April 20, 2012
In the Herd: Bucknell Team Challenge Preview
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The season is starting to wind down and just two weeks ahead of the Patriot League Championships, Bucknell track and field will host its final home meet of the season. The Bucknell Team Challenge is slated for Saturday with a 9:30 a.m. start in the field events at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Before running events get underway, the Bison will recognize its veterans as part of Senior Day and the members of the 1981-82 cross country and track and field teams as part of their 30-year reunion.
Bucknell's current seniors have enjoyed great success throughout their careers. Across all cross country and track and field seasons, the men's and women's squads have combined for nine Patriot League Championships. The women's outdoor track and field team will be looking for its fourth consecutive league title on May 4-5. The Bison veterans have also combined for 48 All-Patriot League citations and 27 individual conference titles. Also included in that individual success is Robert Arent (New Providence, N.J./New Providence), the reigning two-time Patriot League Track Athlete of the Meet, and 2011 All-American Ted Heitzman (Elysburg, Pa./Southern Columbia).
The 1981-82 Bison will be back on campus to celebrate their 30-year reunion and will be recognized at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning following the Senior Day festivities. The 1981 men's cross country team went 13-0 in dual meets and finished first in the East Coast Conference, third in the IC4A and 20th at the NCAA Championships. The women's squad placed seventh in the EAIAW. In indoor track, the men won their first of nine consecutive ECC titles, while in outdoor track Bill Reifsnyder placed 19th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Championships. Lonnie Fertik was named an All-American in the heptathlon as well.
- After such a successful indoor season, it should come as no surprise that Christian Lupica (Newtown, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) is doing as well as he is this spring. At last weekend's Bison Outdoor Classic, the freshman ran 55.08 seconds in the 400 hurdles, giving him the ninth-fastest time in Bucknell history. In the last two meets, Lupica has set program top-10 marks in three events, the 400 hurdles, 110 hurdles (fourth) and the 200 meters (ninth).
- Lupica's hurdler Arent posted an IC4A-qualifying time in the 400 hurdles for the third time in as many races last weekend. At the Outdoor Classic, the senior ran 53.02 seconds for third place.
- Justin Hicks (Wilmington, Del./Tower Hill School) appears to be getting back in the kind of shape that earned him Track Athlete of the Meet honors at the Patriot League indoor championships. The junior ran a season-best 10.84 in the 100 meters last weekend to place fifth overall and punch his ticket for the IC4A Championships.
- On the women's side, Sasha Hornock (Dover, Pa./Dover) also earned her share of success in the 100. The junior crossed the line in 12.31 seconds, just beating her previous career best and clocking the seventh-fastest time in program history. The race was also the fastest by a Bison since Tolu Fayanjuola ran 12.12 in 2004.
- The Bucknell women really made their mark in the middle distances last weekend. Beth Braunegg (Williamsport, Pa./Loyalsock Twp.) ran a pair of season bests in both the 800 meters (2:14.36) and the 1,500 (4:35.93), beating her previous bests by at least two seconds. Despite the performances, the sophomore was overshadowed by classmate Hana Casalnova (Grove City, Pa./Grove City), who ran the best times of her career in the same events. Casalnova's 4:31.14 in the 1,500 ranks fourth all-time at Bucknell, while her 2:10.95 in the 800 is third. Her name is now inked on the program top-10 lists seven times, tying her with Stephanie Fulmer (Pottstown, Pa./St. Pius X) and Caroline Tolli (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) for the most top-10 marks by a current Bison.
- Emily Liggett (Grosse Pointe, Mich./The Lawrenceville School (N.J.)) added her own name to yet another program record list. The senior entered the Outdoor Classic unranked at Bucknell in the 5,000. She left the meet with the third-fastest time in history after crossing the line in 17:05.91. Her previous career best had been 17:47.63 at the 2011 Patriot League Championships.
- The 800 meters was a high point for more than just the Bison women as Jordan Donaldson (Saxton, Pa./Tussey Mountain) represented the men's squad with a fifth-place finish in the event. His time of 1:50.96 was more than two seconds faster than his finish at the Colonial Relays a week earlier. It is also the fourth-fastest time at Bucknell and earned him his first IC4A-qualifying mark of the season.
- Leonard Joseph (Whitesboro, N.Y./Clinton) gave Bucknell a Patriot League award for a third consecutive week when he was named the top field athlete. The junior was second overall but first among collegiate competitors in the hammer throw at the Outdoor Classic. His mark of 200 feet, 1 inch makes him just the fourth Bison in history to surpass the 200-foot mark. Joseph was also ninth in the discus last week.
- With the success and accolades of some of his other teammates, Luke Webster (Pataskala, Ohio/Newark Catholic) often gets overlooked, but the junior is doing his best to rectify that. With a discus throw of 166-9 last weekend, the reigning Patriot League champion now ranks third all-time at Bucknell. He trails only J. Michael Dakan, who set the school record at 169-0 in 1978, and Shawn Matthews' 166-11, set in 2000.
- Rebecca Misko (Morristown, N.J./Madison) punched her ticket for the ECAC Championships in the discus last weekend with a throw of 142-1. She joins fellow qualifier Abby Monaghan (La Plata, Md./La Plata). Monaghan first earned a trip to ECACs in the discus at the Colonial Relays with a career-best and winning 146-9. She also reached the qualifying standard at the Outdoor Classic at 145-0.
- Tayler Siegrist (Madison, N.J./Madison) cracked the 140-foot barrier for the first time this season last weekend. The junior and former NCAA Regional qualifier was third at the Outdoor Classic with a throw of 141-8. With her bronze medal at the meet, she also earned her second top-three finish in three meets this season.
- Bucknell's pole vaulters were soaring high, literally and figuratively, at the Outdoor Classic. Daniel Markwalter (Vienna, Va./Thomas Jefferson S&T), Emily Ando (Weston, Conn./Weston) and Autumn Schllenberger (Bethel, Ohio/Bethel Tate) all cleared career bests and moved up the program record lists. Markwalter's 15-9 now ties him for fourth in Bucknell history, while Ando's 11-7 ¾ is fifth and Schellenberger's 11-1 ¾ is tied for sixth. It was the first time in Schellenberger's career that the sophomore had cleared 11 feet.
- Ray Holmes (Campbell, N.Y./Campbell-Savona Central) made one of the biggest meet-to-meet improvements of the season in the triple jump. At the Colonial Relays two weeks ago, the sophomore recorded a then-career-best 46-8 ¾, giving him the ninth-best mark in program history. Last week at the Outdoor Classic, he broke out for a jump of 48-8, moving him up to third in the record books. His latest mark makes him the best of the Bison under 50 feet. The only Bucknellians with better marks are Bill Gravely with his school-record 50-11 ¾ from 1976 and Kyle Anthony's 50-6 ¼ in 2010.
- Like Holmes, Alexandra Romanelli (Galloway, N.J./Absegami) must have had a hearty breakfast before her triple jump competition. The junior cleared 36 feet for the first time this season and did so in a big way. Romanelli broke into the program's all-time top-10 with a mark of 38-0 ¼.
The Patriot League Championships are still two weeks away, but that does not mean the Bison won't have some major competition until then. Bucknell will send select members of the squad to the historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia April 26-28. The team will also make an appearance at Bloomsburg's Maroon and Gold Invitational on April 28.