ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Competition in the 2014 Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships began at the Naval Academy’s Ingram Field on Friday, with points being awarded in the pole vault, long jump, hammer, javelin, 10,000m and 4x800m relay. The Bucknell men’s track and field team scored in all six of the events, with senior Ray Holmes turning in the top finish of the day, winning the long jump and earning first team All-Patriot League status.

The Bison sit in second place in the team standings through the first six events, having compiled 41 points, but things are sure to change drastically on Saturday, as there are 16 finals on the docket for the final day of the meet. Navy currently leads the pack with 81 points, while Lehigh rounds out the top three with 32 points.

“Our top guys had great days,” said head coach Kevin Donner, “but a few of our depth guys struggled and we came up slightly short of where we predicted we would be after day one. Navy had a nice day and we will be coming out hard tomorrow to try and make up some ground.”

The Bison earned valuable points in all four of the field events contested, highlighted by Holmes’ win in the long jump. The senior turned in a mark of 23-04.50 to score ten points, qualifying for IC4As and becoming the ninth-best performer in the event in program history. Junior Laddie Trees added another All-Patriot League honor to Bucknell’s tally with a toss of 223-04, the fifth-best distance in school history, in the javelin, finishing second and qualifying for IC4A Championships.

Senior Nathaniel Witter was highly impressive in the pole vault, clearing 16-02.75 to finish third. Witter’s mark qualified him for IC4As and was just a quarter of an inch off of the school record in the event, making him the second-best performer in school history. Junior Jack Fellows rounded out the scoring in the field events with his fifth-place finish in the hammer throw, producing an IC4A-qualifying toss of 181-09 to become the ninth-best performer in the event in program history.

Event finals were only conducted in two track events on Friday, the 10,000m and the 4x800m relay. Junior Michael McGowan placed third in the distance event with a time of 31:44.96, and Bucknell also turned in one of the strongest performances a Bison squad has ever produced in the 4x800 relay. The squad of sophomore John Westwood, senior Dennis Logan, junior Andrew Garcia-Garrison and sophomore Ryan Johnson combined for an IC4A-qualifying time of 7:31.48, a performance that was the second-best ever turned in by a Bucknell team, finishing third.

Several Bison also competed in the preliminary heats of their events on Friday, and five of them advanced to the event finals on Saturday. Seniors Kamal Riley (10.81), Jacob Eaton Hall (10.88) and Patryk Najbar (11.12) will all race in the finals of the 100m dash, and Najbar also ran his way into the fourth-seed in the finals of the 200m with a time of 22.05. Junior Christian Lupica and sophomore Grant Reynolds also advanced in the 110m hurdles, earning the first and third seed, respectively. Lupica’s time of 13.99 was just three one-hundredths off his school record in the event and set a new facility record, while Reynolds’ mark of 14.73 made him the eighth-fastest performer in program history.  

The Patriot League Championships will conclude on Saturday with event finals in the discus, shot put, high jump, triple jump, 3000m steeplechase, 1500m, 100m hurdles, 400m, 100m, 800m, 400m hurdles, 200m, 5000m, 4x100, 4x400 and the final three events of the heptathlon. Action at Ingram Field is set to begin at 9:00 a.m., and the team champions will be crowned in an awards ceremony at 5 p.m.

TEAM STANDINGS (through six events)
1. Navy - 82
2. Bucknell - 41
3. Lehigh – 32
4. Boston University – 27
5. Army – 26
6. American – 9
7. Holy Cross – 7
8. Lafayette – 5
9. Colgate – 4

Eric Balaban
- 13th in 10,000 (34:09.95)
Malachi Bostic-Wattley
- 15th in prelims of 100 (11.28)
- 17th in prelims of 200 (22.67)
Ben Burgess
- Decathlon (5th in 100: 11.98, 5th in long jump: 20-09.25, 11th in shot put: 32-02.75, 7th in high jump: 5-09.25, 5th in 400: 52.66)
Jacob Eaton Hall
- 5th in prelims of 100 (10.88)
- 9th in prelims of 200 (22.16)
Jack Fellows
- 5th in hammer throw (181-09), 9th all-time, IC4A
Cody Haupt
- Decathlon (10th in 100: 12.37, 12th in long jump: 17-01.25, 10th in shot put: 32-06.50aa, 9th in high jump5-07.00, 6th in 400: 53.51)
Ray Holmes
- 1st in long jump (23-04.50), 9th all-time, IC4A
Andrew Kuchta
- 12th in 10,000 (34:06.12)
Christian Lupica
- 1st in 110 hurdles (13.99), IC4A, facility record
Michael McGowan
- ­3rd in 10,000 (31:44.96)
Brian Monahan
- foul in hammer throw
Pat Mulrooney
- 8th in javelin (186-06)
Patryk Najbar
- 6th in prelims of 100 (11.12)
- 4th in prelims of 200 (22.05)
Alex Prieto
- 13th in long jump (21-01.50)
Brandon Reynolds
- 10th in hammer throw (155-06)
Grant Reynolds
- 3rd in prelims of 100 hurdles (14.73), 8th all-time, IC4A
Kamal Riley
- 4th in prelims of 100 (10.81), IC4A
- 11th in prelims of 200 (22.21)
Kevin Tapper
- 11th in long jump (21-08.75)
Laddie Trees
- 2nd in javelin (223-04), 5th all-time, IC4A
Scott Weismiller
- 9th in pole vault (15-03.00)
Nathaniel Witter
- 3rd in pole vault (16-02.75), 2nd all-time, IC4A
4x800 relay
- John Westwood, Dennis Logan, Andrew Garcia-Garrison, Ryan Johnson – 3rd (7:31.48), 2nd all-time, IC4A