The College’s outdoor track and field team started the new season Saturday at the Lafayette College Invitational.
The men’s team won the competition with 143.3 points, while the women’s team placed third with 119 points.
A number of first place finishes helped the men’s team win the title.
Freshman Jeff Zodda won the 800-meter run in 1:53.21, an NCAA Division III provisional qualifying time.
“(Winning) was awesome,” Zodda said. “Division I schools are pretty hard to beat, so it was a pretty good day for the team. We were really fired up.”
Sophomore Jeff Schwerdtman also had first place performances in both the discus (48.05 m) and the shot put (14.98 m).
Schwerdtman had to sit the indoor seasonout with an injury, so he was just getting back into throwing.
“I felt pretty confident with my discus technique (but) threw a meter off my personal best,” Schwerdtman said. “I will throw over 50 meters very soon.”
Sophomore Brian Hoffman pole-vaulted 13’7″ to first place and senior Joe LaCovara-Switzer won the steeplechase in 9:36.00.
Second placers were freshman Ed Young in the high jump (6′), junior Brian Wanner in the pole vault (13’7″) and sophomore Chris Tranchina in the shot put (14.89 m). Tranchina also placed third in the hammer toss with a 44.88-meter throw.
Senior Kevin Semanick finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in 53.9 and junior Brian Donovan also took a second place standing in the 5,000-meter run (14:57.00).
Third place performances included sophomore Stephen Andrews in the 100-meter dash (10.98), freshman Cory Schoonover in the 110-meter hurdles (15.36) and junior Ed Marion in the high jump (6′).
“We didn’t focus on the team scoring at the meet,” head coach Steve Dolan said.
“Our men winning and our women finishing very competitively was a nice bonus to a good day,” Dolan said. “Both teams could have scored more points if we had entered them in more or different events.”
The women’s team missed second place by .3 points to Rider University and Lafayette College won with 131.3 points.
“(Losing second place) was a disappointment because we were all looking forward to winning, but I think we all performed really well for our first meet,” sophomore Tiffany Clark said.
Clark contributed to the team’s placement by winning the 200-meter dash in 25.10 and finishing second in the 100-meter dash in 12.0.
Sophomore Brittny Boyd also placed in the 200-meter dash, finishing third with a time of 25.27.
There were a number of first place finishes for the women.
Senior Beth Vesey won the 1,500-meter run (4:43.00), senior Lindsay Scarborough won the steeplechase (11:31) and sophomore Lauren Detrick reached for 5’3″ in the high jump.
Second place performances were held by freshman Ashley Holmes in the discus with a 39.95-meter throw, and sophomore Alisa Vetter tying with teammate Elyse Mitchell in the pole vault (9’4″). Vetter also took third in the triple jump (10.64).
Freshman Khristelle Manuyag, Boyd, sophomore Erika Huggler and Clark all competed in the 4×100 relay race to win the Lions second place with a time of 48.75.
Sophomore Bobbi Jo Leighty placed third in the shot put with a 12.34-meter mark and sophomore Danica Miller took third in the javelin (34.03 m).
“I was very pleased with how we competed,” Dolan said. “Both teams turned in a number of very good early season performances. I think both our teams showed they are quite competitive with a number of the Division I teams in the area.”
The Lions’ next meet is scheduled for April 2 against Sam Howell Memorial at Princeton University.