The Elizabethtown College men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in two events, both on Saturday, April 12 at the Messiah Invitational and the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic. Multiple performances earned athletes new personal records in both locations.
For the men at the Messiah Invitational, sophomore Mike Twist competed in the 800-meter and ran the sixth fastest time in the program’s history. His career-best time of 1:55.04 placed first out of 49 runners in the event. He also topped his season best time by over three seconds.
The Blue Jays placed eighth in the team standings with six point scorers. Twist, senior Bryan Baldwin, first-year Tom Fitzgerald and first-year Mitch Schlegel placed second in the 4×400 relay, finishing in 3:27.78, which is the second-fastest time in the program’s history.
Junior Adam Harriger also performed well over the weekend, beating his season and personal best time in the 1500-meter run and placing fifth in the event. Schlegel sprinted in the 200-meter dash and made a new personal record with a time of 22.57 to place ninth.
Senior Andrew Khela finished third in the hammer with a new career best throw of 40.25m, holding the fourth best distance in program history. Since his first-year at Etown, Khela has improved his distance by over 42 feet. “It is important to focus on yourself and how you are competing,” Khela said. “Trust what you have been practicing during the week and don’t let anyone hold you back at the meet.”
In the shot put, first-year Matt Pysher had a personal record with a distance of 11.55m and finished fifth in the event.
First-year Christian Villarosa finished sixth in the triple jump with a distance of 11.42m, his career best First-year Paul Lecurieux-Lafayette debuted in the event, finishing tenth with a jump of 11.00m.
As the Blue Jays competed at Messiah, a few were at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic. Junior Sam Cooper ran his second best time in the 5000-meter run with a time of 15:41.11.
Khela is pleased with the team’s performance this season. “The team has been practicing hard and we have seen some great improvements so far,” he said. “I’m sure if everyone continues training well, the season will end with many athletes breaking there personal bests.”
For the women, multiple Blue Jays had stand out performances. Sophomore Amanda Porter was victorious in the javelin throw at the Messiah Invitational, while senior Amelia Tearnan placed fifth in the 1500-meter run at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic. Overall, the team placed fifth out of 17 teams.
At Messiah, Porter also placed third in the hammer throw and seventh in the shot put. First-year Brittianni Phillips finished second in the shot put with a distance of 11.68m.
Junior Lydia Dearie finished fourth in the 5000-meter run, while junior Gabrielle Yankelevich finished ninth in the same event. Sophomore Kelsey Detweiler finished sixth in the 100m and 15th in the 200m, setting a new personal record.
In the 1500m run, first-year Maria Anderson debuted and finished sixth. Senior Ashley Underfolker and first-year Lia Chak competed in the 800m and finished sixth and seventh respectively. They also completed in the 400m and Underfolker finished ninth with the team’s best time in the event for the season and Chak followed in tenth place.
At the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Invitational, sophomore Casey Quinto set a new personal record with a time of 4:50.24 in the 1500m. First-year Brenna McNamee also set a personal best in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:40.34 to hold fifth place in program history.
As the team looks ahead to Landmark Conference Championships, focus is key. “The team as a whole will need to push harder each week to ensure that everyone is making personal improvements,” Khela said. “Come conferences all the bugs are ironed out and everyone is ready to push even harder and perform at their best.”
The men’s and women’s teams head to the Widener Invitational in Chester, Pa. on Friday, April 17 and action starts at 3 p.m. for the Blue Jays.