The Elizabethtown men’s and women’s track and field teams had a successful meet at the 19th annual Bison Open and Multi. There were no team scores given for the meet, but individual scores were awarded. Overall, the Blue Jays went home with four top-10 finishers and two individuals with all-time career performances.
Senior Michael Twist did well individually and on the 4×400-meter relay. Twist, who did not compete at the team’s first meet of the season held at Franklin and Marshall College in December, tied for first place with Gillian Faulkner of SUNY Geneseo in the 800-meter. His time of 1:54.46 stands as the fastest recorded time for the 800-meter in the Landmark Conference. The 4×400-meter relay team consisted of Twist, juniors Tom Fitzgerald and Mitch Schlegel and first-year JJ Teal. Their time of 3:32.74 landed them in a tie for seventh place.
Fitzgerald placed first in the 1,000-meter with a time of 2:33.89. His time was within less than a second of Twist’s record for the same event. This time also places Fitzgerald in fourth best time for the event in the team’s history.
First-year Jeff Espinal was another top-10 finisher for the Blue Jays. His ninth place run in the 500-meter with a time of 1:08.92 is the fourth all-time best. Senior Andrew Lesko and first-year Ryan Rippeon both ran the mile, ending with personal best and season-best times. Lesko ran a personal best of 4:29.61, and Rippeon ended with a season-best of 4:33.15. Lesko’s time lands him amongst two other Blue Jay athletes who were able to complete the mile in under 4:30.
There were great finishes in both track and field events on the women’s team. Junior Kelsey Brady and senior Amanda Porter ended the year with Landmark Conference records.
Brady ran the fast heat of the 800-meter with a time of 2:17.72. This time gave her the first place in her section, as well as the distinction of being the first person on the team to break 2:20 on the season. Her time was also counted as the Landmark’s fastest 800-meter of the season. Brady was also a part of the women’s 4×400-meter relay team composed of seniors Kelsey Detweiler, Casey Quinto and Alexis Groce. The team took sixth place with a time of 4:09.39. Groce also ran 1:22.76 in the 500-meter to place seventh. She has held the school record in this event since 2014.
In the field portion of the event, Porter excelled in a pool of athletes from all three divisions. She placed 11th in the shot put Friday with a distance of 11.72-meters. Saturday, Porter broke her own school record in the weight throw event with a throw of 14.02-meters. This distance earned her the accolade of the first female athlete to throw over 14 meters and also placed her as the third best thrower in the Landmark Conference.
The next event for the men’s and women’s track and field teams will be the Frank Colden Invitational at Ursinus College on Feb. 4th.