__Senior Bechtol qualifies for NCAAs out west while College hosts Tribe Invite__
p. Competing on both the East and West coasts this weekend, the Tribe track and field program showcased its early season form. Two members of the men’s team traveled to Palo Alto, Calif. for Stanford University’s Cardinal Invitational while other Tribe athletes broke in the new track at the Tribe Invitational at Zable Stadium.
p. Out west, senior Keith Bechtol raced in the fastest section of the 10,000 meters, which included Olympian Adam Goucher, U.S. half-marathon record holder Ryan Hall and countless All-Americans. Bechtol fared well racing to an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 28 minutes and 55.57 seconds. This performance moved Bechtol into third place all-time at the College behind former All-Americans Matt Lane and Ken Halla. Junior teammate Dave Mock ran in a different section of the 10,000-m, and qualified for the IC4As running 30:18.82.
p. “Keith ran exceptionally well and probably earned himself a bid to the NCAA Championships with the quality of his performance,” Head Coach Alex Gibby said.
p. While Bechtol and Mock were in California, the College hosted its first track meet since April 2003. The field included Hampton University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
p. Both the women’s and men’s teams saw two athletes capture qualifying marks for the ECAC Championships and IC4As respectively. Moreover, the two teams combined to win over half the events; the women took 10 and the men grabbed eight.
p. On the women’s side, sophomore Abby Lemon missed the hammer throw school record by just four inches; she did, however, qualify for ECACs with a winning toss of 159 feet 4 inches. Another Tribe thrower — senior Jen Showker — won the discus with an ECAC-qualifying toss of 144’ 9”. Showing her versatility, senior Bonnie Meekins claimed first place in the javelin, long jump and 100-m hurdles.
p. The men performed strongly as well. Sophomore Alex Heacock hurled the javelin an IC4A-qualifying distance of 192’2”, taking the event and moving into sixth place on the Tribe’s school record list. Freshman Kiernan Lofland qualified for IC4A’s after he cleared 15’7” in the pole vault; Lofland’s performance vaulted him into eighth all-time at the College. Fellow freshman Brandon Oliver earned two victories in both the hammer throw and the shot put.
p. After a three-year hiatus, the College will host the 42nd Annual Colonial Relays this Friday and Saturday at Zable Stadium.