April 23 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College track and field teams will culminate their 2015 outdoor season by competing in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championships on Friday and Saturday, April 24th and 25th. The men will look to become the first team in conference history to sweep both the indoor and outdoor crowns, while the women will look to improve upon their fourth-place finish from the indoor campaign.
On the men’s side, the Bison will be led by two-time All-American, and 2014-15 Indoor Men’s Athlete of the Year, Umar Moore (Coraopolis, Pa./Moon). Moore, who was crowned both the long jump and triple jump champion during the indoor season, will look to once again lead the field athletes at the PAC Championships.
During the outdoor campaign, Moore has competed in the long and triple jumps a combined five times and has won the event in four of the five occasions, placing second in the other. In his previous outing at the Dave Labor Invitational hosted by Slippery Rock University, Moore broke the school mark in both events. He grabbed the third best jump in the Nation in the long jump (23-10), breaking an 89-year old school record. He also shattered his own previous best in the triple, finishing with a 47-0.25. Both of those marks rank first in the PAC heading into the conference championships.
The Green & White will look to score big points in a few other field events, including the high jump, where freshman Shae Long (Steubenville, Ohio/East Liverpool) and sophomore Andre Butler (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) currently sit as the number two and number three seeds in the 19-athlete field.
Sophomore Bobby Bush (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) will lead the throwers as he will compete in all three throwing events at the outdoor championships. The sophomore burst on the scene during the indoor campaign, taking home a PAC title in the weight throw. Bush currently 9th in the shot put, and will also compete in the discus and javelin events. Three other Bison will also compete in all three events, including Kody Niedzwieck (Ohioville, Pa./Western Beaver), Khalid Conteh (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook), and Saul Whitaker.
On the track, the Bison men will be led individually by Kyle Minger (Richmond, Ohio/Edison Local). Minger, who grabbed a PAC Championships during the indoor season in the 400, is once again the odds on favorite in the event. His time of 48.73, a Bison school record which he set last week at Slippery Rock, is the fastest time of any competitor entering the meet.
Minger will also compete in the 200-meter dash in the Championships, entering the event with his best time of 22.05. That mark was also a school record, which he set last weekend. Along with those events, Minger helped the Bison 4x100-meter relay team post the top time in the conference with a 42.59. That team also included Shawn Burns (Weirton, W. Va./Weir), Butler and Moore.
Moore, who posted the fourth-fastest time in the 100-meter dash will compete in the event at the PAC Championships, as will Anthony Thompson (Colquitt, Ga./Miller County), Dominique Austin (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota), Korey Platt (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) and Butler as the Bison will look to claim multiple top-eight finishes to help them to the overall team title.
Other chances for big points for the Bison could come from the 800-meter run, where Austin Davis (Honolulu, Hawaii/Moanalua) enters with the fifth fastest time of 2:01.14.
In the 200-meter dash, Thompson (23.43), Butler (22.49) and Moore (22.81) will all join Minger in the finals, while Butler and Cam Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) will try to earn solid marks in the 400-meter dash.
On the women’s side, the Bison will look to the strength of their running events to help carry them to an outdoor title. Freshman Whitney Martin (Wintersville, Ohio/Indian Creek) and Maria Jackson-McBride (Spotsylvania, Va./West Potomac) will both look to polish off the 2015 season with individual titles.
Both Martin and Jackson-McBride will vie for the 200-meter title, as the pair has the top two seed times entering this weekend’s competition. Martin comes in with the event’s fastest time at 25.86, while Jackson-McBride has posted a 25.90.
Martin will also look to capture the 100-meter dash crown. The PAC’s 60-meter indoor champion, Martin has the second-best time in the event with a 12.89.
Jackson-McBride will look to take control of the 400-meter outdoor crown as she also comes in with the conference’s second-best time in the event. Only her and Thomas More’s Christina Cook have ran the event in under 1:00 in the conference this season.
Other athletes for the Bison that will look to make some noise include Heather Grinkley (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton), Kiera Goolsby (Washington, Pa./Washington) and Lauren Rao (North Tonawanda, N.Y./Sweet Home). Grinkley will compete in the 100-meter dash as well as the long and triple jump events while Goolsby will run in the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
The indoor high jump champion, Rao will look to post a repeat performance in the outdoor championships. The sophomore will be the favorite in the high jump this year as she owns the conference’s best mark heading into the championships.
Also a talented athlete on the track, Rao will also compete in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Along with those events, Rao will likely run a leg on the 4x100-meter relay team that enters the Championships with the conference’s best time of 48.73, which also stands as a Bethany record. Others expected in the 4x100 relay include Goolsby, Jackson-McBride and Martin.
Other athletes that are going to be looked upon to make an impact include Jess Olson (Moon, Pa./Moon) in the 800, Kelsea Martz (Hedgesville, W. Va./Hedgesville), Rhianna Petrone (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) and Michaela Ross (Wahiawa, Hawaii/Leilehua) in the 5k and Brooke Bosworth (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) in the steeplechase.
The Bison will begin competition at the PAC Championships on Friday, April 24 at 11 a.m. Full Championship information can be found on the Presidents’ Athletic Conference website or at the link provided here.