It was a tournament to remember for the members of the Shippensburg University indoor trackand-field team who made the trip to Kansas’ Pittsburg State University for the NCAA Division II championships the weekend of March 8 and 9.
Junior Zarria Williams, redshirt-senior Abby Wagner, redshirt-junior Charles Bowman and redshirt-freshman Shamar Jenkins all finished in the Top 12 in their respective events to each earn All-American honors.
Williams took ninth in the long jump for the Raiders, with a top mark of 19 feet flat in her first attempt of the finals. She did well right from the start, beginning with a strong jump of 18 feet, 10 1/2 inches, to kick off her weekend.
Williams’ performance earned her a spot on the All-American Second Team, becoming SU’s second women’s indoor athlete to claim the honor in the long jump, following alumna Sarah Hunt in 2017.
Teammate Wagner followed up Williams’ big day with one of her own the next day, as she went on to break her own recent school record in the triple jump.
Fresh off a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) victory and meet-record performance, Wagner took sixth in the event, grabbing a PR on her top mark of 41 feet, 3 inches.
Wagner had gotten close on several occasions to breaking the 41-foot mark this season, but never could break the threshold. Her season-best sat at 40 feet, 10 1/2 inches.
Going into the championships, she said that finally reaching the mark was one of her main goals, and she crushed it. She broke 41 feet not once, but twice, reaching 41 feet, 1 1/2 inches, on her second jump of the preliminary round before hitting 41 feet, 3 inches, on her next attempt.
Talking about Wagner’s performance, Coach David Osanitsch said, “Abby was confident and came into the meet with the right attitude for success. The field was extremely competitive and she fought hard to be on the podium. I could not be more proud of the way she finished out her indoor career.”
It is a new lifetime best for Wagner and a new school record in the triple jump. Her showing placed her on the All-America First Team — the first Raider to do so in the triple jump.
Jenkins started out the competition for the Raider men in the triple jump, placing 12th with a top jump of 48 feet, 2 3/4 inches. The top mark came on his final attempt of the event, earning his final spot.
His performance was good enough to earn a spot on the All-America Second Team, following a strong showing at the PSAC Championships in which he was named the competition’s Outstanding Field Athlete and earned his PR.
Bowman rounded out an impressive weekend for SU, joining Wagner in the school-record club, breaking his own record in the 60-meter hurdles at the championships.
Bowman became one of only a handful of athletes in PSAC history to break the eight-second mark, claiming a top time of 7.95 seconds to place fourth overall.
Osanitsch was extremely proud of Bowman’s performance.
“Charles came in the 14th seed to the meet and absolutely was ready to go,” Osanitsch said. “He had a pre-race routine and he stuck to it perfectly. He was ready physically and mentally. The final was one of the most exciting races of the meet.”
He started out with a strong time of 8.03 seconds, improving his PR right from the beginning by .02 seconds to move into the finals. Bowman then capped off his competition with his 7.95-second performance. He was also named to the All-America First Team to put an exclamation mark on an impressive debut season for the Raiders.
The indoor season is now closed, and the outdoor season will kick off next week.