Both the men and the women of the Shippensburg University track-and-field team returned to competition this weekend. It had been eight weeks since both squads had participated in a meet.
The women performed well, splitting their squad between the Penn State National Open and the Bison Open and Multi at Bucknell University. There were several impressive finishes for the Raiders, as they earned 18 times across both days of competition that qualified for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) standards.
Senior Tatiana Purcell stood tall among her opponents in the 60-metter hurdles, clinching second with arguably the best night of her collegiate career on Friday. She smashed her previous career best with a qualifying time of 9.13 seconds in the preliminary round, only to surpass that mark with a 9.03 time to earn second place.
In the distance runs, senior Jackie Kinkead led the charge with a third-place finish in the 5K. She had an impressive time of 18:17.54. The 200 meter was full of SU representation, with three Raiders claiming PSAC-qualifying times. Sophomore Ali Wyland led the way with a 26.37 finish for eighth, followed immediately by fellow sophomore Rachel Bruno with a PR of 26.38. Junior Zarria Williams was not far behind, finishing in 26.59 seconds.
Sophomore Ashley Kerr impressed in the field, grabbing a new PR in the weight throw with a top mark of 48 feet, 4 3/4 inches, on her first throw of the event. The throw put her into the Top 10 for the conference. Kerr followed up her PR in the weight with another PR in the shot put on Saturday. She once again reached the mark on her first throw of the day, reaching 41 feet, 4 1/2 inches, to move into the PSAC’s Top 5.
Kate Matrisciano — another promising sophomore — claimed fourth in the shot put on Friday from the Bison Open. Her top throw traveled 42 feet, 9 3/4 inches, for another PSAC qualifier.
Sophomore Bella Marchini had a great Saturday, capturing sixth in the mile with a PSAC-qualifying time of 5:27.51. She also took third in the 1,000 meters with a time of 3:12.77.
For the jumpers, seniors Kali Dawson and Olivia Lee posted top marks in the long jump and triple jump. Dawson had a PSAC-qualifying jump of 16 feet, 10 1/2 inches, in the long jump, while Lee captured fourth (34 feet, 11 3/4 inches) in the triple jump — another PSAC mark.
A strong weekend for the squad should set the tone for a productive season. The Raiders will be back in action on Saturday at the Susquehanna University Invitational.