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Track’s underclassmen keep showing promise at ISU

Photo courtesy Bradley Athletics.

The Bradley track team drove 40 miles east last Friday to compete at the Redbird Invite at Illinois State. The Braves once again displayed solid performances from young runners across multiple events against tough competition.

“I believe the ISU meet was good,” associate coach Fabia McDonald said. “We needed to get that under our belt as we travel to Mississippi.”

The team of sophomore Hannah Ivy and freshmen Sierra Bryant, T’ya Suber and Kyra Koontz once again were the highlight for Bradley in Normal. After breaking a 39-year standing school record in the 4x100m relay last week with a 48.24, they improved on it, running a 47.85. 

“We [were] just trying to break 48 seconds, it was our second time running it as a team,” Koontz said. “Being able to run in the 47s was a really big accomplishment for us especially because it was only our second time running it.”

In addition to being part of the record-breaking 4×100 team, Koontz set two top-10 times in school history. In only her second time running the 100m hurdles since her junior year of high school, she finished second in 14.83 – fourth-best in Braves history and the quickest time since 1986. She also posted a 12.59 in the 100m dash, which is ninth-fastest for BU and the best for a Brave since 2005.

“It is one step closer to getting back to my PR-time,” Koontz said. “It was shocking to get there that quickly, but at least I know I can do it again now.”

McDonald was excited about the performance of her young sprinter, raving about Koontz’s enormous potential, her speed, power and prospects as the season progresses.

“She’s putting her feet in the right direction, she surprises herself all the time,” McDonald said. “It is exciting to see the fruits of her labor show.”

Suber, who has the second fastest 200m dash time in school history ran a 25.36 last weekend, just 16 hundredths short of her PR. Bryant finished sixth in the 400m crossing the line at 59.53.

“She was pushing telling me she needed to run faster than a minute,” McDonald said of Bryant. “I told her, ‘Girl, this is just the peak of the iceberg.’”

On the men’s side, freshman Noah Costa showed some significant improvement this week. He finished seventh in 1,500m clocking at 4:00.55, which is nearly eight seconds quicker than his time in his outdoor debut in St. Louis.

Freshman Mason Jones beat his PR by nearly six seconds in the 800m with a time of 1:58.52. Sophomore Alex Klinkner finished seventh in the 400m crossing the line after 52.24.

Sophomore Miguel Aygei ran the 400m hurdles for the first time in his career last weekend. 

“This is an event I have been dreading my entire existence and the day is upon me,” Aygei said of the event. 

Despite the dread, he posted a time of 59.90 in his first effort.

The Braves will be at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi to run in the Joe Walker Invite today and tomorrow.

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