David Brantley won the heptathlon with a new PR (4,593 points); Bryan Pearson took first in both the shot put and weight throw, in which he earned a new PR (59 feet, 7 1/2 inches); and Tra-C Davis also posted a PR in the high jump (6 feet, 11 inches) for the Shippensburg University track-and-field team at the Bison Opener at Bucknell University this weekend.
The meet was the first of the season for the Raiders and it was an emotional one following the passing of teammate Tamara Ovejera of the women’s squad during the week. The team put in a great effort and earned multiple first-place finishes at the meet, as well as 10 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC)-qualifying marks and three NCAA-provisional marks.
Brantley took the spotlight on the first day of the meet, as he entered Saturday with the lead in the multis. He finished the event early Saturday with a PR of 4,593 points to take first. Teammate Colin Mondi also performed well in first multis, finishing in fourth with 3,683 points.
Austin Padmore had an impressive showing in the 800 meters, placing first with a time of 1:58.73, good enough for a PSAC qualifier. Alex Balla continued his dominance from the cross-country season with a win in the 5K with a PSAC-qualifying 15:22.08.
Davis picked up where he left off last season with a first-place finish in the high jump with a NCAA-provisional jump of 6 feet, 11 inches, a centimeter better than his previous PR.
Shaquille Mitchell excelled in his collegiate debut, taking first in the triple jump with a PSAC-qualifying distance of 46 feet, 8 3/4 inches.
Pearson outpaced the competition by a mile in his two events. He took first in both the shot put and weight throw, earning NCAA-provisional qualifiers in both. His distance of 56 feet in the shot put was almost six feet better than the closest competitor, who happened to be teammate Jacob Gieringer with a throw of 50 feet, 0 1/2 inches. The weight throw was a new PR of 59 feet, 7 1/2 inches for Pearson, who looks to repeat his NCAA Championships-qualifying performance from last season.
The team will return to Bucknell for the Gulden Invitational on Jan. 20.