After a very successful indoor season, the men’s track and field team made the transition to playing outdoors for their meet last weekend. They attended the Liberty University Invite, where a number of teams from Divisions I, II and III were present to compete in the exhibition meet.

Although the meet did not have a clear-cut winner, the Yellowjackets certainly held their own, producing a number of top finishes and postseason-qualifying marks.

Freshman Max Ehermann had a solid meet, leading the men in two events. In the 100-meter dash, he ran 11.39 seconds, finishing 23rd out of more than 40 runners.

His time of 22.77 seconds in the 200-meter dash earned him 16th place, as he finished ahead of more than 25 other athletes.

The Yellowjackets have had success in the 400-meter dash all season, and this meet was no different. With a time of 48.83 seconds, junior Matt Tierney finished in second place.

Junior Kirk Bristol also ran well, placing seventh with a time of 50.44 seconds.

Sophomore Brian MacIlvain was the top finisher for the Yellowjackets in the 800-meter dash. He ran 1:58.80 to finish in 11th place.

In the 1,500-meter run, freshman Mark Stevens placed 14th, finishing in 4:04.90. Not far behind him was senior Dan Duett, who placed 16th with a time of 4:07.58.

In the 5,000-meter run, sophomores Andrew Whitbeck and Joe Lust both finished in the top 20.

Whitbeck ran 15:47.52 to place 12th, and Lust was 18th with a time of 16:03.51. Senior Graham Pierce was 13th in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 1:00.50. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior Terence Cordner ran 10:44.85 to finish 11th.

It was another solid day for the relay teams, which both finished in the top five.

The 400-meter relay team of Ehermann, Bristol, Tierney and junior Jason Myszka ran 43.13 seconds to finish in third place.

The 1,600-meter team of Tierney, Bristol, MacIlvain and junior Chris Clark finished first with a time of 3:19.10. The Yellowjackets performed well in the field events, as a number of them finished in the top 10. In the high jump, sophomore Tom Felio marked 1.80 meters to finish sixth. Freshman Dan Gloekler marked 3.35 meters in the pole vault, placing 11th.

With a mark of 12.35 meters in the triple jump, freshman Craig Brown earned ninth place.

Four men finished in the top 20 in the shot put. Graduate student Andrew Wunder was ninth with a mark of 13.57 meters.

With a mark of 13.21 meters, freshman Eric Scheele placed 11th. Senior Zach Opsitnick was right behind him, placing 12th with a mark of 13.20 meters. Freshman Mike Burgstrom marked 12.43 meters to place 19th. Wunder and Opsitnick also performed well in the discus throw. Wunder was ninth, marking 39.66 meters. Opsitnick marked 35.87 meters to finish 16th.

The hammer throw was the strongest field event of the day for the Yellowjackets. Wunder marked 46.87 meters, placing fourth. Senior Chris Skeehan was ninth with a mark of 42.71 meters.

Opsitnick marked 35.61 meters to place 18th. Skeehan added a 13th-place finish in the javelin throw by marking 41.08 meters.

In the decathlon, junior Andy Lange earned 5,484 points to place sixth and qualify for Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships in the event. Freshman Tyler Stapleton also competed, placing 11th place with 4,416 points.

Although the Liberty Invite was mainly used as a tune-up, the outdoor season is very short, with just three meets remaining until the state championships on May 6 and 7.

Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.



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