Track teams open season at home
The Western Pennsylvania Track and Field Championships of 2005 were held on April 2. The Carnegie Mellon track team hosted the Championship meet. This competition pitted some of the most competitive area universities against each other in an all day track meet. With participants representing Division I track and field, the level of competition is traditionally elevated.
Of the 14 teams that competed, the women placed sixth overall in the 20 total events. The exceptional performance of several athletes propelled the team to a strong finish.
In the women?s shot put, Becky Metler continued to demonstrate her ability to perform by throwing 11.03 meters, which was enough for sixth place and three team points. Despite a strong showing in the other weights events, the women?s team failed to pick up any points in their other events.
The 4x100m relay team showed how strong they were by placing fifth, with a time of 52.95, against very stiff competition. The other women?s relay teams were unable to duplicate the strong showings that they have had at other meets.
In the 5000m run, Drea Garvue set a personal record with a time of 18:43.6, placing second. The team continued to show their strength in mid to long distance events with Jocelyn Sikora?s second place performance in the 1500m run. She crossed the line with 4:53.44 on the clock. Freshman Shauna Ormon achieved the only points scored through short distance by placing 10th overall in the 400m hurdle event.
The men?s track team placed fifth overall out of the 15 participants that competed in the Western Pennsylvania Championships. These results have matched the record-setting pace that the men have set over the course of the 2005 season.
The Tartans? weight throwing team has had considerable success in the indoor season and most of that has carried over into the outdoor season. Unfortunately, with UAA champion Tom Matta suffering from strep throat, the team scored only one point in the throwing events.
Senior Matt Dalka continued to showcase his talent in the High Jump by clearing 1.83 meters (six feet) and walking away with a seventh-place finish, scoring two points for the team standings. He looks to carry the strength of a UAA Championship in the high jump in to the new season.
Though the Tartan?s top performers consist of seasoned veterans, there is a considerable underclassman presence. Graduate student Nik Bonaddio, the elder statesman of the team, is happy to see the influx of young kids. ?The team has a lot of youth but everyone is improving greatly with each competition,? he said.
Russel Verbofsky, Mark Davis, Mike Bridenbaugh and Kiley Williams are all underclassmen that have performed at a level far beyond what their experience suggests. In the 400m hurdles, first-year Kiley Williams finished with a time of 56.88. The talent of this young athlete proved to be high enough to place him in third overall for the event, scoring six points for the team.
The men?s relay teams have set high goals for the season and the results to date have shown that these goals are quite attainable. Nik Bonaddio explained the plan for the season and what they hope to achieve.
?After our record-breaking performance at the UAA Indoor Tournament, we have been focused on making a run at nationals.? Watching the care that has been taken in preparation for these relays shows the high level of commitment the Tartans have.
The Tartan?s 4x800m relay team had quite an afternoon on Saturday, after breaking both the stadium and meet records with a recorded time of 7:59.4. Despite this exceptional performance, the 4x800 team placed second overall, losing to a Duquesne squad that broke their own meet record by over six seconds.
After breaking the school record at the UAA indoor track championships, the Tartan?s 4x400m relay team posted a top-notch time, finishing in 3:19.42. These results allowed them to edge out Duquesne University for the top place in the event. These two teams proved themselves as the best in the region, beating out the third-place team by over six seconds apiece. The Tartans will look to keep this momentum going into the season and send their 4x400 team to Nationals.
In the men?s 10km run, sophomore Bridenbaugh secured a first-place finish after breaking the meet record and recording a time of 32:39.9. A continuation of this over the course of the season should prove the high level of competition that the Tartans will bring to every meet.
Bonaddio has had an exceptional career at Carnegie Mellon as a 400m runner. With record-setting performances and first-place finishes becoming commonplace, he is a threat to each team the Tartans face. On Saturday, he posted a first-place time of 49.06 in the 400m dash.
Next week, the teams will travel for the Washington & Jefferson University Invitational Saturday.