Carnegie Mellon hosts Western Pennsylvania Championship

Charter buses lining Forbes Avenue and an influx of athletes clad in spandex marked the Track and Field Western Pennsylvania Championship, hosted Saturday by Carnegie Mellon.
Athletes from 16 schools competed in conditions that, while windy, were much better then last year’s meet, which was characterized by freezing rain. The meet highlighted track and field athletes from schools across Pennsylvania in Divisions I, II, and III.
The Carnegie Mellon men finished eighth overall with 31.5 points. Robert Morris University won the meet with 165.5 points, Duquesne University finished second with 122 points, and the University of Pittsburgh came in third with 120 points.
In the men’s field events, Carnegie Mellon senior Tom Matta placed third in the hammer throw with a throw of 48.58 meters and seventh in the shot put with a throw of 13.88 meters.
The Carnegie Mellon men’s 4x800-meter relay team of junior Keith Torluemke, first-year Brian Harvey, senior Dana Irrer, and junior Davey Quinn finished second with a time of 8:03.95. The team of junior Geoff Misek, junior Kevin Pruzinsky, senior Chris Schneider, and junior Mark Davis finished seventh with a time of 8:17.95.
The 4x400-meter relay team of Torluemke, Davis, junior Russel Verbofsky, and first-year Carlton Reeves finished sixth with a time of 3:27.09.
Harvey came through as the top Tartan in the 1500-meter run, running 4:14.77 and finishing tied for 11th. In the 400-meter, Reeves and Verbofsky ran 51.27 and 51.81, respectively, good for eighth and ninth overall. Verbofsky also raced in the 200-meter, finishing eighth with a time of 23.08.
Junior Nick Bannister came in third overall in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.81, while first-year Ryan Anderson and sophomore Jason Jura finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 3000-meter steeplechase with times of 10:02.21 and 10:03.76.
Overall, the Tartan men were somewhat disappointed in their performance. “Our performance wasn’t up to our expectations,” Jura said.
On the women’s side, Carnegie Mellon placed 13th overall out of 16 teams, with 16 points. The University of Pittsburgh took home the competition with a score of 203 points. Duquesne University took second with a score of 136.5, and Robert Morris University finished third with a score of 112.5.
Carnegie Mellon junior thrower Becky Metler finished eighth in the shot put with a throw of 10.67 meters and ninth in the discus throw with a throw of 33.21 meters. First-year Jessica Meng finished 10th overall in the high jump with a jump of 1.50 meters.
The women’s relay teams also put up points for the Tartans. The 4x800-meter relay team of junior Amber Fuller, senior Jocelyn Sikora, junior Jerri Castillo, and sophomore Ashley Bakelmun came in fifth with a time of 10:15.21.
The 4x400-meter relay team consisting of Bakelmun, sophomore Shauna Ormon, first-year Jackie Andreozzi, and first-year Danielle Millett wound up 12th with a time of 4:23.71.
Seniors K.J. Helmstetter and Kelly Cronin competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase, with Helmstetter coming in third with a time of 12:10.1 and Cronin running a time of 13:10.7 and finishing seventh overall. Sikora followed up her performance in the 4x800-meter relay with a sixth-place 800-meter run with a time of 2:26.43.
Commenting on the women’s performance, Sikora said, “Despite a hard week of practice and some athletes not feeling well, everyone put forth a strong performance and I expect to see great improvements in the next few weeks.”
The Carnegie Mellon outdoor track and field teams compete next Saturday at the Washington & Jefferson/Denison Invitational in Washington, Pa.