WICHITA, Kan. -- Freshman Chase Coffey (Hanna City, Ill./Farmington) broke the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase record, finishing fifth, and fellow freshman Molly Dahlquist (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) broke her own school record in the women's 3,000 meter steeplechase to help highlight the second day of competition for the Bradley Track and Field teams at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships Saturday.
In addition to the record-breaking performances in the steeplechase, freshman Emily Delvo (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin) finished second in her heat to advance to Sunday's finals of the women's 800 meters. Sophomore Shane Garland (Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves) also reached the men's 800 meter finals on Sunday after running a season-best time in Saturday's prelims.
"We had a great night on both sides with two school records, two making the 800 meters finala and multiple personal bests," head coach Marc Burns said. "The 800 heats set the tone with Emily Delvo and Shane Garland making the finals. We had multiple personal bests behind them too. Molly (Dahlquist) broke her own school record and Chase (Coffey) made history for us scoring the first MVC Championship point for Bradley in 20 years. We are all really proud of the team tonight. Now it's time to get recovered and ready to go tomorrow."
Coffey broke Eric Suender's previous school record of 9:24.94 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase set in 1990 by more than six seconds, clocking a 9:18.12 to finish fifth. Coffey, who beat his previous career-best by more than 22 seconds, was 12 seconds out of the top three and less than 18 seconds behind event champion Tomas Cutter of Wichita State. The four points earned by Coffey are the most by the Bradley men's track and field team at the conference outdoor championship since finishing the 1988 championship with five points.
Dahlquist broke her previous school record in the women's steeplechase by a full second, finishing sixth in the event with a time of 11:00.51. She was 14 seconds out of the top three and the three points earned put the Bradley women 2.5 points behind seventh-place Drake and four points back of sixth-place Missouri State entering the final day of competition.
After advancing to the 800 meter finals at the indoor championship in February, Delvo will appear in the outdoor 800 meter finals after taking second in her heat Saturday. She clocked the fifth fastest time in Saturday's prelims with a 2:12.49 to tie for the 10th best performance in school history.
Freshman Kyela Specht (Munster, Ind./Munster) was 10th in the 800 meter prelims with a season-best time of 2:14.93, missing a spot in the 800 finals by a second and a half, while freshman Hannah Booker (Tremont, Ill./Tremont) also ran a season-best time (2:15.12) to finish 11th.
Garland finished third in his heat and seventh in the prelims in the men's 800 meters Saturday to reach Sunday's finals, turning in a season-best effort of 1:53.29. Freshman Eric Delvo (Springfield, Ill./Chatham Glenwood) was 15th overall and fourth in his prelim heat with a season-best time of 1:55.87.
Freshman Dana Markech (Arlington Heights, Ill./Hersey) also helped highlight Saturday's action for the Braves with season-best times in the women's 100-meter hurdles and 200 meters. She finished seventh in her heat in the 100-meter hurdles (16.42) and clocked a 28.27 in the 200 meters.
The Bradley track and field teams conclude competition at the State Farm MVC Outdoor Track and Field Championship Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.