West Chester’s men’s and women’s track and field teams performed well throughout in the first outdoor meet of the spring, the Golden Ram Invitational, on Sunday.
The men’s team finished first in four contests, all of them being field events. Eric Hunter placed first in the pole vault, with a height of 14 feet and 1.25 inches. Conor Ewell took top honors in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 8.75 inches, while Brian Pellechia was first in the hammer throw with 133 feet. LeQuann Chapman won the long jump with 21 feet and 10.75 inches.
Other members of the men’s track team finished well without recording wins. Anthony Jackson was third in the long jump at 20 feet, 4.25 inches, while Adam Heath was fifth with 19 feet, 9.5 inches. Will Breiner was third in the hammer throw with 123.6 feet, while Dillon Wallner was fourth with 121.75 feet.
In the track events, Ryan Karli highlighted the team by finishing second in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.9 seconds. He also finished fourth in the 400m hurdles in 56.74 seconds. Sean Sebeck was third in the 10,000-meter, finishing in 32:51.98, and Nick Drozd finished fourth in the 400m in 49.45 seconds.
Other top performers included Jacob Perry, placing sixth in the 1500m in 4:09.77, and Zach Musselman, who finished in seventh place with a time of 4:12.55. As a team, the 4x100m team finished in third with a time of 43.23. The quartet included Jackson, Heath, Chapman, and Alex Foulke.
The women were not about to be outperformed, however. They finished in first place in four events themselves. Senior Kathleen Casey led the way, winning two events all by herself. She won the 1500m in 4:45.56, and also took the 3000m with a time of 10:15.38. Meanwhile, WCU also took second and third in the 3000m through Brittany Boyer and Michelle Blum, respectively.
Kim McManus took top honors in the steeplechase with a time of 11:45.00. She also finished third in the 1500m in 4:58.70. Nicole Smith placed second in the 400m, with a time of 58.25 seconds. Right behind her was teammate Sam Smarkola (59.54). Smarkola also finished second in the 200m (26.36).
West Chester’s fourth win on the women’s side came from a field event, as Amanda Hughes took first place in the javelin with a distance of 113 feet, 2 inches. Hughes also came in second in the triple jump (34 feet, 4.25 inches). Kamber Schrann was also impressive, placing second in the pole vault (10 feet, 4 inches).
After this strong opening to the spring track and field season for both teams, they will have their next meet at the end of this week. Over the course of two days (Friday and Saturday), West Chester will compete in the Danny Curran Invitational in Chester, Pa.
Joey Samuel is a third-year student majoring in political science and Spanish. He can be reached at JS719745@wcupa.edu.