WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -  Not even an unusual April cold front could cool down the University of Delaware track & field team this weekend at the 53rd annual Colonial Relays at William & Mary.


Two school records, three event wins and several big personal bests highlighted an outstanding showing by the Blue Hens that ended with Delaware taking home the top spot among nearly 50 teams.


“I can’t say enough about our team this weekend. Our energy and attitude was outstanding all weekend long and to come away with the team victory against some quality teams, including several conference opponents, it’s a great step forward for us,” head coach Wendy McFarlane-Smith said.


Leading the way for the Blue Hens was senior Liz McGroarty, who raced to victory in the 1500m, junior Ashley Bailey, who set a new school record in the pole vault and the sprint medley relay team of Sydni Stovall, Nadia Khoury, Michaela Meyerand Carly Pettipaw, who not only won the event, but also set a new school record in the event.


“Liz, Ashley and the SMR team had unbelievable performances for us and that really led the way for us,” McFarlane-Smith said. “We really had a lot of people step up with personal bests throughout the meet this weekend. Our coaching staff is really excited to see the progress the team has made and what we can work towards as we head into the CAA Championships in a few weeks.”


Bailey got the weekend started with a victory in the pole vault on Friday afternoon, becoming the first Blue Hen in program history to clear 13’ by clearing 4.00 meters (13’ 1 ½”). She is also one of just 43 pole vaulters nationally to clear 4.00 meters this spring.


Her teammate, senior Jenny Hineman, cleared 12’ 1 ½” to set a new personal best by over a foot and earn a spot in the ECAC Championships later this spring.


McGroarty followed suit later on Friday night, racing to the win in the 1500m with a personal best time of 4:23.52, which is the third best time in program history. Her time also places her top-30 in the East Region and top-50 in the country currently.


The SMR team helped put the finishing touches on the team win by racing to a school record time of 4:01.98, nearly four seconds fasters than their closest competition. The performance broke a 15-year school record held by the team of Rachel Schultz, Erin Gemmill, Daniella Price and Tyechia Smith in 2003.


Delaware really had strong showings from all of its really teams, including a second-place showing in the 4x400 (3:53.64), a fourth-place showing in the 4x1500 (19:04.17) and a seventh-place showing in the 4x2000 (1:46.48).

The tone for the Blue Hens’ weekend got set on Thursday night when junior Leanza Lopez posted a huge personal best in the 10000m, clocking in at 37:53.97, two minutes and 36 seconds ahead of her previous best.


Sophomore Roxanne Ramirez posted a personal best in the 3000m steeplechase, clocking in at 11:17.24, good for fifth-fastest time in school history. Junior Emily Paolucci also checked in with a top-10 performance in school history, stopping the clock in 17:28.26 in the 5000m, good for ninth-best all-time.

Freshman Myrissa McFolling-Young continued her outstanding debut season with the Blue Hens, unleashing a personal best in the shot put (44' 1 1/4") and picking up a second-place finish in the discus (135' 11")


Delaware will once again face off against some CAA foes next weekend when they travel to the Towson Invitational next Saturday, April 14.