May 8 – MEADVILLE, Pa. – With just one week remaining until the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, individuals from the Bethany College track and field teams travel to Meadville, Pa. in attempt to increase their top times at the 10th Annual Gator Invitational hosted by Allegheny College on Friday. The Bison did not disappoint, setting three new school records, while posting three new ECAC qualifying times.
On the women’s side, the 4x100-meter relay team of Kiera Goolsby (Washington, Pa./Washington), Maria Jackson-McBride (Spotsylvania, Va./West Potomac), Lauren Rao (North Tonawanda, N.Y./Sweet Home) and Whitney Martin (Wintersville, Ohio/Indian Creek) had already qualified for the ECACs. However, not satisfied with their best time, the group toppled their own school record yet again, finishing with a time of 47.81. The finish marked the first time this year that the team had ran a sub-48 all season. Not only was the time nearly a full second faster than their previous mark, but as of today, was the 18th-fastest time in all of Division III.
Along with their group finish, both Martin and Jackson-McBride compete well, individually. Martin, who as a freshman, already holds the Bethany school mark for the 60-meter dash in indoor, broke the school record in the 100, posting a time of 12.19 in the qualifying heat. The time broke Paige Prato’s 2014 record of 12.45, while also qualifying the freshman for the ECACs. She has now qualified for the Championships in three separate events (100, 200 and 4x100).
Jackson-McBride had herself a day on the track as well, posting a solid time in the 200-meter dash with a mark of 25.53. Jackson-McBride also tallied a fifth-place finish in the 400 (58.41). With her ECAC qualification in the 200 on Friday, the junior has now also qualified for three events at next weekends ECAC Championships (200, 400, 4x100).
In field events, Heather Grinkley (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton) was the only Bison female to compete, posting an eighth-place finish in the long jump with a distance of 15-07.00.
On the men’s side, Kyle Minger (Richmond, Ohio/Edison Local) led the way for the Green & White, breaking his own school mark in the 400-meter dash, while tying another record in the 200. In the 400, Minger captured a first-place finish, posting a time of 48.23 to set the new school mark. The time also moved Minger’s fastest mark on the season from 46th in the Nation to 21st after today. The junior also tied his school record in the 200, placing third with a mark of 22.05.
Umar Moore (Coraopolis, Pa./Moon) showed off his versatility today, earning an ECAC qualification in the 100-meter dash. Having already qualified for the Championships in the long jump, Moore posted an 11.03 in the 100 prelims, getting under the needed time of 11.05 to make it into the ECACs.
Other competitors for the Bison men on the day included Andre Butler (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) and Dillon Handy (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance). Butler posted a ninth-place finish in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash, posting a time of 11.10. Handy, meanwhile, finished fifth in the 400-meter hurdles (57.99).
For all Bison athletes that qualified for the ECAC Championships, the two-day event will be the next event on the schedule for the Green & White. The Championships will be held at Springfield College on Thursday and Friday, May 14 and 15.