BOSTON, Mass. – Championship meets bring out a different level of energy around the track.

No better example of that than the University of Delaware track & field squad, who had a big first day at ECAC Championships in Boston on Saturday.

Junior Ashley Bailey took home the ECAC Pole Vault Championship, classmate Jeanette Bendolph set a new school record in the 800m and the 4x800 meter relay secured a spot in the final with a school record run. Not a bad way to start the weekend for the Blue Hens.

“The ladies did a great job today. I’m so proud of their efforts. We practice to compete and peak at the end of each season. Thanks the hard work of the student-athletes and staff, our team was able to deliver today,” head coach Wendy McFarlane-Smith said. “We had some incredible standout performances from Ashley, Jeanette and the 4x800 team. We’re looking forward to having more outstanding showings on day two.”

Bailey became the fourth Blue Hen in program history to win an ECAC Championship, joining Candy Cashell (high jump – 1986), Latoya James (60m hurdles – 2014), Amira Idris (triple jump – 2015, 2016). The Middletown, Del. Native cleared 3.95 to clinch the title, the fourth win of the indoor season for the junior.

Prior to last year, only Blue Hen in program history had run under 2:14 in the 800m, it’s now done four times and Bendolph became the first runner in school history to break 2:10, clocking in at 2:09.61 to earn a spot in Sunday’s final in the event.

The 4x800m team of Michaela Meyer, Susanna Weir, Carly Pettipaw and Angie Spadaccini also advanced to Sunday’s final with a school record of 8:56.83. Prior to last year, not a single 4x800 relay team had broken 9:10 in the event. The Blue Hens have done it four times in the past two seasons.

In addition, senior Liz McGroarty continued her outstanding season with a new PR in the mile with a time of 4:48.24, the second best mark in school history.

Sunday’s action begins at 10am in Boston.