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Lions tuning up for Rider meet

Due to the overwhelming snowfall over the weekend, the College’s men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams were unable to build on the solid performance they showed at the New York University (NYU) Invitational on Jan. 14.

The teams were looking forward to competing in the Princeton University Relays last Saturday but will now have to wait until next weekend for the Haverford College Invitational, which will be the teams’ last chance to prepare before their dual meet against neighboring rival Rider University on Feb. 6.

Although these invitational meets are not team scored, “they are good preparation to see where the individual athletes stand going against quality competition ranging from Division I to Division III schools,” head coach Eric Mobley said.

Although the team was not at full strength coming off the semester break, Mobley was proud of the overall performance at the NYU Invitational, with several athletes posting personal records.

Senior distance runner Matt Molski took ninth with a time of 8:38.31 in the 3,000-meter run. Along with Molski, several other runners had personal bests in the 3,000 including senior Sean Lesniak, freshman Brian Kopnicki and senior Rob Barger who took 19th, 21st and 23rd place, respectively.

Junior Chris Tranchina led the way for the College in the shot put, taking second place with a throw of 14.85 meters.

Junior Kevin Jones, who set the College’s long jump record earlier this season, had an impressive performance in the 200-meter dash, taking fifth with a time of 22.41.

Senior Ed Marion picked up fourth place in the high jump with a mark of 1.87 meters, while junior Sean Begley also jumped well, taking seventh with a height of 6.45 meters.

The strength of this team seems to be its overall balance.

“We have strong jumpers, throwers, middle-distance runners and sprinters,” junior Jeff Schwerdtman, who set the College’s shot put record earlier this season, said.

On the women’s side, sophomore Angela Tecco posted a personal best of 1:18.18 in the 500-meter run, taking third. Junior Jenna Fasulo also set a personal record taking 10th place in the 3,000-meters with a time of 10:52.22.

In the mile, sophomore Lindsay Force picked up fourth with a time of 5:20.51. Junior Erika Huggler collected 13th in the 60-meter hurdles (9.63) and junior Kara Horner took home 12th in the 3,000-meter run in 11:03.61.

Junior Bobbi Jo Leighty led the way for the throwers placing seventh in the shot put with a toss of 11.55 meters, while sophomore Elyse Mitchell picked up sixth in the pole vault with a jump of 2.90 meters.

While it is still early in the season, the team is optimistic about its chances of winning another New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title this year. The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams have won the last seven NJAC indoor championships.

“We have a strong team atmosphere and are solid from top to bottom,” Mobley said. “All the coaches take care to prepare our athletes in practice so they can perform at the high level that we expect them to in the meets.”

Mobley’s optimistic attitude and confidence in his team seems to be rubbing off on the athletes, who are anxious to show they can compete against any school no matter what division.

“We are a very competitive Division III school,” Brian Donovan, senior distance runner, said. “We’re going to go out and compete; it doesn’t matter who we go against.”


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