Bucknell's Joseph Defends Hammer Throw Title, 4x800 Sets School Record at PL Track & Field Championships
May 4, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. - Leonard Joseph (Whitesboro, N.Y./Clinton) won his second consecutive gold in the hammer throw and Andrew Powell (Charlton, Mass./St. John's) moved into first place half way through the decathlon as Bucknell men's track and field began its bid for a three-pete at the Patriot League Championships in Worcester, Mass., on Friday. The 4x800 relay also set a program record with a time of 7:30.63. Through six events, the Bison are in third place in the team standings but just 14 points behind first-place Navy.
Joseph successfully defended his title in the hammer throw with a career-best mark of 206 feet, 3 inches. The junior is now second all-time in program history and just three feet off James Heizman's 1996 school record (209-3). Joseph, who was the only thrower on Friday to break the 200-foot barrier, won the hammer last spring as well with a mark of 187-10.
Also scoring in the hammer throw was Tom Barr (Ambler, Pa./La Salle College HS) in fourth with a throw of 179-8.
Although it was unable to claim gold, the 4x800 relay ran as well as could be expected as it broke the Bucknell record by just over one second with a time of 7:30.63. The previous record was set in 1982 and then matched in 1983 by Dave White, Mike Jackson, Mark Hulme and Mike Geraghty. Three of those four runners are now members of the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame.
On Friday, the Bison 4x800 relay placed third behind Army (7:27.65) and Navy (7:27.87), who both broke the Patriot League Championship record.
There is still much to be decided in the decathlon with only five of the 10 events in the books, but Powell is doing his best to reclaim his spot atop the podium. The senior, who in 2010 became Bucknell's first-ever decathlon champion, moved into the lead on Friday with 3,482 points. It wasn't until the final event of the day - the 400 meters - that he pulled in front. Powell's lead over Lehigh's Alexander Maurer is 20 points.
The decathlon will kick off Saturday's action at 10:15 a.m., opening with the 110-meter hurdles.
While Powell will continue tomorrow, Laddie Trees (Washington, D.C./Deerfield Academy (Mass.)) wrapped up his championship meet with a third-place showing in the javelin. The freshman posted a mark of 192-7.
D.J. Krystek (Pitcairn, Pa./Gateway Senior) placed sixth in the 10,000 meters with a career-best time of 30:49.32. The junior had a tough order to fill in the event as the field was the fastest in Patriot League history. The first- through fifth-place finishers all crossed the line under the previous league record.
Continuing on to finals on Saturday will be a trio of hurdlers and two sprinters. Robert Arent (New Providence, N.J./New Providence), Christian Lupica (Newtown, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) and Dan Mularz (Englishtown, N.J./Freehold Township) also advanced in the 110-meter hurdles with Arent leading the way in 14.53 seconds.
Justin Hicks (Wilmington, Del./Tower Hill School) became the man to beat in the 100 meters after setting the prelims' best time of 10.93 seconds. He will be joined in tomorrow's 1:45 p.m. final by teammate Kamal Riley (Hyde Park, Mass./Charlestown), who is currently seeded third at 10.99 seconds. Hicks also advanced to the 200-meter final with a time of 22.21 seconds.
Bucknell is looking for its third consecutive outdoor title and its first indoor-outdoor championship sweep since 1991. To achieve that, the Bison must make up some ground on Saturday. Navy leads in the team standings with 56 points, while Army is 49. Bucknell is third with 32 points. Lehigh (18 points), Colgate (10), Lafayette (8), American (6) and Holy Cross (6) made up the bottom half of the standings after six events were scored.