Men's Track & Field Sails Past Competition at Bucknell Team Challenge
April 21, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - One dozen individual wins and more than a few top-five finishes propelled Bison men's track and field to a team victory at the Bucknell Team Challenge at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on Saturday. With 292.5 points, the Bison more than doubled the score of Penn State, their closest competitor in the overall standings. Among the highlights was a second-place finish by Luke Webster, who came within six inches of the school record in the discus.
"Both teams really competed well today and both seem to be jelling at the right time," said head coach Kevin Donner of his men's and women's squads. "I asked for some athletes to put the coaches in a tough situation regarding selecting a 32-person Patriot League team, and many did so. When we have 36 to 38 people who are potential Patriot League athletes, it means we will be very good in two weeks (at the league meet)."
Although he was not among the winners, Webster continued his climb in the discus. The junior threw a career-best 168 feet, 6 inches, nearly two feet better than his previous personal record set a week ago, to place second both in the meet and in the program record books. Webster is now just six inches behind the school record of 169-0 set by J. Michael Dakan in 1978.
Tom Barr also hit a high point in the discus with a throw of 162-3. It was the first time in his career he had broken the 160-foot barrier, and it moved him from ninth in the Bucknell record books to fifth. Barr registered a career best in the hammer throw (182-11) as well but was topped by teammate Leonard Joseph, who won with a throw of 204-5. Joseph is now third in the record books with his throw on Saturday and is less than five feet shy of the school record set at 209-3 by James Heizman in 1996.
Bucknell also collected field event wins in the high jump, pole vault and long jump. Jason Brown cleared 6-6 ¾ for the high jump victory, just beating out teammate Andrew Powell, who cleared the same height. Nathaniel Witter was the pole vault champion with a career-best height of 15-3, which ties him for sixth all-time at Bucknell. Alex Prieto led a trio of Bison in the long jump. His 22-7 and success in the jump-off gave him the win over fellow Bucknellian Kevin Keller, also at 22-7. Powell was third at 21-9.
Not to be outdone, Bucknell's runners earned their fair share of points as well. The 110-meter hurdles were dominated by Bison as Christian Lupica, Robert Arent, Dan Mularz and Powell took four of the top five spots. Lupica walked away with gold in the event, clocking in at 14.70 seconds. Arent, who was second in the hurdles, earned his own spot at the top of the podium later in the day with a win in the 400 meters (48.46).
The 100 meters turned out to be another strong point for the Bison as four of the top five spots also went to the Orange and Blue. Justin Hicks and Kamal Riley went 1-2, while Patryk Najbar and Greg Barbier were fourth and fifth, respectively. Hicks later placed second in the 200 meters as well.
At the slightly longer distances, Jordan Donaldson won the 800 meters in 1:52.27. Just behind him was Alex Jagelsky, who with a time of 1:52.60 placed second in the race and debuted on the program top-10 list at No. 9. The 4x800 relay was also a winner in 7:56.90, while Dave Brown was the first to cross the finish line in the 3,000 meters (8:31.69).
Wins combined with overall depth for the Bison gave them the convincing final lead in the overall team standings. Bucknell finished with 292.5 points, while second-place Penn State finished with 104. Duquesne and Lock Haven tied for a distant third with 50 points apiece.
Bucknell will split squads next April 26-28, its final weekend before the Patriot League Championships. A select group of Bison will head to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays Thursday through Saturday. Bucknell will also compete at Bloomsburg's Maroon & Gold Invitational on April 27. The Patriot League meet is set for May 4-5 in Worcester, Mass.