The Shippensburg University men’s and women’s outdoor track-and-field teams were another set of sports to have its 2020 campaign succumb to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Following that cancellation, both teams lost their 2020-21 indoor season — where the Raiders flourish — this winter.
However, this spring, the Raiders will get their opportunity to make up for lost time at the Seth Grove Stadium track.
Head coach Dave Osanitsch takes the reigns for his 16th season with SU and his 22nd overall as a track-and-field coach at the collegiate level. Under the direction of Osanitsch, the Raiders own 40 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships (21 outdoors, 19 indoors), with the remainder of the conference combining for 16 titles during his tenure.
Both teams open their season with the West Chester Pentagonal and the Lock Haven Invite Saturday.
For the men’s team, the roster features 25 freshman, 12 sophomores, four juniors and three graduate students.
Heading the men’s roster is graduate student Charles Bowman Jr. Bowman, the 2019 Men’s PSAC Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and 2019 PSAC Outdoor Champions Most Valuable Athlete, holds the school record for outdoor 110-meter hurdles (14.23, 13.96w). He also boasts two indoor 60-meter hurdle records, one a school record and the other a conference record.
Leading the jumps for the men is redshirt-sophomore Shamar Jenkins. In 2019, Jenkins was named PSAC Men’s Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year, along with 2019 PSAC Indoor Championships Outstanding Field Athlete honors. Additionally, he is a two-time NCAA qualifier and a one-time All-America Second Team honoree.
Freshman Drew Dailey leads the mid-distance crew, after earning 2020 PSAC Men’s Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year honors. In his debut season, Dailey notched first-place finishes in the 800-meter, the mile and the 4x8.
Graduate student Cam Strohe remains the most prominent thrower. Strohe ranks as a six-time U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region athlete, a 12-time PSAC placewinner and a two-time PSAC champion.
The men’s team saw a first-, third- and fourth-place finish at the 2019 PSAC Championships, the team’s last outdoor appearance.
Jumping to the women’s team, the Raiders bring 30 freshman, 12 sophomores, six juniors and two seniors to their 2021 campaign.
Senior sprinter/jumper Zarria Williams leads the pack, entering her fourth outdoor season (second with SU, two with Ohio Christian University) with a slew of accolades to her name. With most of her success coming in jump events, Williams is a two-time PSAC champion, an 11-time River States Conference (RSC) champion and a three-time NCAA qualifier.
For sprints, freshman Leah Graybill is hoping to duplicate her success from her 2020 indoor season in which she earned 2020 PSAC Women’s Track and Field Freshman of the Year honors. On top of that, she shattered two school records (the indoor 60-meters and 200-meters) with times of 7.67 and 24.76 (25.14 flat).
Representing the mid-distance group is junior Bella Marchini. Seeing her most success on the outdoor circuit, Marchini sports sixth- and seventh-place finishes in the 1,500-meters and a fifth-place tally in the 5K in her PSAC Championships career.
Junior Kate Matrisciano leads her respective squad of throwers. Matrisciano enters her second year with the Raiders (third overall collegiately), having already been a three-time PSAC placewinner as well as a three-time Northeast Conference (NEC) placewinner in her tenure at Sacred Heart University.
The women’s team concluded its 2019 Outdoor PSAC Championships run with third-, fourth- and sixth-place marks.
Editor’s note: With the 2020 season ending abruptly, the NCAA granted all spring sport athletes with another year of eligibility. It is not counted as a redshirt season.