LEWISBURG, Pa. - Two weeks after sweeping the Patriot League Championships, Bucknell track and field will try to keep its postseason success going with a trip to the ECAC and IC4A Championships May 14-16 in Princeton, N.J. Competition at Princeton's William Weaver Track & Field Stadium begins with the multi events at 1 p.m. on Friday. Saturday's action begins at 9 a.m., while Sunday gets underway at 10 a.m. The Bison will be active throughout the weekend, as they are sending 31 athletes - 19 men and 12 women - to compete in 21 events.
Bucknell is coming off one of the highest points in program history, having won its first Patriot League men's title since 1991. The Bison did it in dramatic fashion as well, winning by a mere three points over second-place Army after taking silver in the 4x400 relay. That proved to be the closest finish ever at the Patriot League Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The 1991 and 2007 titles, which previously were the tightest contests, were decided by 18 points.
While the championship title was an all-around effort, Robert Arent (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) certainly put his stamp on the meet. The sophomore was named the Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet after winning the 400 meter dash and the 400 hurdles, anchoring the second-place 4x400 relay and placing third in the 110 hurdles. Arent also recorded five IC4A-qualifying marks and four Bucknell top-10 times at the meet.
Kyle Anthony (Barryville, N.Y./Eldred Central) was not about to let his younger teammate get away with all the accolades. The senior was named the Outstanding Field Athlete of the Meet for the first time in his career after winning the triple jump and long jump.
To claim his triple jump victory at the Patriot League Championships, Anthony became just the second Bison all-time to clear 50 feet. Anthony posted the second-best jump ever at Bucknell with a distance of 50 feet, 6 ¼ inches.
Eleven Bison earned All-Patriot League honors following the championships. Three of those student-athletes, including Anthony, Arent and Andrew Powell (Charlton, Mass./St. John's), earned recognition more than once.
Powell became Bucknell's first ever decathlon champion, collecting a team championships and an all-league selection in his second sport this year. The sophomore was a Second Team All-Patriot League pick on Bucknell's title-winning men's soccer team in the fall.
Bucknell made quite an appearance on its new javelin runway at the Patriot League Championships, finishing first and second. Steven Pierce (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) won the event with the best throw of his career (225-1), while Ted Heitzman (Elysburg, Pa./Southern Columbia) was second, also with a career-best mark (218-6).
With the end of the season quickly approaching, Bucknell finds itself ranked fifth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Region poll. The Bison started the year ranked 10th and have steadily moved up the rankings ever since.
Helping Bucknell to its team ranking in the USTFCCCA's regional poll are javelin specialists Pierce and Heitzman. Pierce is ranked first and Heitzman is second in the Mid-Atlantic. Others placing in the top 10 include Anthony (triple jump, long jump), Isaih Bell (Stone Mountain, Ga./Clarkston) (100m, long jump), Andrew Yehl (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown) (110HH), Arent, (110HH, 400H), Andrew Huebner (Hampton Falls, N.H./Governor Dummer Academy) (3000SC), Powell (decathlon) and Thomas Vogler (Oneonta, N.Y./Oneonta) (decathlon).
Due to changes in the NCAA qualifying system, a strong ranking in the East Region is key for Bucknell to extend its season. Beginning this spring, there is no longer a single standard that earns athletes an automatic trip to the championship meet. Instead, the Bison will have to hold a position in the top 48 in the region to qualify for the preliminary rounds May 28-29 in Greensboro, N.C. Included on the list of candidates most likely to compete in the NCAA Championships preliminary rounds are Arent (400H), Huebner (3000SC), Anthony (triple jump), Pierce (javelin), Heitzman (javelin) and Powell (decathlon). Several more Bison rank in the top 60 and maintain their hopes of moving on.
Making some noise of their own at the Patriot League Championships, the Bucknell women claimed their 11th outdoor title in program history and completed their sixth Triple Crown - championships in cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track. The Bison won by 71 points, the largest margin of victory since they claimed the championships by 109.75 points in 2001.
Chelsey Musante (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) won her second career Outstanding Field Athlete of the Meet honor. The senior was the hammer throw and shot put champion in addition to placing second in the discus. Musante's marks in all three events were career bests.
Also earning a major award at the championship meet was head coach Kevin Donner. Donner was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year for both the women's and men's sides.
Amy Mantush (Drums, Pa./Hazelton) also continued to be a bright spot for Bucknell in the field events. The senior, who was the Field Athlete of the Meet at this year's indoor championships, won the long jump and placed second in the triple and long jumps. Like Musante, Mantush set season-best marks in all three events, including the high jump in which she tied her own school record of 5-7.
Just edging out Mantush for the triple jump title was teammate Casey Krause (Lebanon, Pa./Cedar Crest) with a mark of 37-7 ¼. The junior earned her second career title, sweeping the triple jump this year. Krause also won the triple jump title at the indoor championships in February.
Bucknell's success at the outdoor championships was not only in the field events. Sarah Moniz (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) continued her impressive junior campaign by helping the 4x800 relay to a gold-medal finish and placing second in the 1500 meters. Moniz, along with Allison Janda (Plymouth, Mich./Salem), Caroline Tolli (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) and Stephanie Fulmer (Pottstown, Pa./St. Pius X), posted the eighth-fastest 4x800 time in program history, coming in at 8 minutes, 59.33 seconds. Moniz also ran Bucknell's second-fastest 1500 time of 4:29.63. The junior has now set top-10 marks in four of five individual races and as part of two of her three relays this spring.
At the end of the championships, 14 Bison had claimed at least one All-Patriot League citation. Included on that list are Musante and Mantush, who each claimed a total of three honors, and Moniz with two.
Also included on the list of all-league performers is the 4x100 relay of Lindsay Appel (Wexford, Pa./North Alleghany), Christina Muccio (Andover, Mass./Andover), Kristin Bretscher (Farmingville, N.Y./Centereach) and Sasha Hornock (Dover, Pa./Dover). The relay broke onto the Bucknell top-10 list with a time of 48.42 seconds, finishing second at the meet.
Bucknell moved up one position in the latest USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region poll. As of May 11, the Bison had improved to 13th in the rankings. Holding top-10 positions individually in the region are Mantush (high jump), Musante (shot put, hammer), Rebecca Misko (Morristown, N.J./Madison) (discus) and Laura Rycek (Northampton, Pa./Northampton Area) (javelin).
BISON AT THE IC4As Friday, May 14: 7:20 p.m. - 3000m Steeplechase (Andrew Huebner)