April 12-14 was an extremely busy period for the members of Elizabethtown College’s track and field team. During that time, several members of the team traveled to Gwynedd-Mercy College, Messiah College and Bucknell University to compete in the Mid-week Twilight Invitational, the Messiah Invitational and the Bison Outdoor Classic.
The different meets drew participants for certain events — the majority of the team attended the Mid-week Twilight, while the Messiah Invitational was specifically for the decathlon participants. Although the Bison Outdoor Classic had events for both sprinters and distance runners, to save the legs of the sprinters, only distance runners made the trip to Bucknell.
This weekend, the Blue Jays will compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton University on Friday, and the Widener Invitational at Widener University on Saturday. Although the Middle Atlantic Conference outdoor championships are not until May 3-5, the Blue Jays are putting in the extra effort to have a good meet, as Etown will be hosting the tournament.
Mid-week Twlight Invitational:
Junior Jenna Niedermayer proved her dominance once again in jumping events. She hit the trifecta Thursday, setting a new school record in the triple jump, a personal best in the high jump and season-best in the long jump.
Junior sprinter Ashley Lockwood and first-year Ashley Underkoffer took second place for their respective events — the 400m for Lockwood and the 800m for Underkoffer.
Junior Luke Rotenberger placed first in the 400m hurdles, setting a new season-best time. Senior Mark Weber and junior Jake Blanton went one and two in the 800m run, with Weber finishing just under two minutes.
In the field, the sophomore class represented the Blue Jays well. Nancy Gompers tied her personal best for the pole vault, and Eileen Kroszner threw her best shot put of the year at 10.4m, which was good for third place. Kevin Brady took first place in the pole vault, while Lucas Dayhoff finished second in the shot put.
Sophomore Brian Lyang captured a dominating win in the decathlon, and his score of 5,749 points ranks him second on Etown’s all-time list. During his phenomenal performance, Lyang picked up first place in the 110m hurdles and the discus.
Last year, Lyang took home the silver medal at the MAC championships in the decathlon with a score of 4,960 points. If he can keep up his current performance, his chances of taking gold in the MACs in May are looking good. Messiah’s Drew Engle finished in second, 290 points behind Lyang.
A decathlon includes the following events: 100m run, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m run, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m run.
Junior Katy Fogel found success in the heptathlon, finishing third at Messiah. Her commanding win in the 800m and third place in the javelin helped her secure her overall third place spot. Her 3,792 points are a new personal best.
A heptathalon consists of the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin and 800m.
Bison Outdoor Classic:
Sophomore Traci Tempone continued to shine as one of Etown’s best female distance runners after setting a new personal best in the 10,000m. She shaved an extraordinary 17 seconds off her previous time, and her 36:07.79 time is currently the best 10k time in the MAC this season and fourth in the NCAA.
Sophomore Eileen Cody’s time in the 10k places her second in the MAC and 20th in the country. Senior Kathryn Howser and first-year Amelia Tearman set personal bests in the 1500m.
For the men, senior Eric Reichert turned in a stellar time for the 3000m steeple chase, good for eleventh and just shy of a new personal best.