Lions speed ahead to top-five in Pa.

Senior Priscilla Senyah. (Photo courtesty of Sports Information Desk)
Senior Priscilla Senyah. (Photo courtesty of Sports Information Desk)

Finishing in the top-five spots in almost every event isn’t easy, but the men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams had no problem placing in the lead at the McElliot Invitational hosted by Haverford College on Saturday Jan. 30.

The Lions finished with times that not only placed them in the lead, but also qualified them for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III championships.

Senior Priscilla Senyah set a new meet record in the 55-meter dash with a top time of 7.31 seconds. She also achieved a NCAA provisional cut with her second-place time in the 55-meter hurdles of 8.46 seconds.

For the men, it was sophomore Robert Jiggetts who qualified for the ECACs in the 55-meter dash with his first place time of 6.59 seconds. Juniors Jule Brooks and Kyle Gilroy were right behind him, taking the second and third spots. Brooks ran a time of 6.74, while Gilroy finished in 6.77 seconds. Gilroy collected a win in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.86 seconds, which qualified him for the ECACs.

Mid-distance runner Jianna Spadaccini also grabbed a NCAA qualifying mark. The senior finished with a new meet record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:13.70. Senior Michelle Wallace was third in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:24.14, but it was her second place finish in the mile that achieved her an ECAC provisional mark with her time of 5:06.76.

Freshman Maximilian Sparshatt also qualified for the ECACs with his third place finish of 4:23.07 in the mile.

“For a debut race and having no gage of my potential, I was satisfied,” Sparshatt said. His goal is to qualify for nationals this season.

In the field events, it was sophomore Emma Tucci and freshman Brielle Doremus who stepped up for the women’s team in the long jump. Tucci took second place with a jump of 5.08 meters. Doremus was right behind Tucci with a jump of 5.05 meters, placing third. Freshman Steven D’Aiutolo also took third for the men’s team in the long jump. D’Aiutolo jumped 6.31 meters.

The Lions will compete in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York on Feb. 6 in order to continue collecting qualifying marks for the ECAC and NCAA Championships in March.

Hilarey Wojtowicz can be reached at wojtowi3@tcnj.edu.