Lions run with Division I athletes

The men’s and women’s track and field teams had a busy weekend as both teams competed among Division I athletes at the University of Pennsylvania Invitational on Sunday. At the invitational, the Lions earned more than 15 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC)-qualifying marks while three runners from the women’s track team ran at the Sam Howell Invitational hosted by Princeton University on Saturday.

At the University of Pennsylvania Invitational, sophomore Alexander Necovski placed seventh in the discuss throw with a distance of 43.45 meters, an ECAC-qualifying mark.

Necovski said, “I had a better performance in the discus than last week and I know I have a lot more in me to keep on getting better. We had some solid performances from all of our athletes, especially considering the fact that we went up against a lot of Division I schools. The high level of competition really brings out the best in us.”

Junior DeShard Stevens, 400-meter runner, said, “With the conference meet quickly approaching, everyone wants to get in solid times and we were able to do that at this meet.”

The men’s 4×100 team finished seventh with a relay of freshmen Chris Medina, Salvatore Colangelo and Brandon Leftridge and sophomore Jule Brooks who combined for an ECAC time of 43.21 seconds.

Sophomore Tim Blashford earned eighth in the pole vault, clearing a height of 4.30 meters, and DeShard Stevens narrowly missed an ECAC qualifying mark in the 400 meters with a time of 50.37 seconds.

In the women’s 400 meters, junior Jianna Spadaccini took second place with an ECAC-worthy time of 57.81 seconds. Sophomore Sarah Wehrhan earned a fifth-place finish in the hammer throw, tossing 40.54 meters.

Junior Priscilla Senyah placed seventh in the 100-meter high hurdles with an ECAC time of 57.81, while senior Nicole Ullmeyer took eighth in the 5,000 meters at 19:08.24.

Three senior runners from the women’s distance team ran at Princeton’s Sam Howell Invitational. Stephanie Herrick said, “The night meet is an opportunity to run against great competition under the lights at the Princeton Stadium.”

Herrick ran a time of 4:39.47 in the 1,500 meters, placing in the top 10 and being the first Division III runner to cross the finish line. “I was disappointed in my race, but it is still early in the season and will give me motivation to do better this upcoming week at the home meet,” Herrick said.

Martine McGrath and Megan Donovan took 13th and 14th in the 5,000 meters, McGrath with a time of 17:43.06 and Donovan clocking 17:45.71, a personal best.

“After competing this weekend,” Stevens said, “we are looking to go after national qualifying times at our home meet this Saturday.”