April 6, 2004

Track Squads Earn Victories at Penn Invitational

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When the Red competed this past Sunday at the Penn Invitational, they had to battle more than just the opposing teams. Mother nature greeted the men and women with rain, wind, and cold. However those participating in field events were spared from the nasty weather by a bubble.

“Basically, we were lucky,” said captain Jason Hart. “Penn has an indoor training facility, called the bubble, where they hold the field events. It was nice being dry compared to the runners who had to deal with the wind and the rain.”

In the long jump, the Red took six out of the top eight places. Junior Ryan Schmidt led the way, winning the event with a jump of 6.89 meters. He was followed by teammates Hart and freshman Kunle Saliu completing the sweep of first, second, and third. The rout continued when sophomore Adam Farrell, senior Travis Offner, and sophomore Vito Spadifino captured fifth, six, and seventh places respectively. Despite this remarkable accomplishment, Hart was not surprised.

“Every year our field events tend to be really strong,” Hart said. “We have high finishers in the long jump, the triple jump, and pole vault. At [Indoor] Heps we finished one, two, and four in the long jump. This demonstrates the strength that we have.”

Offner, more renowned for his abilities in the pole vault, was a surprising entry. He ended up with a sixth-place finish in the event with a jump of 6.49 meters.

“Travis just penciled himself in for fun,” Hart said. “It didn’t seem like the level of competition was there at the meet. It obviously was not championship caliber, but to have that many good athletes who can come out like Travis from different events and do well, speaks well for our team.”

On the track, results were much the same. Senior Rahim Wooley won the 200-meter dash in 21.78 beating out teammate senior Mike Nanaszko. Nanaszko would be rewarded later when he won the 400-meter dash in a time 49.66. The 400-meter hurdles belonged to freshman Kolby Hoover. Hoover torched the rest of the competition winning by more than a half second. The 4×100 and 4×400 meter relay teams both had good days. The 4×100 team placed first while the 4×400 team finished second.

The Red women had similar success at Penn. Junior Kari Steed won the 400-meter dash in 58.22 beating her nearest challenger by more than a second. In the 100-meter hurdles, senior Hannah Garrity squeaked by Sherian Byam of Villanova to win the event. Senior Natalie Gingerich turned in a strong performance finishing second in the 1500-meter run.

In the field, sophomore Katie Regan cleared a height of 3.50 meters to win the pole vault. Freshman Sarah Wilfred finished second in the high jump, while classmate Danielle Dufresne finished fourth in the hammer with a toss of 45.26 meters. Sophomore Karen Synder and senior Ib Stanley placed fourth and fifth in the long jump respectively.

Archived article by James Rich
Sun Staff Writer