(CLEVELAND, Ohio) - The Carnegie Mellon University women's track and field team won the Battle for the Obelisk against Case Western Reserve University in both women's and combined scoring for the second time in meet history. With a combined total of 157 points the men and women brought home the obelisk for the third consecutive season. The dual meet competition resulted in 11 first-place finishes by the Tartan women.
"Today was a tremendous team performance. We had numerous individual victories, but the team aspect was incredible. Wins on both sides show the strength of the entire team especially with the second women's win," said head coach Gary Aldrich. "It was a good first step into season and ultimately towards a quality team performance at the UAA meet."
Two Tartan women recorded two first-place finishes. Senior Debarati Bhanja (New Albany, Ohio / New Albany) won the 60-meter dash in 8.14 and the 400-meter dash in 1:00.92. "I was really amazed by the number of first place finishes today. It was a huge way that we were able to capitalize on the scoring. We had confidence and it showed in some very fearless performances," said Bhanja. Junior Leah Kendrick (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks East) recorded wins in the 200-meter dash in 28.14 and in the 60-meter hurdles in 9.40
Returning to high-jump after a semester abroad, senior Tessa Allen (Manhattan Beach, Calif. / Bishop Montgomery) scored a collegiate personal-best winning the event in 1.61 meters. "I was a little nervous as I hadn't jumped in a long time, but couldn't have cleared that bar without everyone's cheering especially Michelle Karabin." Junior Michelle Karabin (Ruffs Dale, Pa. / Greensburg Central Catholic) also turned in a first-place finish in the pole-vault clearing 3.70 meters.
Senior Claire Yuan (San Jose, Calif. / Lynbrook) placed first in the long jump covering 4.90 meters. Juniors Abigail Levine (Bethesda, Md. / Bethesda Chevy Chase) and Kate Reilly (Scranton, Pa. / Scranton Prep) also ran to first place finishes in the 5,000 meters in 18.13.26 and the mile run in 5:19, respectively.
Senior Rose Ciriello (Madison, N.J. / Madison) won the 800-meter run in a time of 2:21. To cinch the women's team title in the final event of the meet, Ciriello along with sophomore Valerie Reiling (Concord, Mass. / Concord Carlisle Regional), junior Joanna Baranowski (Syosset, N.Y. / Syosset) and Bhanja won the 1600-meter relay in a time of 4:14. "I knew going into the race that we needed to win to get the women's title, that was definitely on all of our minds the entire race," said Ciriello.
The Tartans will compete again on Saturday, February 2 at the Bob Shannon Invitational at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.