Elizabethtown College took home several victories in men’s track and field at the Diplomat Open Saturday, Dec. 3. At the meet, hosted by Franklin & Marshall College, Etown won the mile, 1000-meter and-200 meter events.
Junior Tom Fitzgerald nearly broke the mile record of 4:30.00, missing the time by less than a second. Senior Mike Twist won the 1000-meter event with a time of 2:35:81.
Last season, Twist also set the 100-meter record at the Ursinus meet. His win on Saturday was a fitting display of his skill and improvement from that record-breaking season.
Junior Mitch Schlegel came in first in the 200-meter sprint. Schlegel also completed the 60-meter event in 7.10 seconds and was a part of the 4×400-meter relay with Fitzgerald, first-year economics major JJ Teal and sophomore engineering major Nick Winch. The relay team placed fifth overall.
Schlegel stood out on Saturday as a well-rounded and capable runner. This meet marked his fastest run at 22.70 seconds in the 200-meter, the second all-time fastest run. Previously, Schlegel held the title of fourth fastest time. His time in the 60-meter heat also moved him to tie with the fifth fastest time in that event.
The 4×400-meter relay team of junior Brad Vasilik, senior Billy Kenney, senior Cody Aspril and first-year Jeff Espinal placed eighth.
First-year Samuel Gerstenbacher won fourth in the fast heat and fourth overall.
In the women’s event, Etown runners claimed top-10 spots in the 60-meter and 200-meter events. On the field, Etown claimed 10th place in the pole vault and both fifth and sixth places in the weight throw.
Senior Kelsey Detweiler was in great shape in her events in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. With a time of 8.17 seconds, Detweiler claimed the second-fastest time in the 60-meter in Etown history. Detweiler also took seventh in the 200m. She ran the fourth-fastest time with 27.03 seconds.
The 60-meter event was where the Etown ladies shined this meet. Senior Stephanie Bellott placed fifth all-around with a time of 8.51 seconds. Meanwhile, first-year Kaley Stinson placed eighth with 8.63 seconds, and first-year Ashleigh Denault placed 10th with 8.69 seconds.
As for the vault, first-years Paiton Kelly and Natalie Nye tied for the sixth-best height in the event at 2.65 meters. Sophomore Danielle Zahn also joined the top-10 list with a vault height of 2.35 meters.
Fifth place in throws was won by junior Alexa Feduchak. Feduchak’s 12.98-meter throw was also recorded at second-best all-time. Sixth place was also claimed for Etown by senior Amanda Porter with a 12.89 meter throw.
Saturday’s meet displayed the strength of the men and women’s track and field teams both as individuals and as a cohesive unit. Based on the record-breaking performances and overall consistent victories, this season is shaping up to be a great one with team members setting and achieving their own goals.
“Beating your own time is important to remember during a meet,” sophomore Haley Prengaman said. “That way you get better every time.”
Prengaman also shared one of the factors outside of practice that leads to victories for the track and field teams. “Team unity has done us well in the past,” she said. “Having a good group to lean on helps individuals perform better.”
The Blue Jays will have off until after the holiday break. The teams will compete at the Coach I Open hosted by F&M on Jan. 14.