May 11, 2012

Gator Invite Shows Strong Finish for Track & Field

MEADVILLE, Pa.—Friday brought a strong regular season finish for Franciscan University's track and field at the 6th Annual Allegheny College Gator Invitational. With three new school records and several athletes earning personal bests, the invite displayed the team's season of hard work.

"We've made a turn around the corner," remarked head coach Vince Oliver, in regards to the team's many achievements—both individual and as a whole—during the 2012 season.

Some of these new school marks included the time of 4:24.55 set by the women's 4x400 meter relay team; junior Bill Jones' first place, personal best in the 5K (14:35.92); senior Emily Kraudel's 400-meter dash record of 1:03.22; and freshman Kaitlyn Hoffman's 200-meter dash time of 28.18.

In addition to Hoffman's new personal best, five other Lady Barons performed personal bests in the 200-meter dash: Elizabeth Brockway (29.52), Jenna Gilman (30.75), Teresa Goyette (30.30), Emily Kraudel (28.34), and Anna Smith (30.76).

Sophomore David Willems knocked 20 seconds off his 5K performance with a 16:33.04 finish, and fellow sophomore Sara Mueller ran a new personal record of 4:56.74 in the 1,500-meter run.

Junior Michael Gotta (10:30.86) and freshman Michael McLaughlin (2:00.29) also achieved personal bests in the steeplechase and 800-meter run, respectively.

Coach Oliver noted that the team is far from being finished in their attempts to improve.

"There's so much more out there: on the track, in the classroom, in life," he said. "We must give our best efforts with the gifts that we've been given."

For some, this means postseason competition. Bill Jones, Jack Kaiser, James Marra, Peter Schreck, and Morgan Gilcrest will travel to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship May 18-19 to compete in the 1,500-meter run and 4x800 meter relay.

Jones is also qualified to compete in the 10K at the NCAA Division III Championship in Claremont, Calif., on May 24.

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