Track teams tally three more NCAA qualifying marks

It was a great day to compete in a track and field meet. The sun was shining and there was little wind to get in the way.

The College’s track teams took advantage of the favorable conditions and achieved many personal victories on Saturday at the Grizzly Invitational at Ursinus College, as well as three NCAA provisional qualifying performances.

“It was a great day to have a track meet,” sophomore Colin Pierce said. “It was a clear day and the temperature was perfect. A lot of the members pulled of clutch performances and a good number of the athletes hit their personal bests and we could not ask for more, especially since we are closing in on the last couple meets of the season.”

After putting up three NCAA qualifying times last weekend at the Sam Howell Invitational, junior Tiffany Clark once again headlined the Lions’ success, winning all three races she participated in.

She took home first place in the 100-meter dash, where she sprinted her way to victory with a time of 12.57 seconds. Clark also won the 200-meter dash (25.16) and the 4×100 meter relay (47.71) along with sophomore Khristelle Manuyag, freshman Jessica Bonelli and junior Brittny Boyd.

The 100-meter and 4×100-meter relay times were NCAA provisional qualifying marks.

Other runners put up strong times, finishing in the top three in their respective events.

Freshman Carolyn Gray took home a second-place finish in the women’s 400-meter race with a blazing time of 58.09 seconds. Senior Jennifer Zucaro also ran very well, taking second place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:22.5. Junior Kristen Pogorzelski crossed the finish line in the 1,500-meter race with a personal-best time of 4:53.02, placing third.

Other notable performances by the women included junior Bobbi Jo Leighty’s 11.57-meter toss in the shot put, good enough for fourth place, and junior Danica Miller’s 35.12-meter javelin throw that earned her third place.

The men enjoyed notable success at Ursinus as well. Throwing his way to victory, junior Jeff Schwerdtman won the discus with an NCAA provisional toss of 47.73 meters.

Senior Matt Molski won the 1,500-meter run with a performance of 3:58.07, while junior Kevin Jones won the long jump with a 6.81-meter leap.

Senior Brian Wanner won the pole vault with a 14-foot effort, while Pierce finished in second in the triple jump with his performance of 12.97 meters.

Junior Sean Begley hit his personal best time in the 400-meter run with a performance of 49.78 seconds, good enough for fifth in the tight race, while sophomore Dave dos Santos finished sixth in the 800-meter run in 1:57.65.

Overall, both the men and women’s track teams had a strong day at Ursinus. The Lions took home seven first-place finishes and had many other athletes reach the top five.

Jones was very happy about the team’s performance. “The team competed very well,” he said. “Everyone is making great progress toward their personal bests and individuals are stepping up to do their part in making the team better.”

The Lions, already looking strong, will get an added boost next weekend by competing in front of their home fans. The New Jersey Invitational will be held on the College campus on Saturday.