Women's Track

Historic Day For UMass On Day One Of A-10 Championships

Rachelle Bourque won her first A-10 championship gold medal Saturday in the javelin throw.

Rachelle Bourque won her first A-10 championship gold medal Saturday in the javelin throw.

May 5, 2012


AMHERST, Mass. - The Minutewomen opened the Atlantic 10 Championships at the UMass Track and Field Complex on Saturday and got off to a hot start. Sitting in sixth place overall as a team with 26.5 points the team was led by junior thrower, Rachelle Bourque (Rowley, Mass.) and senior harrier, Karen Roa (Jamaica, N.Y.). Both athletes gave strong performances in their respective events.

Karen Roa solidified her place in UMass and Atlantic 10 history in the 3,000 meter steeplechase on Saturday. Roa shattered her own personal record of 10:31.28 when she cut her time down by almost six seconds. The senior finished second in the meet with a time of 10:26.19 and remains first all-time in the UMass record book. Roa's time now stands at third best all-time in Atlantic 10 history. The Jamaica, N.Y. native will try to continue her A-10 Championship success in the 5,000 meter run tomorrow on day two of the A-10 Championships.

Junior thrower, Rachelle Bourque is the 2012 Outdoor A-10 Champion in the javelin throw. Bourque, out of Rowley, Mass., had the best mark of the day throwing a distance of 139-08. The last time the Minutewomen had an A-10 Champion was last year when Stephanie Aguguo won the triple jump. Bourque also had a personal best in the hammer throw with a distance of 129-08, placing her 12th in the event. Also throwing a personal best in the hammer throw was Nalis Mbianda (Newton, Mass.). The junior placed 14th with a mark of 119-07. Both throwers will compete in the shot put tomorrow and have had consistent success all season long in the event. Both, Bourque and Mbianda are all-time record holders in the shot put. Mbianda currently stands at second and Bourque at fourth all-time. `



Other notable performances came from two jumpers. Junior, Katherine Finnegan (Harvard, Mass.) placed ninth overall in the long jump, leaping a distance of 18-03.00. Chrissy Silvar (Fitchburg, Mass.) placed seventh in the pole vault with a mark of 10-08.25.

The day ended in exciting fashion with the Minutewomen running a close race with Charlotte, Dayton and Richmond in the 4x800 meter relay. A relay team with three-of-four competitors as underclassmen finished fourth with a time of 9:01.95. Katie Powers (Holbrook, Mass.), Meghan Leahy (Sterling, Mass.) and Courtney Neves (New Bedford, Mass.) were anchored by senior Deanna Julian (Dudley, Mass.) in the event.

UMass track and field action will continue tomorrow morning at the UMass Track and Field Complex.

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