UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa./LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell track and field teams concluded competition in two different meets on Saturday, with part of the squad participating in the Penn State National Invitational at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track and the remainder of the Bison competing in the Bison Open at Gerhard Fieldhouse The squad produced a new school record, several ECAC/IC4A qualifying times and many personal best performances on Friday afternoon, and Saturday’s outing was just as successful, capping off a strong weekend of competition for the Bison.
“It was a pretty good weekend for our programs,” said head coach Kevin Donner. “The athletes who competed at Penn State got some experience against a higher level of competition, and those that remained at home were also up against great opponents. Our lineup for the Patriot League Championships is starting to round into shape, and we are ready for some big improvements over the next three weeks.”
Several Bison turned in impressive efforts in the invite events at Penn State, including junior Christian Lupica, sophomore John Westwood and junior Alex Jagelsky, all of whom qualified for IC4As with their performances. Lupica, who broke his own school record in the hurdles on Friday, finished fourth in the 200 with a time of 21.66, just shy of his own program mark in the event. Westwood and Jagelsky came in fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 1000. Both runners turned in times that rank them amongst the program’s top ten performers in the 1000, with Westwood’s 2:25.84 placing him fifth and Jagelsky’s 2:25.18 placing him seventh.
Both the men and women had 4x400 relays entered at Penn State, and each of the squads finished less than a second away from breaking onto the program’s top ten list. The women’s team of sophomore Jenn Silvestri, senior Jennifer Zymet, sophomore Jess Bridle and freshman Allison Sharkey finished 12th with a time of 3:53.31, while sophomore Anthony Menza, senior Jacob Eaton Hall, senior Dennis Logan and Ryan Johnson combined for a time of 3:19.25, finishing 10th on the men’s side and qualifying for IC4As.
The open events at Penn State also featured a slew of great performances from the Bucknell squads. Senior Emily Waksmunski and senior Chris Oesterlin both finished second in their respective 1000 races, with Waksmunski turning in a time of 2:59.09 and Oesterlin finished in 2:29.82. Junior Andrew Garcia-Garrison and senior Ray Holmes also qualified for IC4As in their events, as Garcia-Garrison took fourth in the mile, finishing in 4:12.81, and Holmes’ leap of 49-05.50 placed him seventh.
Junior Jack Fellows, who competed in the weight throw at the Penn State meet on Friday, had some of the most impressive results at the Bison Open, taking second in the shot put with a heave of 50-10.25 and winning the weight throw with a personal-best distance of 60-01.25. His winning throw improved upon Friday’s heave of 59-05.00, and made him the fifth all-time performer in the event in program history.
The women’s team also turned in new top-ten performances at the Bison Open, as sophomore Megan Kirk and freshman Carly Reiner each worked their way onto the list. Kirk tied for second in the meet in the high jump with a leap of 5-04.50, ranking her as the 10th best performer in the event in program history, while Reiner tied for fourth in the 60m dash with an 8.00 clocking, a time that makes her the eighth fastest Bucknell performer. In addition, freshman Grace Loh won the 1000 with a time of 3:07.78.
Bucknell will continue its preparation for the upcoming Patriot League Championships next weekend when it splits the team between two more competitions. Part of the squad will travel to the Akron Invitational, while the rest of the team will head to the Youngstown State Invitational. Both meets begin on Friday, Feb. 7 and continued through Saturday, Feb. 8.