O'Brien Wins 10,000; Felician Is Record Sixth At CACCs

O'Brien Wins 10,000; Felician Is Record Sixth At CACCs

LAKEWOOD, N.J. – The Felician University women's track & field team scored its most points and enjoyed its best placement at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference championship meet during the 2019 version on Sunday at the Georgian Court University Track & Field Complex. Felician is sponsoring the sport for the fifth year.

The rain-soaked event took place on the fourth and final day of the inaugural CACC Championship Festival. A conference record 13 women's teams scored; the Golden Falcons' 30 points tied them for sixth place with Nyack College.

"We are content with a sixth-place finish for this year, but we are looking to move up the ranks in the CACC immediately," said Felician interim head coach Elson Smajlaj. "Our assistant coaches Marc Peck and Anthony Scannella have been a big part of our success."

Sophomore Jillian O'Brien (Bogota, N.J./Bogota) made Felician history by becoming the first Golden Falcon to win an event at the CACC Championship. O'Brien captured the 10,000-meter run in a school-record time of 41 minutes, 24.60 seconds, and earned the First-Team all-conference honor that accompanied the victory.

The previous Felician record in the 10,000 meters belonged to Sylvia Bialy, who clocked a 46:13.02 during the 2016 league meet. The only other Golden Falcon to be named all-conference was Alexis Jones after she finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2017. On Sunday, junior Jane Burgoyne (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock) placed third in the 10,000 in 42:27.58, giving Felician more than half of its points in that event.

O'Brien also scored in the 5,000-meter run, finishing fourth in 20:19.70 to earn her 15 of the Golden Falcons' 30 points. The only other school record to fall was by sophomore Aasiyah Alston (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge), who scored three points by finishing sixth in the 100-meter dash. Her time of 12.78 seconds in that event narrowly eclipsed her own Golden Falcon standard of 12.80 from the 2018 conference championship race.

Felician's only field-event scoring came from freshman Alyssa Pompey (North Plainfield, N.J./North Plainfield) in the shot put. A toss of 10.56 meters (34 feet, 7.75 inches) put Pompey in fifth place out of 25 entrants. Single points came from Alysson Martinez (Union City, N.J./Union City) for placing eighth in the steeplechase, and to the 4x400-meter relay team which also ended up eighth. Team members were Kayla Hightower (Norfolk, Va./Camden [N.J.]), Shayla Morales (North Bergen, N.J./North Bergen), Jasmine Rename (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Hills) and Alston.

"I'm very pleased with the effort of our middle-distance and distance runners, as well as Alyssa at shot put," Smajlaj said. "They performed to the best of their potential for us and it showed. We hope that the example these young ladies set today paves the way for successful future competition."

Festival host Georgian Court won its sixth consecutive CACC team championship with 228 points. The Lions easily outscored the 131 points of runner-up Bloomfield College.