Saturday, Feb. 4, Elizabethtown men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Frank Colden Invitational hosted by Ursinus College. Saturday’s invitational was marked by two impressive individual victories by senior Mike Twist in men’s track and sophomore Leah Gamber in the women’s throwing event. Both competitors were backed up by several team wins and a staggering number of top 10 placers.
Twist has been riding a wave of success since his two consecutive wins in the 800-meter races at Susquehanna University and Bucknell University. At Ursinus on Saturday, Twist pulled ahead in the 400-meter and won with a 51.80 seconds time. He was the only runner to break 52 seconds. The win also marked his first individual win in the 400-meter this season.
“The most difficult aspect of preparing for a race is convincing yourself you can win,” Twist said. “It doesn’t matter how many miles you put in if you don’t believe in yourself.”
Twist was also present in the 4×200-meter relay. Along with junior Mitch Schlegel and Brad Vasilik and sophomore Nick Winch, the relay team took ninth place with time of 1:36.80.
Another Etown runner claimed individual victory on Saturday alongside Twist. Senior Andrew Lesko finished the 3000-meter run in 8:57.11. He ran the best in his section and broke his record of nine minutes in the 3000-meter for the first time.
Etown success followed the men onto the field as well. First-year Derek Bosworth placed eighth in the triple jump, with a 12.76-meter distance, a new personal record for Bosworth. Bosworth now places fifth in the top 10 list.
Sophomore Jason Bubenchik took ninth in shot put and also set a personal record with a 9.34-meter throw.
For women’s track and field, the invitational was marked by a particularly stellar performance by Gamber in the shot put event. Gamber moved up the top 10 list with her performance at Ursinus not for the first time and certainly not for the last. With an 11.61-meter throw, Gamber placed sixth in the invitational and moved into the third spot in the top 10.
As a competitor, Gamber has a ritual to prepare herself for the day. “That day, I listen to music and when I get there, I pray,” Gamber said. She also shared having definite points of improvement. “As far as form goes, I need to concentrate for the next meet and increase my distance,” Gamber said.
The Etown women were also successful in the 4×200-meter relay. The running team of senior Kelsey Detweiler, junior Lia Chak and first-years Jordan Sobolesky and Kaley Stinson ran a time of 1:52.04. The team placed sixth in the division. Individually, Detweiler placed ninth in the 200-meter run with a time of 27.42.
The victories on the women’s side kept rolling in as junior Karly Deam vaulted 2.58 meters, moving forward from her ninth in program history placement. Deam has shared the same vault distance as first-year Paiton Kelly.
The teams compete as a whole again Saturday, Feb. 11, at Haverford College for the Seamus McElligott Invitational.