COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Even the cold weather couldn’t cool off the University of Delaware track & field squad who opened their outdoor season after an incredibly strong indoor season this winter.

Cold temperatures and wind didn’t stop the Blue Hens from piling up five wins and etching their names all over the program’s top-10 lists at the Maryland Invitational, the first outdoor meet of 2018.

“With the tough conditions, it wasn’t an easy day, but I really thought our team performed well,” head coach Wendy McFarlane-Smith said. “I thought we had some really strong performances in several different areas.”

Along with the five wins, there were nine new top-10 program marks and two ECAC qualifiers on the day.

Juniors Carly Pettipaw (400m hurdles) and Ashley Bailey (pole vault), senior Liz McGroarty (3000m), sophomore Michaela Meyer (800m) and freshman Stephanie Palese (3000m steeplechase) all notched wins on the day to lead the Blue Hens.

McGroarty continued her outstanding senior campaign, winning the 3000m with a time of 9:42.24, which is the second-best time in school history. Her time also qualified her for the ECAC Outdoor Championships.

Junior Emily Paolucci (10:05.82) and freshman Susanna Weir (10:07.51) grabbed top-five finishes in the event as well, both were personal bests.

In her first collegiate steeplechase event, Palese blistered the track for a time of 11:24.83, the sixth best in program history. Classmate Roxanne Ramirez wasn’t far behind, taking third place with a time of 11:28.71, good for the eight-best time in school history.

Meyer opened up her spring season by going wire-to-wire with a win in the 800m, clocking in at 2:15.38, more than five seconds faster than her closest competition.

Bailey, who won the pole vault at four different meets this past winter, took home the top spot in the event once again. The Middletown, Del. native cleared 11’ 11 ¾” to win the event, a foot higher than her nearest competition.

Pettipaw started her spring season off with a win in the 400m hurdles, clocking in at 1:03.16, besting four ACC foes in the event.

Three different Blue Hens had huge days in the throwing events, led by freshman Myrissa McFolling-Young, who qualified for the ECAC Outdoor Championships with a toss of 140’ 11” in the discus, the fourth-best mark in school history.

The newcomer wasn’t done yet, also grabbing a top-10 all-time mark in the shot put with a mark of 43’ 3 ¼”.

Senior Kristina Valko bested her personal best by five feet for a top-three finish in the javelin. Her mark of 134’ 3” is good for fifth best all-time in program history. Sophomore Niyah Cosme bested a her personal best in the event by nearly 20 feet, finishing fourth with a mark of 133’ 1”, which was sixth-best in school history.

“We’re excited to be back at home for our first home meet next weekend. Hopefully we’ll have some better conditions and warmer weather,” McFarlane-Smith added.  

The Blue Hens will host the first of two outdoor meets this upcoming Saturday, March 24. The Delaware Classic will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium.