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BETHANY EARNS 15 ALL-PAC HONORS AT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP MEET

April 30 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College track and field teams racked up accolades throughout the final day of the 2011 PAC Championship Meet held at Bison Stadium Saturday, finishing with 15 All-PAC honors, two new qualifiers for ECAC Championships and one school record being reset.

The Bison men enjoyed a day not seen by the program in 15 years. The team earned 10 all-conference awards and finished in third place out of seven teams with 95 points behind only Westminster (129) and Washington & Jefferson (119). It was the highest finish by a Bethany team since taking third back in 1996, but the conference only had four schools during that season of competition.

On the women’s end, BC grabbed five All-PAC honors and a pair of ECAC qualifiers to score 44 points to place fifth out of six teams.

Of the 10 all-league laurels garnered by the Bethany men, four were PAC championships. Freshman Ben Gregg (Eighty-Four, Pa./Bentworth) secured the first one Friday by taking the javelin crown and the other three titles came on the track. In the 100, sophomore Marcus Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Thomas Jefferson), who finished second in the event last spring, took the lead out of the blocks and raced to the title this year by breaking the tape in 11.21 seconds.

Johnson wasn’t the only Bison to place in the event, which was dominated by Green and White. Freshman Aarick Jones (Wadsworth, Ohio) was Second Team All-PAC with a time of 11.28 and freshman Greg Williams (Washington, D.C./Shippensburg) made it a clean sweep of the All-PAC honors by finishing third in 11.32.

Jones and Williams would go on to have big days. Jones would add his own PAC championship to his credit later on by blazing to the win in the 200 with a time of 22.69. Williams, who had previously qualified for ECAC Championships in the long jump, snared Second Team All-PAC distinction in the event with a jump of 22-3.5.

Freshman Arkangelo James (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) continued his remarkable year by adding conference champion to his resume in the 800. He stayed near the front of the pack for most of the race and after fending off some challengers early in the second lap, James exploded through the final 200 meters to cross the line in 1:56.54, more than two seconds ahead of the runner-up.

Bethany’s final All-PAC award on the track occurred in the 3,000 Steeplechase. Freshman Cory Yarrington (Berkely Springs, W.Va.) scored Honorable Mention All-PAC and shaved another 14 seconds off his own school record by finishing with a time of 10:00.27.

Rounding out BC’s all-conference recipients were a pair of competitors in field events. Senior Ken Barrows (Wheeling, W.Va./Bishop Donahue) finished in a tie for second place in the high jump by clearing 6-0. And in the discus, sophomore Michael Newman (Tampa, Fla./T.R. Robinson) was Honorable Mention All-PAC in the discus with his best throw of 135-2.

After senior Desiree Finley (Nanticoke, Pa./Hanover Area) took second in the pole vault Friday, Bethany’s women added four more all-league awards Saturday. Finley made it two for her for the weekend when she was third in the 400 Hurdles in a time of 1:07.11. In addition, she placed fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.35), which came after she qualified for ECAC Championships with a time of 16.29 during Friday’s prelims.

The other individual PAC honor was earned by junior Kaitlyn Black (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) in the 400, as she was Honorable Mention by finishing in 1:00.36.

Both BC relays also grabbed Honorable Mention All-PAC recognition, as the foursome of Finley, Black and freshmen Hayley Acree (Middlebourne, W.Va./Tyler Consolidated) and Paige Prato (Gibsonia, Pa./Deer Lakes) finished the 4x100 relay in 50.74 seconds, a time that qualified the group for ECAC Championships.

Finley, Prato, Acree and Black came back to close out the meet in the 4x400 and their time of 4:13.23 was good enough for third place and another All-PAC honor.

A busy day for Prato resulted in a fifth place showing in the 100 with a time of 13.19. Bethany also received points in the field from junior Cassie Allen (Washington, Pa./Canon-McMillan), as she was fourth in the high jump (4-11) and fifth in the long jump (15-7.5).

Bethany’s season is not quite over, as some Bison will continue training and look to compete in the Slippery Rock Qualifier on Friday, May 6.