson (3:50.39) led the pack in second place, followed by sophomore Aidan Donohue (3:52.60, third place) and senior Alec Danner (3:53.04, fifth place). The 5,000 meters saw redshirt freshman Billy Hauenstein (14:50.54, sixth place) and graduate student Michael Hahndorf (14:57.50, eighth place) placed within the top ten.

The following day, the Braves finished out the weekend strong to the tune of eight personal bests in the final few events. Fuller broke the school record in the women’s triple jump for the second straight week, leaping 37 feet, 9.25 inches. In the women’s 100 meter race, freshman Sidney Martin placed 12th and set a personal record (12.10), while the women’s 400 meters saw sophomore Reina McMillan place sixth (57.30).

For the second straight week, Smith won the men’s 800 with a time of 1:54.30, finishing atop a heat of 23 runners. Smith, who is a first-year Brave after transferring from Indiana State, notes that his familiarity with the MVC has aided his adjustments throughout the season.

“It just gives me a good idea of how the competition is going to be,” Smith said. “Experience is experience, so I’m confident while I’m racing. I’m just trying to take it one week at a time, and it’s working.”

Bradley will have a quick turnaround, taking on the Drake Relays from April 28 through 30.

“It’s a good rehearsal for conference [championships], which is going to be at Drake, and that’s also a three-day meet,” head coach Darren Gauson said. “We’re going to stay in the same hotel, same environment, same track, so this weekend will be almost a little bit of a preview for the MVC Championships.”

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