Bison Men's Track & Field Wins Third Consecutive Patriot League Title Behind Performances from Double-Winner Arent, Powell
May 5, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. - With a third consecutive Patriot League Outdoor Track & Field Championship title on the line, Bucknell's Andrew Powell (Charlton, Mass./St. John's) clinched the team victory in the final event of the meet with a record-breaking performance in the decathlon. Powell set the new program and Patriot League standards in the multi event, helping the Bison clinched a 14-point win over second-place Navy in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday. Also putting together a stellar outing for Bucknell was Robert Arent (New Providence, N.J./New Providence), who won the 110- and 400-meter hurdles on the way to tying the program record for most career conference titles.
With Arent's win and fifth- and sixth-place finishes from Dan Mularz (Englishtown, N.J./Freehold Township) and Christian Lupica (Newtown, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) in the 400 hurdles, Bucknell moved to the front of the team standings for the first time in the meet. The trio's 13 points gave the Bison a 12-point advantage over Army, 140-128, but Navy was lurking close by with 126.
Arent's win in the 400 hurdles, by a time of 53.08 seconds, was momentous in more ways than one. It was the second title-winning performance of the meet for the senior, who now has six conference victories in his career. That ties him with Noel Powell and Bucknell Hall of Famers Mike Geraghty and Thomas MacLean for the most in program history. It was also his third consecutive win in the event.
Navy and Army swapped positions in the team standings, and Bucknell's lead got even narrower in the next few events. After the discus, in which Luke Webster (Pataskala, Ohio/Newark Catholic), Tom Barr (Ambler, Pa./La Salle College HS) and Leonard Joseph (Whitesboro, N.Y./Clinton) went 3-4-5, the Bison had a slim seven-point advantage over the Mids. After the 4x400 relay, the lead was down to just three points, 156-153.
Unlike in most meets when the 4x400 signals the end of competition, the decathlon turned out to be the grand finale this year, particularly for the Bison. After taking the lead in the decathlon at the end of Friday's action, Powell maintained his position at the top of the standings throughout Saturday. At the close of the javelin and the 1,500 meters, Powell had earned 6,667 points to set the Patriot League Championship record and break his own school record by 115 points.
Powell, who became Bucknell's first-ever decathlon champion in 2010, became just the fourth Patriot League athlete to win titles in both the heptathlon indoors and the decathlon in the same year. The senior also set the school records in both multi events this year.
Ten points from Powell, and one more from Sam Brandstadt (Utica, N.Y./Whitesboro) who moved into sixth down the stretch and bumped the Navy competitor out of scoring contention, put the final touch on Bucknell's third consecutive Patriot League Championship. The Bison totaled 167 points, followed by Navy with 153 and Army with 149. Rounding out the standings were Lehigh (98 points), Lafayette (72), Colgate (20), American (12) and Holy Cross (10).
"This is a very gratifying victory for our men's program," said Kevin Donner, who was named the Coach of the Year for the third straight season following the meet. "There were injuries that really affected our guys over the past few weeks, but we were able to work through. We had to adjust our lineup accordingly and everyone really stepped up. Navy hit us hard in a few early events today and our guys never panicked."
By not panicking, Bucknell complete the indoor-outdoor sweep of the Patriot League titles for the first time since 1991.
Arent's success extended far beyond his win in the 400 hurdles. Earlier in the day, he earned his first career title in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.39 seconds. Lupica followed in second with a career-best 14.45 and Mularz was sixth in 15.13 to give Bucknell three scorers in each of the hurdle races on Saturday.
In the 400 meters, Arent placed second, ending his two-year reign as Patriot League champion in the long sprint. He later anchored the 4x400 relay, which also included Kevin Tapper (Eldridge, Md./Calvert Hall), Justin Hicks (Wilmington, Del./Tower Hill School) and Jacob Eaton Hall (Elmira, N.Y./Elmira Free Academy), that placed fourth in 3:14.58. The time ranks fourth in program history.
Three Bison defended their Patriot League titles from a year ago, and one of them was Jordan Donaldson (Saxton, Pa./Tussey Mountain) in the 800 meters. The senior won the event in 1:50.52, which is also the fourth-fastest time in Bucknell history.
Depth in the sprints gave Bucknell a boost as well. Hicks placed second in the 100 meters (10.78) and third in the 200 (21.77), while Kamal Riley (Hyde Park, Mass./Charlestown) was third in the 100 (10.82). Lupica, Eaton-Hall, Riley and Hicks also teamed up for a second-place finish in the 4x100. With a time of 41.44 seconds, they now rank fourth in program history.
In the field events, Stephen Koullias (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing) made quite the splash in his Patriot League debut. The junior earned his first all-league citation by placing second in the shot put with a career-best throw of 52 feet, 7 ¼ inches. The distance moves him up two spots to fourth in the program history books. Quinten Marcott (Wayland, Mich./Wayland) was fourth in the shot (51-3 ½), while Barr was fifth (50-3 ¼).
Jason Brown (Plainville, Mass./Bishop Feehan) was fourth in the high jump after clearing 6-8 ¼. The height ties him for fourth in the Bucknell record books as well. Ray Holmes (Campbell, N.Y./Campbell-Savona Central) and Alex Prieto (Princeton Junction, N.J./West Windsor Plainsboro South) placed third and fourth, respectively, in the triple jump. Prieto's 47-1 was a career best.
Bucknell will return to the track next week for the IC4A Championships. The meet is set for May 11-13 in Princeton, N.J.