By Alex Kurtz Sports editor
The Susquehanna track and field teams posted strong performances at the Bucknell Open on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28.
Although there was no team scoring, individuals on both the men’s and women’s side had high placements throughout the weekend.
On the men’s side, freshman Chris Petraski tied for second place in the men’s high jump with a leap of six feet, four and one quarter inches. Petraski was the highest placement for both teams at the event and also improved on his last event, adding a quarter inch on his jump.
Junior Joshua Brown was the second highest placement for Susquehanna at the event, placing eleventh in the shot-put. Brown threw for a distance of 13.26 meters.
Other strong performances at the event for the River Hawks were from senior Armond Owens, who ran 7.43 in the 60 dash preliminaries, sophomore Cieran Fisher, who ran a 2:03.88 in the 800 race and senior Justin Skavery, who finished the 3000 in 9:28.18.
Four River Hawks also finished close to each other in the 400 as junior Kyle Entin, freshman Jacob Blauch, sophomore Justin Meyer and sophomore William Claxton all finished in less than 56.20.
On the women’s side, Susquehanna also had strong performances at the event.
Junior Hannah Stauffer led the placements for the women’s team with a 19th place finish in the 800 race.
Freshman Samantha Reed won her heat in the 200 dash, and finished 20th overall with a time of 27.12.
Junior Amy Kaschak finished in 29th place in the 3000 race with a time of 10:58.40, and senior Hannah Perkins finished the 400 race with a time of 1:05.26.
Three River Hawks, senior Kiernan Dougherty, junior Seema Tailor and senior Emily LeBoffe finished within 10 seconds of each other in the mile run.
Both teams will be back in action this weekend as they host the SU Challenge, the first of the final two home meets of the season.
The Bucknell Open was just the second event for both the men’s and women’s team since returning to school after winter break. In the Orange and Maroon Classic on Jan. 21, the River Hawks benefitted from strong individual performances from Petraski, senior Matthew Gass, Fisher, Brown, Stauffer and Reed.
Petraski was once again the top finisher with the River Hawks alongside Owens and Gass. The mid-year transfer cleared a height of six feet, four inches, while Gass placed second overall in the 200-meter dash.
Last year, Susquehanna had strong performances on the afternoon in formerly named Crusader Classic. Now-graduated sprinter Kwane Hayle was the top DIII performer at the event with a second overall performance in the 60. On the women’s side, now-graduated distance runner Ashley West set a school record with a time of 2:13.47 in the 800 and placed second on the day.
This year, the River Hawks will have to rely on their strong returning performers from last year such as Claxton, Skavery, Fisher, Stauffer, Gass and Tailor to post strong performances once again, as well as the newcomers such as Petraski. They are the ones to watch going into the meet.