Niedermayer awarded MAC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year; Jays earn medals, break records at conference championships

Karley Ice February 27, 2013 0

The Elizabethtown College men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Indoor Track and Field Championship Feb. 23 at Lehigh University’s Rauch Fieldhouse. Both teams gave exceptional performances. The men’s team finished third to Widener University and Messiah College. The women’s team also finished third but to Lebanon Valley College and Misericordia University.
“The MAC Championships, I think for all the sports, are always a big deal,” Head Coach Joel Hoffsmith said. The Blue Jays went to Lehigh with high hopes for both their men’s and women’s teams, and they answered with recognizable victories.
The men’s distance medley relay team of first-year Adam Harriger, sophomore Bryan Baldwin, first-year Justin Fortney and senior Aaron Focht started off the day strong with a first place finish with a time of 10:47.67. The Jays also achieved gold in the 4×800 meter relay by junior Ian Hamilton, sophomore Ricky Sturz, senior Jake Blanton and Focht. Their winning time was 8:09.18, the ninth fastest time in Etown indoor history.
Three second place finishes were obtained by the men’s team, one gained by junior Brian Layng in the heptathlon that started Friday at Widener. Layng earned a personal best of 4,413 points. Junior Matt Rever also claimed second place in the 800 meter, coming up short by only .01 seconds with a time of 1:57.64. Senior Cameron Aregood claimed the third silver for the Blue Jays in the high jump with a height of 1.83 meters.
Junior Kevin Brady and first-year Matt Shenk earned third place in the pole vault and 5000 meter, respectively. Brady tied for third in the pole vault with a height of 4.25 meters, and Shenk finished third with a time of 15:36.62 in the 5000 meter.
Junior captain Lucas Dayhoff finished fourth in the weight throw, setting a new personal best and school record of 15.82 meters to earn the All-MAC Second Team Honors. Dayhoff also finished fourth in the shot put with a distance of 15.10 meters.
On the women’s side, senior captain Jenna Niedermayer excelled for the Blue Jays.  “[O]ur stand-out athlete is Jenna Niedermayer,” Hoffsmith said prior to the championship. “We’re counting on her to do pretty well.” Niedermayer did just that, receiving two gold medals, a silver medal and the Field Athlete of the Year Award. She finished first in the long jump with a jump of 5.68 meters to be ranked eighth in the nation. She also claimed gold in the triple jump with a distance of 11.41 meters. She finished second in the high jump with the height of 1.56 meters. A sixth place finish in the 60 meter dash would break her own school record with a time of 8.13 seconds.
Junior Traci Tempone also had a successful day, grabbing two gold medals. She gained one in the mile, with a time of 5:03.44, and the 5000 meter with a time of 18:05.80. In pole-vaulting, junior Monica Loranger now stands alone on the school’s indoor top ten list as a result of her second place finish that broke the school record. Loranger pole vaulted 3.14 meters. She also claimed an unexpected third in the high jump with a 1.51 meter jump.
First-year Rachel Carr pulled off a second place for the Blue Jays in the 800 meter with a time of 2:18.50. In the 4×800 meter relay, senior Jill Casey, junior Ali Christ, junior Laurie Jones and sophomore Amelia Tearnan earned silver with a time of 9:58.65. In other relay action, first-year Lindsey Pekurny, sophomore Ashley Underkofler, senior Ashley Lockwood and Carr brought home bronze in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 4:12.76. The distance medley team, consisting of first-year Ashley Cox, Underkofler, Casey and senior Megan Patton, earned Second Team All-MAC honors for their fourth place finish of 12:57.49. Patton also earned Second Team All-MAC honors in the 5000 meter with a time of 19:02.47.
“I’m so proud of my teammates and all the hard work we put into the meet though. All we expected from each other was people to try their hardest and everyone did,” Niedermayer said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”  Both teams look ahead to their Last Chance Meet and outdoor season. The Last Chance Meet will be held at Ursinus on Friday, March 1 for athletes who are close to qualifying for nationals.

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