Invitational prepares Jays for MACs

Marissa Peduto February 13, 2013 0

The Susquehanna Invitational has moved the Elizabethtown College track and field team one step closer to winning a Triple Crown for the year as the end of the indoor track season quickly approaches.
There are only two weeks left until the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championships. The invitational is the last stop before the championships and is split into two separate meets, with the next meet held Friday, Feb. 15 at Susquehanna University once again. Etown will compete against other Division III schools as well as DI and DII schools at the Invitational.
The extra competition proved to be no match for Etown. Junior Kevin Brady finished first after he vaulted a new personal record of 4.50 meters (14’9”). Not only did Brady’s incredible vault earn him second place on the College’s men’s track and field indoor top ten list of all time, but it also tied him for this year’s best mark in the MAC. Brady also finished eighth in the 60 meter hurdle with a time of 9.14.
According to Joel Hoffsmith, head coach of the track and field team, the track and field team is on their way to completing their goal for the year: winning a Triple Crown. To win the crown the team needs to win the cross country title in the fall season, indoor in the winter season, and outdoor in the spring season. The Triple Crown is “unofficial but Elizabethtown official” Hoffsmith said. The Blue Jays were successful with the first leg of the Triple Crown, placing first in cross country and are now one step closer to winning the crown for the fifth time since 2003.
Not every member of Etown’s track and field team went to the Invitational. Most of the distance runners took the week off. “Their training dictates that they don’t race every week,” Hoffsmith said. Out of the few distance runners who ran, senior Jake Blanton finished the 800m with a time of 2:02.31 and first-year Ryan Conway ran the 5000m and finished with a time of 17:00.29.
Junior Brian Layng was another Blue Jay who established a new personal record. On top of setting a new season-best record for vault at 3.80m (12’5-1/2”), he also improved his record third-place time by 0.06 seconds on Etown’s indoor top ten list. Layng also competed in the 60m hurdle and finished seventh with a time of 9.12 making it a close finish with teammate Brady.
Along with their teammates Brady and Layng, numerous Blue Jays performed exceptionally well at the meet. Senior Cameron Aregood placed third in the high jump with 1.83m (6’0”). While he was somewhat unhappy with his overall performance Saturday, he stated, “I’m confident that I’ll be ready for the Championship.”
Sophomore Andrew Khela and junior Stephen Smith topped their personal records and upped their season bests in the shot put and weight throw. Smith anchored for a 4x200m relay team and set his personal best with a shot of 8.46m (27’9-1/4”). Khela joined Layng on the College’s indoor top ten list in the weight throw category at sixth place due to his 10.95m (35’11-1/4”) throw. This was a great opportunity for Khela as “some places don’t have that. Susquehanna does, so it’s a good meet for those guys who get a chance to throw there,” Hoffsmith said.
Junior Lucas Dayhoff, a name that has frequently appeared in the news for breaking personal and school records for throwing two weeks in a row, placed third with a throw of 15.17m (49’9-1/4”). Overall he finished ninth in the shot put with a throw of 14.20m (46’7-1/4”). While he is not in the headline this week, Dayhoff said that the invitational was just as successful as any other meet. “I have had some awesome meets the past two weeks but at some point you have to slow down and work on the basics of technique,” he said. “A consistent meet like this weekend is a good sign to show that I can throw far anytime.”
Senior captain Luke Rotenberger ran the 400m dash with a time of 53.29, the eighth fastest time of the invitational. Sophomore Ricky Sturz finished the mile with a time of 4:41.70.
The women on the team also had a successful weekend. Senior Jenna Niedermayer had a standout meet after breaking the school’s 60m record and setting a new personal best in the triple jump. Niedermayer raced to a 8.25 60m time and jumped to 37’3” in the triple jump.
Junior Monica Loranger finished second in the pole vault with a 2.9m (9’6-1/4”) jump. This was Loranger’s season best in the pole vault. Many other women set new personal bests at Susquehanna.

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