With the PSAC Championships looming, the WCU men’s and women’s track teams headed north to New York City to compete in the Lafayette-Rider Invitational on Friday evening. It was a star-studded night at the New York Armory, where the meet was held; as many of the area’s top Division I schools were on hand. Despite the high level of competition, both the men’s and women’s teams held their own with a total of seven top ten finishes. The women claimed four of these, while the men had three.
It was also a historic meet for WCU as several athletes posted finishes that ranked them in the top ten in the school’s history.
For the women, sophomore Katie Butler managed a fifth place finish in the high jump event. She cleared a height of five feet three inches.
Brittany Foye, another sophomore, also claimed a fifth place finish in her event: the triple jump. Foye traveled a distance of 36′ 6 1/4”. Her distance was good enough for third best in WCU history.
On the track, Maria Baker, a junior, placed seventh out of a field of 53 competitors in the 60m hurdles. She finished with a time of 9.24 seconds.
C.J. Jacob, also a sophomore, finished ninth in the event, just behind Baker, with a time of 9.47 seconds. Butler finished with a time of 9.47 seconds. All three of these times rank in the top four all-time at WCU.
Another of the team’s outstanding sophomore competitors, Lyndsey Ratasiewicz, completed the mile in 5:16:09, which places her ninth all-time at WCU. She also managed a 2:23:58 time in the 800m event. That time was good for seventh best in school history.
Freshman sprinter Sam Smarkola finished the 200m event in 26.40 seconds. Her time was tenth best in WCU history.
Back on the field, Noreen Seymour, a junior, managed a distance of 41 feet, 4 inches in the weight throw event. That distance is the second best ever at WCU.
It was also a successful day for the men’s team as sophomore sprinter Craig Espenshade placed seventh out of 79 runners in the 400m event by finishing with a time of 49.38 seconds. That was the third fastest time in school history.
The 4x400m relay team, which consisted of seniors Eric Hammond and Adam Swetra, Kyle Perry, who is a junior and Espenshade, finished in seventh place with a time of 3:22:82.
On the field, freshman Kyle Miller cleared a height of 15 feet, 3 inches to finish in seventh place in the pole vault.
Matt Langdale, a sophomore, placed 16th out of 63 runners in the 800m race with a time of 1:58:60. Langdale’s performance was the 11th best in WCU history.
Both the men’s and the women’s teams are off next week to prepare for the upcoming PSAC Championships. These will be held on Feb. 28 and March 1 in the Koehler Fieldhouse at East Stroudsburg University.
Colin McGlinchey is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu.