To say last week was bloating with competition for the Shippensburg University men’s and women’s outdoor track-and-field teams is an understatement.
Spanning three days, the Raiders competed in three separate events.
Thursday and Friday, SU had a handful of athletes at Kutztown University’s Mondschein Multis. The mid-distance and distance runners also competed Friday at the Messiah Invitational. And to round out the week, the Raiders saw a bevy of success at the Ed Fry Invitational Sunday, held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).
Freshman Robert Lissner wasted no time in his multis debut, capturing first with 5,401 points in the men’s decathlon. Entering Friday, Lissner trailed fellow freshman Mason Boyd. However, Lissner garnered the upper hand with his skill in the pole vault, clearing 4.05 meters, just enough to eventually squeak by Boyd by a mere 20 points.
For the women, freshman Kayla Brooks and sophomore Carson Pennings snagged respective finishes of fourth and fifth place in the women’s heptathlon. Brooks used a 78-foot javelin throw to edge her teammate. Pennings recorded a solid effort in the long jump at 4.12 meters.
The men’s team shined Friday with three different Raiders reaching Top 2 spots in their respective events, on the way to a first-place nod of 50 points. Freshman Chayce Macknair – who continues to build off his monumental cross-country campaign – took his momentum to the track, claiming gold in the 10K and silver in the 1,500-meters.
Behind Macknair, freshman Drew Dailey also impressed, following a week which included Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week honors. Dailey’s time of 3:54.79 earned him first place in the 1,500 meters, besting Macknair by almost four seconds.
Freshmen Aiden Gonder and Hayden Hunt accounted as the other second-place owners, Gonder in the 5K and Hunt in the 10K.
On the women’s side–who rallied for a fifth-place finish of 20 points–sophomore Kyra Gerber continued her streak of Top 3 finishes on the season, pacing the track in 4:55.47 in the 1,500-meters to the tune of a third-place tally. Junior Bella Marchini was the other Raider to crack the Top 5, claiming fourth in the 5K.
Ed Fry Invitational
Freshman Leah Graybill refused to let up, continuing the torrid pace to her debut outdoor season. Graybill duplicated her success as she has done all year, taking the top spots in the 100 and 200-meters, navigating the track in 12.13 and 24.95. Graybill also contributed to the women’s 4x400 relay, clocking a time of 3:56.01, a two-second improvement from the group’s previous conference best.
Freshman Megan Kendall reached gold status with a time of 15.16 in the 100 hurdles. Throwing wise, junior Kate Matrisciano propelled herself to first in the shot put with a throw of 14.03 meters.
The men’s team also compiled a noteworthy Sunday showing as the throwing squad once again roped in multiple top placings.
Sophomore Josh Herbster hurled a 56.09-meter throw in the hammer. The throw not only crowned him first in the event, but it also surpassed teammate Pat Maloney’s conference-leading throw and charted as an NCAA-provisional qualifier.
Graduate Cam Strohe notched the other first-place throw in discus, reaching a whopping 49.25 meters.
Freshman Kenny Ryhne and sophomore Nate Reed leaped to the best measures in the long and high jump. Ryhne hit 1.95 meters in the high jump and Reed, 7.09 meters in the long jump.
For the runners, the grouping of Michael Lingard, Mo Whittle, Stephon Brown and Eric Kirk sprinted to a time of 42.09 in the 4x100 relay, good enough for first. Kirk also sported finishes of third (200-meters) and sixth (100-meters).
Graduate Charles Bowman Jr. and sophomore Josh Booth claimed second in the 110 and 400 hurdles, respectively.
After the rapid fire of events, SU has a lone meet on the schedule this week. The Raiders host the SU Midweek Invitational Wednesday at Seth Grove Stadium. Competition is set to begin at 3 p.m.