By Nicole DeStefano
The Lions track and field teams competed in the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton University and the Widener Invitational at Widener University on Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22.
At Princeton, freshman Katie LaCapria competed in the 800-meter dash, clocking in at 2:13.32 for 38th place overall. LaCapria currently has the fastest 800-meter time in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and the 10th fastest among Division III runners in the nation.
Sophomore Erin Holzbaur competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase, taking 26th overall. She clocked in with a time of 11:00.20. Her performance currently ranks ninth in the nation this year and first in the NJAC conference.
Meanwhile, sophomore Matt Saponara had an impressive race in the 5000-meter run. He clocked in with a time of 15:11.18. Saponara holds the NJACs second fastest 5000-meter in the season. He ran it in 14:48:85 during the Colonial Relays at William and Mary College.
At Widener University, the sophomore duo of Madeleine Tattory and Emma Bean competed in the 5000-meter run. Tattory ran a season best of 18:17.32 to secure sixth place. Bean finished in ninth with a time of 18:22.99.
On the men’s side, senior Andrew Tedeschi set a personal record in the 5000-meter run. He placed third with a time of 14:55.02.
During the Widener Invitational, three runners finished in the top 10 for the 1500-meter run. Senior Brandon Mazzarella placed fifth with a time of 4:00.04. Sophomore Luke Prothero was under a second behind, clocking in at 4:00.83 for seventh place. Sophomore Daniel Brennan placed ninth with a time of 4:01.52.
Freshman Dan Pflueger took first at the 400-meter hurdles in 56.70. Sophomore Kenneth Klopf also finished fifth overall, clocking in at 57.99.
At the 800-meter dash, sophomore Jack Wood placed 18th with a time of 1:57.58. Sophomore Noah Osterhus finished second in 1:57.74.
Senior Jake Lindacher won the 110-meter hurdles and ran a personal best of the season at 15.03.
In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Thomas Livecchi ran a 50.20 for ninth place. The 4×400 meter relay, comprising Noah Osterhus, sophomore Nathan Osterhus, senior Zakaria Rochdi and Livecchi, came in second place with a time of 3:20.88.
“I feel pretty good about my 800 performance,” Noah Osterhus said. “I’m just coming off of injury, so I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’ll get there later on in the season. The team overall is doing great. Everyone is going out there and always trying to win their heats, and it’s fun watching your teammates get better times and progress. With conference in two weeks, I think our team as a whole is ready to compete and get after it.”
The Lady Lions also had strong performances on Saturday. Freshman Nicole Tampone took second with a time of 1:05.64 in the 400-meter hurdles. In the 200-meter dash, freshman Samantha Gorman finished in second, clocking in with a time of 25.40.
Freshman Katie LaCapria returned to the track for the 400-meter dash. She placed seventh with a time of 1:00.02.
In the 1500-meter run, junior Allison Fournier ran at 4:54.42 and finished in 17th place. Following behind was sophomore Abigail Faith, clocking in at 4:54.47.
Senior Laura Straub raced in the 3000-meter steeplechase. She clocked in a time of 11:28.25 for third place.
“The steeple was fun because there were 25 girls in the heat, which is unheard of for a steeplechase,” Straub said. “Gabby Devito and I both did really well for our first steeple of the season. It was raining all day, but we didn’t care because we were bound to get wet anyway. The team showed that we’re ready for NJACs in two weeks.”
In the 110-meter hurdles, freshman Kristen Hall clocked in at 15.82, taking ninth place. In the same event, junior Megan McGourty ran at 15.89 to take 11th place. McGourty also placed ninth in the 400-meter hurdles in 1.08.47.
In the field events, senior Tracy Prentice placed fourth after clearing a height of 2.81 meters in the pole vault.
Freshman Angela Rambert threw 32.57 meters for eighth place in the discus event and 10.55 meters for 13th place in shot put.
The Lions will host the Lions Invitational at the Track and Field Complex on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29.