Lions earn top-two finishes at home

The Lions made the most of home field advantage as the men’s team took first place and the women’s team took second at the New Jersey Invitational.

The men ended the day with a score of 135 points, followed by the Lincoln University Lions with 103 points and Ithaca College with 99. The Ithaca women claimed first with 127 points, while the College took second with 107.83 and Richard Stockton College took third with 90.33.

Leading the way for the men’s team was junior Brian Donatelli, who topped the hammer throw with an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) toss of 45.39 meters and placed third in the shot put with a distance of 13.82 meters.

“Coming into the meet, I was expecting a little more than what I had actually done,” Donatelli said. “But overall, I had a day I could be pleased with for the most part.”

Two more first-place ECAC qualifying finishes were achieved when senior Jeff Zodda finished first in the 800 meters with a mark of 1:54.91, while sophomore Al Wonesh claimed first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.59 seconds.

Wonesh credited the “home track & field advantage” to his success.

“I was so pumped up and excited to run,” Wonesh said. “The whole wrestling team came to watch me run and after I saw that they were there, I told myself right then that there was no way I was going to let them see me lose.”

Continuing the winning trend for the Lions were the 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams, as both placed first and recorded ECAC qualifying times. The 4×400 team, comprised of sophomores Rob McGowan and Woodward Prevard and freshmen Deshard Stevens and Steve Murray, finished with a time of 3:21.67. The 4×100 team clocked in at 43.09 as McGowan, junior Wes Friedman and freshmen Lee Jones and Mark Gardner grabbed first.

The 1,500-meter event was another strong part of the day for the Lions as junior Brian Kopnicki placed second with a time of 4:00.01, while sophomore Chris Guerriero took fourth at 4:02.66 and sophomore Greg Bull clocked in at 4:03.04 for fifth place.

Continuing his quality day, Kopnicki also placed third in the 800 meters, while sophomore Kyle Alpaugh took third in the 5,000 meters at 15:41.56. Junior Anthony Arnold was right behind Alpaugh, taking fourth in the same race with a time of 15:55.18.

In other men’s results, senior Colin Pierce notched third in the triple jump at a distance of 12.99 meters, while Jones added a fourth-place finish with a time of 10.89 seconds in the 100-meter dash. Friedman clocked in only three spots behind Jones in sixth at 11.11 seconds.

On the women’s side of the track, the College dominated the 1,500 meters. Out of the top eight finishers in the race, seven of them were Lions. Sophomore Martine McGrath led the way in first place with an ECAC qualifying time of 4:52.00, while junior Sara Best took second at 4:55.65. Junior Erin Enderly and sophomore Megan O’Leary finished third and fourth, while senior Allyson Krayl placed sixth. Rounding out the dominant effort was sophomore Megan Donovan in seventh place and senior Jenna Prendergast in eighth.

Junior Jessica Bonelli won the 400 meters with an ECAC-qualifying effort of 57.73 seconds and took third in the 200 meters with an ECAC time of 25.88 seconds.

In other women’s results, sophomore Angela Tecco and freshman Michelle Wallace placed second in the 800 meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively, while freshman Meghan Miller took third in the 100-meter hurdles. Freshman Priscilla Senyah also finished third in the 400-meter hurdles, while freshman Ann Behrens finished fifth in the javelin throw.

The Lions’ next event is the Greyhound Invitational on Saturday at Widener University in Bethlehem, Pa.