LEWISBURG, Pa. – Christmas break gives students a chance to get home and enjoy time with family and friends. It's usually filled with homemade desserts, lots of sitting and talking with old friends and not much hard work.
That wasn't true for the members of the Virginia Commonwealth University track & field program who stayed focused on their training and it showed as the Rams looked strong in their first meet back, the Bucknell Heptagonal Indoor Invitational.
"It was a good opener for our program," Head Coach Jon Riley said. "The meet provided a great opportunity to knock off the rust coming off the Christmas break. From top to bottom, I'm very pleased with the effort we put forward today."
As a group, the Black & Gold posted 29 top-10 finishes, 16 on the women's side and 13 on the men's. In more impressive was the 11 top-three finishes by the Rams.
There were three victories for VCU on the afternoon with freshman Niaimani Aduma in the long jump, Dionna Hayes in the 60-meter dash and the 4x400 men's relay squad.
In just her first college meet, Aduma leaped 18' 7" to not only win the event, but claim a personal best and earn a spot in the ECACs indoor meet in March. Hayes carried over the momentum from her outstanding freshman year and posted a time of 7.66 to win the 60m and also qualify for the ECACs.
Costanzo and Seward weren't done as the duo finished second and third in the 400-meter dash with times of 50.27 and 50.30, respectively. It was a personal best for Costanzo.
On the women's side, senior Quina Fortune joined in the ECAC-qualifying parade with a time of 7.67 in the 60-meter dash, just behind her teammate Hayes. Junior Rachel Montague (pictured, right) claimed third-place in the 60-meter hurdles, while her classmate Nicole Walters ran a personal best (5:02.11) to grab third-place in the mile run.
For the men, senior Antonio Norvell started his final year in the Black & Gold on the right rack with a second-place finish in the 200-meter, while sophomore Alex Hinton took home third-place in the 500-meter run for the Rams.
The Black & Gold return to the track next weekend when it heads to the Penn State National Indoor Meet in State College, Pa.