A series of stellar performances has Shippensburg University sitting on top again as Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) track and field Championships.
The Raiders won back-to-back days Friday and Saturday to grab the team’s sixth indoor championship in eight years.
The duo of Casey Norton and Sarah Hunt was electric for the Raiders, who led the competition after the first day with 59 points, 14 over second-place Slippery Rock. Bloomburg University sat in third with 32 points, and the rest of the PSAC schools all sat under 20 on the first day of competition.
Both Norton and Hunt won conference championships Saturday, securing all-important points toward SU’s big lead in the conference tournament.
Norton kicked the PSACs off with her first indoor championship in the 5k. Her personal record of more than four seconds was 23 seconds faster than any other runner, good enough for her third straight All-PSAC finish. Bryanna Dissinger also picked up some important points in the 5k, breaking her previous PR by 26 seconds to aide in a 13-point performance in her event.
SU’s performance in the long jump was a huge confidence booster, grabbing 19 points for the Raiders in the team’s best event of the day. For Hunt, the fifth time was the charm as she had a back-and-forth match with Bloomsburg University’s defending champ in Kaylee Caruso, besting her with a jump of 19 feet, 4 3/4 inches. Shippensburg’s Danielle Sciremammano and Abby Wagner took fourth and fifth in the big win for the Raiders.
In her final PSAC indoor championship run, senior Tamara Ovejera smashed her previous PR with a monstrous 56 foot-throw in the weight throw. The Raiders notched 12 more points toward SU’s huge day.
Sunday’s events wrapped up an already impressive weekend, but it was not an easy road for SU.
With a 27-point lead on Bloomsburg, the Raiders had a somewhat comfortable lead heading into Sunday.
But that all changed when the Huskies put up 20 points in the 3k to pull within one point of tying the Raiders for first. Hunt again was huge for SU, winning first place in the triple jump as her team tallied 18 points in the event. Hunt’s efforts on the weekend earned her the title of PSAC MVP in her final indoor PSAC Championship.
Wagner also had a huge finish in the triple jump, taking second place to put the exclamation point on one of SU’s best events.
The Raiders needed a major performance in the shot put if the team hoped to win its seventh PSAC title, and Tamara Ovejera delivered with authority. Ovejera’s throw put her not only into first place, but her shot put of 14.64 meters landed her in the history books as she set a school record in her gold medal finish. The Raiders squeezed 13 points out of the event, which eventually led to the team’s final 115-point total, just a shade above the rest.
The team will have just a few short weeks to decompress and regroup before nationals. After some well-deserved celebration, the women will look to prepare for the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama Mar. 10 and 11.