BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – Weather presented a challenge on Saturday, but the Bucknell track and field team battled through it, compiling 24 first-place finishes at the Maroon and Gold Invitational, hosted by Bloomsburg University at the school’s Robert B. Redman Stadium. The meet provided ample opportunities for the Bison to race quality opponents, helping to prepare them for the 2014 Patriot League Outdoor Championships, which will be held at Navy next weekend.

“The windy conditions were really tough on a lot of the different events, especially the oval events, but our student-athletes battled them bravely,” commented head coach Kevin Donner.

On the men’s side, eight different Bison claimed the top spot in track events, as did the 4x400 relay squad of freshman Jordan Jackson, freshman Jacob Ashkettle, sophomore Zachary Moon and freshman Andrew Wiener, which finished with a time of 3:37.28. Jackson was also victorious in an individual event, winning the 800m in 1:58.92. Senior Kamal Riley and Jacob Eaton Hall out-raced the competition in the sprint events, winning the 100m and 200m respectively, while sophomore Anthony Menza’s time of 51.15 in the 400m was good for the top spot. Freshman Louis Tobias (1500m) and sophomore Andrew Kuchta (5000m) earned wins in their respective distance events, while junior Christian Lupica (110m) and sophomore Grant Reynolds (400m) both hurdled to victory.

Three Bison men were also triumphant in field events on Saturday, led by junior Jack Fellows who won bath the shot put (52-10.25) and the discus (168-01). Senior Nathaniel Witter cleared 14-11.00 to take the top spot in the pole vault, while sophomore Pat Mulrooney’s toss of 175-10 won the javelin.

Sophomore Chrissy Haney was double winner for the women on the track, taking the top spot in both the 100m (15.27) and 400m (1:03.43) hurdles. Junior Justine Schnell won the 1500m with a time of 4:48.10 and sophomore Alison Billas also won an individual running event, finishing in 10:51.37 in the 3000m.

The freshman quartet of Allison Sharkey, Kimberly Lapszynski, Carly Reiner and Emilia Ricciuti won the 4x100m relay with a time of 50.39, and Sharkey joined classmates Reagan Cerney, Seline Tan Torres and Elyse Pettaway in the 4x400, taking a second relay win.

Sophomore Sophia Nnadi had a strong day in the field events, winning the shot put (45-06.50), the hammer (154-04) and the discus (153-06), while Reiner won the triple jump with a leap of 36-08.25. Sophomore Devon McDonald competed in the heptathlon on Thursday evening, winning the event with 3,776 points.

Bucknell will spend the week preparing to defend its Patriot League titles at the conference meet, which will be held on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 in Annapolis, Maryland.