SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The victories came by the slimmest margins in the three-year history of the event, but after two days and 21 events the results were the same as Moravian College captured the men's and women's Landmark Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Sunday afternoon at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove.
The tightest competition was on the men's side where Moravian and Susquehanna battled back-and-forth throughout the day, with the Greyhounds finally finishing with a six-point edge over their rivals with a score of 270. Susquehanna's total of 264 was more than 20 points better than its previous best total at the meet. Juniata College placed third with 168 points, while the United States Merchant Marine Academy posted a best-ever finish of fourth with 39 points. Goucher College and The Catholic University of America rounded out the scoring with 36 and 27 points respectively.
The Greyhounds had several of the award winners on the men's side as Jonathan Heberling was named the Field Athlete of the Year and his teammate Justin Taylor was honored as the Rookie of the Year. Susquehanna's Paul Thistle and Juniata's TJ Breya were chosen as the co-Track Athletes of the Year. Moravian Head Coach Walt Wandall and his staff were voted as the Coaching Staff of the Year.
The Moravian women claimed its third-straight title by accumulating 268.5 points, good for a 17-point edge over Susquehanna, which was also the closest margin in the three-year history of the Landmark. Catholic was third on the women's side with 104, Juniata was 10 points back with 94, and Goucher picked up 70 points to place fifth. USMMA closed out the scoring with nine points in the competition.
Moravian's Symonne Scott won two events on the track to be voted as the Track Athlete of the Year for the team. Madeline Hals of Susquehanna was voted the Field Athlete of the Year and Laura Kinley of Catholic received Rookie of the Year accolades. Moravian doubled up on coaching honors as Wandall and his staff were named the Coaching Staff of the Year on the women's side as well.
There were two new Landmark records and four meet records set in the men's competition, as well as four NCAA provisional qualifying marks. Moravian's Eric Woodruff had two of his team's six wins on day two, and posted a pair of provisional marks. He won the 100-meter dash in a new Landmark and meet record of 10.56 and was first in the 200-meter in a time of 21.38. Steve Parisi added his own Landmark record and NCAA provisional performance with a run of 1:54.58 to win the 800-meters. Travis King set a new meet mark in the triple jump for the Greyhounds with a winning distance of 13.59-meters. Finally Mike Blenk defended his Landmark title in the decathlon by piling up 5,470 points to win the event.
Moravian also added a winning 4x100 relay as Justin Taylor, Woodruff, Kyle D'Angelo and Warner Jones covered the distance in a time of 42.11.
Susquehanna had five wins on day two but it was not quite enough to close the gap on the champions. Thistle won a pair of races for the Crusaders, crossing the line first in the 5,000-meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase to win both those events at all three Landmark Championship meets. He ran 15:23.43 to win the 5,000 and set a new meet record, while posting a time of 10:09.46 in the steeplechase. Graham Huber defended his Landmark crown by clearing 1.93-meters in the high jump. Ken Schetroma earned the final individual win on the day for the hosts by posting a best throw of 14.58-meters to win the shot put.
The foursome of Brian Campbell, Chance King, Ben Wilson and Joe Zamadics also closed the meet with a win for Susquehanna by running 3:24.74 to place first in the 4x400-meter relay.
The final victories on day two in the men's competition belonged to Juniata with senior Breya claiming three of them. He posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 54.28 to win the 400-meter hurdles, and added wins in the 400-meters and 110-meter hurdles in times of 48.84 and 15.31 respectively. Jeremy Boback bested the field in the hammer throw with a toss of 44.41-meters for Juniata's fourth victory.
The victories were a bit more spread out on the women's side as five of the six schools claimed at least one victory on day two. There were also three new Landmark records, six meet records and three NCAA provisional performances for the women on the day.
The bulk of the wins went to Moravian which won four individual events and a relay to help claim the title. Scott was a multiple-event winner for the Greyhounds as she placed first in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. She ran a time of 12.29 in the 100 to set a new Landmark and meet record, and provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championships. She followed with a time of 25.97 to win the 200. Micah Leonard also completed the trifecta of NCAA distance, Landmark, and meet record with her winning leap of 11.66-meters in the triple jump. And Jessica Posimo crossed the line first in the 100-meter hurdles for the third-straight year, this time running a meet-record time of 14.06 and also earning an NCAA provisional qualification.
The Greyhounds also were victorious in the 4x400-meter relay for the third-straight year as Rachel Beck, Rachel Riggs, Dana Haslett and Scott ran 48.91 to earn the win.
Susquehanna picked up four victories on the day, two of them in distance events and two in the throws. Alycia Woodruff was the winner in the 5,000-meters by running 18:53.48, and then following it up with a winning time of 11:48.76 to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Hals gave the Crusaders a win in the shot put with a toss of 11.62-meters and Caitlin Anderson matched that effort by recording a distance of 44.84-meters to win the hammer throw.
Goucher picked up its first-ever individual victories at the Landmark Outdoor Championships by winning two events, and claiming a relay win. Sarah Meade completed one trip around the track in a time of 59.66 to win the 400-meters and Jaclyn Kellon also did well at the 400-meter distance by winning the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.14 which set a new meet record. The Gophers quartet of Meade, Kellon, Kate Clarke and Dana Macaluso then added a win the 4x400-meter relay by running 4:03.05.
Catholic's Kinley became a two-event winner on day two when she ran a time of 2:20.05 to win the 800-meters after winning the 1,500-meters on day one. Catholic also got a win from Rachel Won who accumulated 3,333 points to place first in the heptathlon.
Juniata's Angela Shaffer rounded out the scoring on the women's side by tying a Landmark Championship meet record by clearing 1.57-meters to win the high jump.
With Landmark competition now finished on the track this season, many Landmark competitors will now compete in "Last Chance Meets". in an effort to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships which will be held May 27-29 at Tressel Field at Finnie Stadium in Berea, Ohio. Last season the Landmark sent 12 athletes to the NCAA Championships and had seven competitors earn All-America honors.