Grove City, Pa.— Temperatures in the mid-80s and virtually no head wind at Tuesday's Grove City Mini-Invite proved valuable starting blocks for the first outdoor track and field meet of the season. Although the meet was unscored, Franciscan University's athletes held nothing back, pushing themselves to achieve several personal bests and school records.
"It was an optimal running day, and the marks we set are proof of that," said head coach Vince Oliver.
The most notable performance on the day was junior Bill Jones, placing first in both his events: the 800 meter run with a time of 1:59.53 and the 1,500 meter in 4:00.32. Jones matched his personal bests in both events and is already just seconds away from qualifying for the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship.
"Bill's victories set the pace for the whole team today. He was a strong head and shoulders above the pack and a team leader by example," said Oliver.
Key accomplishments for the rest of the men's team included sophomore Jake Baugher's second and third place finishes in the 400 and 200 meter dashes with times of 23.24 and 51.42, respectively. James Marra also ran a strong 400 meter dash with a time of 52.33. Sophomore Joey Schlueter won the steeple chase and set a new personal and school record with a 10:34.52 time.
The men's middle distance squad swept competition in the 800 meter run. Besides Jones' first place, freshman Morgan Gilcrest placed fourth with a time of 2:04.22, sophomore Peter Schreck placed fifth with a time of 2:04.34, and freshman Michael McLaughlin placed sixth with a 2:05.40 time. The Baron 4 x 400 meter relay team placed third with a time of 3:33.52.
Men's field accomplishments were especially strong, with senior Tim Michaud placing third in the javelin with a throw of 50.16 meters, freshman Dennis Hoyer's throw of 35.14 meters earned him third place in the discus, and freshman Blake Bonilla setting the new outdoor men's long jump record at 5.79 meters.
The Lady Barons also performed well with junior Sara Mueller placing second in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 5:13.44, and freshman Elena Luke placing fifth and sixth in the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash, respectively.
"Overall, it was a well-rounded day," noted Oliver. "It's good to see the plans we've made coming together so early in the season."
The track and field team's next competition is this Saturday, March 24, at Wheeling Jesuit Colle