Shippensburg Uiversity’s indoor track-and-field team kicked off its season at the Bison Opener at Bucknell University, with the Raiders picking up eight event wins and nine members reaching NCAA provisional qualifying marks.
Freshman Lavar Jackson was the main star of the event for Shippensburg, setting a school record in the 200-meter dash at 21.57 seconds, beating the previous record by nearly a quarter of a second in his collegiate debut. He also won the 60-meter dash earlier in the day, with a time that is now second in Shippensburg history, with both performances provisionally qualifying him for NCAA nationals.
Freshman Gian Greggo joined Jackson as an event winner in his collegiate debut, as his score of 56 feet, 9.5 inches in the indoor shot put not only gave him the win, but was good enough to provisionally qualify him for nationals. Greggo’s throw was the third best in SU history and a very impressive mark in his first meet.
The Raiders swept the top two spots in the men’s heptathlon, with junior Mason Boyd placing top three in all seven events to win with 5,020 points. Junior Robert Lissner placed a close second, winning the pole vault on his way to a score of 4,839 points. Both scores were good enough to provisionally qualify for nationals.
Shippensburg won three more events in men’s track, with freshman Jak Kearney winning the 400-meter dash at 49.64 seconds in his first meet as a Raider. Kearney was also part of the men’s 4x4 relay team that took first place, as he, junior Travis Bigham, junior Travis Hrabosky II and senior Eric Kirk put up a time of 3:23.75, holding on to win by a tenth of a second.
Sophomore Chase Hensinger won the men’s 800-meter dash at a time of 1:57.44, good enough to qualify for the PSAC championships. Junior Mo Whittle placed second in the long jump, but his score of 23 feet 11 inches was enough to provisionally qualify for nationals.
Senior Leah Graybill impressed on the women’s side, winning the 200-meter dash at 24.51 seconds, a time good enough to provisionally qualify for nationals. Her preliminary time of 7.62 seconds in the 60-meter dash also provisionally qualified her for that event as well.
The only other event winner on the women’s team was junior Sara McKean, who picked up a victory in long jump with a provisionally qualifying distance of 19 feet, 4.25 inches. Junior Sasha Lee also provisionally qualified for nationals in two events, placing third in 60-meter hurdles with an 8.83-second time and placing second in triple jump with a distance of 39 feet, 1 inch. Both of Lee’s results placed fourth in Shippensburg history for their respective events.
The teams will be back in action next Saturday, traveling to Lehigh University for the Fast Times Invitational, with events starting at 10 a.m.