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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Freshman Lorelei Bangit blazes through AU record book

Eagles expand track and field sprinting program with freshmen runner

From the Newsstands: This story appeared in The Eagle's April 2024 print edition. You can find the digital version here

This year, freshman Lorelei Bangit and her fellow American University indoor track runners smashed through the AU record books and set school firsts, thanks to investments in sprint events under head coach Sean Graham.

Bangit, an elementary education major, was named Gregorio’s Trattoria Athlete of the Week on Jan. 29 after an outstanding January. Since then, she has broken multiple school records and placed fourth in the Patriot League finals championships in the 400.

She credits AU’s track and field coaching staff for her success. “They’ve helped me with my nerves and just overall confidence, through training and at meets,” Bangit said. 

Sprinting coach Tyra Massey worked with Bangit to help her mental game, “Just letting her know that, you’ve done the training, everything’s going to be fine,” Massey said. 

The Eagles indoor track team has set school records at a fast pace, especially the sprinting program. AU ran the 4x200 meter indoor sprint medley for the first time in program history in the 2023-2024 season.

Bangit was part of the record-setting 4x200 relay team with fellow teammates Ciera Thacker, Adeline Dipaolo and Jessica Bakas. The quartet achieved a 1:47:17 which will serve as the benchmark time for any future AU sprint teams placed in the event. 

Additionally, Bangit participated in an all-freshman relay team in the 4x400 to put up an impressive and record-breaking 4:05:25 time in the Father Diamond Invitational on Feb. 16. 

“It was a big deal for us to get to that record,” Bangit said. It was an even bigger deal when, in the Patriot League Semi-Final Championships, AU beat its school record again with Bangit, Dipaolo, Hannah Puckett and Grace Kirk. The benchmark now stands at 4:01:23. 

Bangit currently holds the 400-meter record for AU. 

“I didn’t choose it, but it chose me,” Bangit said.

Her regular season indoor PR was made on Feb. 3 at the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational. In the Patriot League Championships, Bangit returned to the Boston track where she set her record. Going into the weekend of championship racing, Bangit was hopeful. “I want to do really well … I want to make finals,” Bangit said. 

In the semi-final races, Bangit raced in both the 200 meter and the 400 meter, beating her regular season record to set a new school record in the 400 with a speedy 55.65 time and qualifying for finals. 

In finals, Bangit once again beat the school record in the 400 as she ran 55.42, placing fourth in her first Patriot League Championship race. 

Bangit will carry her freshman-year growth and success into the outdoor season. “I’m excited to see what I can do when we get outside,” Bangit said of the upcoming season. 

“She puts in the work,” coach Massey said. “She works really, really hard.” 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Isabelle Kravis, Liah Argiropoulos, Sarah Clayton and Ariana Kavoossi.

sports@theeagleonline.com 


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