Track and field competes at Bison Classic, Bennie Benson invitational

First-year Ryan Kissel, above at the W&J meet, won the long jump at Robert Morris Saturday. (credit: Courtesy of Martin Santek Photography) First-year Ryan Kissel, above at the W&J meet, won the long jump at Robert Morris Saturday. (credit: Courtesy of Martin Santek Photography)

Last weekend, the men’s and women’s track and field team participated in two separate track meets. The top athletes competed in the Bison Outdoor Classic Meet hosted by Bucknell University on Friday and Saturday. The rest of the team traveled to Robert Morris University’s Bennie Benson Memorial Invitational. While the Bison Outdoor Classic Meet represented the top-tier competition from 74 teams, the Bennie Benson Meet consisted of eight to nine teams. There were several outstanding performances from both meets, highlighting a very successful weekend.

At the Bison Outdoor Classic, the men’s team was led by senior Brian Harvey, who finished seventh overall in the more competitive 5000-meter invitational run. In the 10,000-meter run, junior Dario Donatelli took 10th with a time of 30:36.59. Sophomore J.P. Allera and first-year Matt Jacob placed 13th (15:04.99) and 35th (15:22.70) in the 5000-meter outdoor run.

In the 3000-meter steeplechase, senior Ryan Anderson once again dominated the field with an eighth-place finish with a time of 9:19.50. First-year Rob Morhard and sophomore Nate Bussiere took 16th (1:55.20) and 34th (1:57.30) in the 800-meter run. Bussiere and Morhard also took 35th (51.84) and 39th (52.59) in the 400-meter dash.

On the women’s side, junior Diane Mattingly finished 24th overall with a time of 1:00.80 in the 400-meter run. Behind Mattingly, Baker finished a close 26th with a time of 1:01.27. The women’s 800-meter run saw several strong performances, with Baker and sophomore Laura McKee taking 43rd (2:22.29) and 58th (2:25.16). Mattingly finished 60th overall with a time of 2:25.68.

At Robert Morris University, the men’s team finished second overall with 138 points, behind Robert Morris’s 142 points. In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Craig Hahn took first overall with a time of 56.64. Hahn and sophomore Pat O’Brien took third (15.58) and fifth (16.07), respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles. First-year Cody McMarlin had a strong race, finishing sixth overall in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.38. “Entering the collegiate level of track, my mindset is the same as it was in high school: it only matters how fast I run,” said McMarlin. “My time today was better than what I have been running this season, but I still know I can go faster.”

O’Brien led the team with a first-place finish in the triple jump (13.48 meters) and fourth-place in the 400-meter run (51.84). Junior Eric Couphos finished third overall in the triple jump with 13.21 meters. Sophomore Justin Kurp, who had not run in the last few meets, opened his season with an impressive second-place finish in the 800-meter run (1:59.17).

In the 1500-meter run, first-year Kyle Andrew finished sixth overall with a time of 4:18.62. In the 5000-meter run, junior Chris Rizzo took third with a time of 16:05.82. Both junior Chris Bridgman and first-year Ryan Kissel dominated the pole vault (4.42 meters) and long jump (6.52 meters). Sophomore Mike Tomovich took third in the long jump with 6.32 meters.

In the throwing events, junior James Hulley led the team with a fourth-place finish in the discus throw (40.69 meters). First-year Alex Hernandez continued to impress, finishing fourth overall in the hammer throw with 45.95 meters.

For the women’s team, their collective efforts resulted in a solid fourth-place finish overall. First-year Ivana Moses had a big day, finishing fourth overall in the 100-meter dash (13.36), sixth in the triple jump (10.67 meters), and seventh in the long jump (5.13 meters). “I actually do feel like I’m getting more in shape,” said Moses.

First-year Luci Laffitte finished fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.12. Junior Crystal LeePow had another strong race, placing fifth overall in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:30.28. Senior Ashley Rothwell continued to impress in the javelin throw, finishing sixth with 32 meters.
The Tartans will return home to host the Carnegie Mellon Tri Meet this Wednesday before Carnival.