Senior Bryan Pearson re-wrote his own school and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) record in the discus Saturday to highlight three NCAA provisional qualifiers for the Shippensburg University men’s track-and-field team in competition at the Bison Outdoor Classic hosted by Bucknell University.
Pearson nailed his final throw of the competition, hurling the discus 182 feet, 10 inches for a performance that improves upon his lifetime best by a foot. The throw soared Pearson to third on the NCAA Division II performance list pending the remainder of national results this weekend.
To reach his new conference milestone, Pearson qualified for the finals of the competition with a mark of 172 feet, 5 inches on his second attempt. He notched a big improvement of 177 feet, 9 inches on his fourth throw, and after a fifth-attempt foul, landed his new lifetime best and conference record.
In the javelin, sophomore Ben Hurda landed an eight-foot personal best with a breakthrough throw of 213 feet, 5 inches that came on his fifth attempt. Hurda had a rip-roaring afternoon in which five of his six throws traveled 200 feet (60.96 meters) or greater, including a 205-foot throw on his third attempt that got him into the finals. Hurda’s throw climbs him all the way to eighth on the NCAA Division II performance list.
Senior Tra-C Davis cleared his highest bar to date this season, notching a top mark of 6 feet, 10 3/4 inches in a third-place performance. Davis improved his season best by two inches, tying for the top mark of the competition but settling for third place on the day based on misses.
Overall, Davis has cleared the NCAA-provisional qualifying standard in the high jump in 10 of his last 11 outdoor competitions dating back to his sophomore season — including a mark of 6 feet, 9 inches or better on seven of those occasions.
Freshman Shaquille Mitchell exceled in the triple jump to the tune of a lifetime best — placing fourth in the competition with a top mark of 47 feet, 4 1/4 inches. Mitchell landed his top mark on his second attempt, and followed that up with four more solid marks of 44 feet, 7 inches or greater.
Pearson’s discus highlighted a strong day in the event for the Raiders, as all four of their competitors met the PSAC qualifying standard. Sophomore Cam Strohe landed a personal best of more than eight feet, posting a top mark of 156 feet, 5 inches. It is the latest PR in what continues to be a banner second season for the Raider thrower that dates back to the indoor campaign.
Sophomore Antonio Civetta landed a season best of 143 feet, 4 inches while junior Tyler Hewitt (Fairfield, Pa./Fairfield Area) picked up his qualifier on a PR throw of 131 feet, 11 inches — his first collegiate discus throw beyond 40 meters.
On the track, junior Dominic Stroh paced four Raiders in the 1,500 meters with a sturdy time of 3:52.28 that helped him climb into the Top 5 in the PSAC performance list for the event. Sophomore Rob Moser and senior Alex Balla picked up PSAC cuts in the 10K with times of 31:36 and 32:02 respectively — giving the Raiders three qualified runners in the event.
Other performances of note include junior Matt Gross (Hummelstown, Pa./Trinity) picking up his PSAC qualifier in the 1,500 meters, running 4:03.81, while junior Connor Holm was close behind in 4:04.20. In the javelin, sophomore Tommy Haas threw 178 feet, 2 inches, while junior Jake Rohm had a top mark of 164 feet, 2 inches.