Bhanja Wins 400 Meters at UAA Championships

Bhanja Wins 400 Meters at UAA Championships

(WALTHAM, Mass.) - The Carnegie Mellon University women's track and field team competed in the final day of the University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Brandeis University this Sunday, February 24. The women placed sixth in the conference championships ahead of New York University. 

"I'm extremely proud of how they competed. The women put whatever they had towards every performance. They went out and competed. The number of personal bests showed the growth of our women's team," said head coach Gary Aldrich.  

Senior Debarati Bhanja (New Albany, Ohio / New Albany) had a stunning victory in the 400-meter dash, with a personal record performance of 58.84. "The conference is really competitive and the prelim times were all really close. I knew I had to get out well and I was happy that it ended in a PR. The team had a good mentality going into the day and it showed in our performances," said Bhanja. In the 200-meter dash final, Bhanja placed eighth in a time of 26.82.

Junior Leah Kendrick (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks East) ran to a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Kendrick had a collegiate personal best of 9.17 winning her heat of the final. Senior Autumn Hair (Blue Bell, Pa. / Wissahickon) also had a personal-best performance and placed 8th in 9.63. 

In the mile run, junior Kate Reilly (Scranton, Pa. / Scranton Prep) placed seventh overall in a season-best time of 5:09. Fellow junior Valerie Collins (Wellesley, Mass. / Wellesley) placed 10th in the mile in season-best time of 5:21 while winning her heat of the race. 

The women's 4x400-meter relay team of junior Joanna Baranowski (Syosset, N.Y. / Syosset), senior Rose Ciriello (Madison, N.J. / Madison), sophomore Valerie Reiling (Concord, Mass. / Concord Carlisle Regional), and Bhanja placed fourth in a time of 4:08. 

In her second distance race of the weekend, junior Abigail Levine (Bethesda, Md. / Bethesda Chevy Chase) placed 12th in the 3,000-meter run in a personal-best time of 10:21. 

Several Tartans will compete again at the Polar Bear Last Chance Qualifier at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, next Saturday March 2.