April 26 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Bethany College track and field teams had six All-PAC performances on the men’s side and five in the women’s competition during the 2008 PAC Championships, held Saturday at Washington & Jefferson.
The Bison men finished fourth overall in the team standings with 50 points, while the women placed sixth with a total of 54. Grove City captured the men’s crown with 212.5 points to edge Thiel (205.5) and the women’s championship was won by Westminster with 145 points.
BC’s lone PAC champion came in the women’s shot put, as senior Lauren Spegal (Bethel Park, Pa.) won her second straight crown in the event. Her best throw of 38-8.75 took first place by nearly two full feet.
A pair of Bethany women garnered Second Team All-PAC in their events. Sophomore Jodi Bodo (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville Catholic Central) finished second in the 800 with a season-best time of 2:21.64 and senior Chantal Stettinius (Parkton, Md./Hereford) was the runner-up in the 3,000 Steeplechase by crossing in a time of 12:24.80.
Sophomore Desiree Finley (Nanticoke, Pa./Hanover Area) earned Honorable Mention All-PAC accolades in two events. In the field, she cleared 9-8 in the pole vault to finish third and in the running events, Finley placed third in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:08.30.
Aside from the all-conference honorees, two school records were broken during the meet. In the 1,500, sophomore Maggie McCort (Forst Ashby, W.Va./Frankfort) blew away her own mark set earlier this year. She took fourth place overall with a time of 4:52.46, which was 10.5 seconds faster than the time she ran last week at the Westminster Invitational. In addition, that mark qualified McCort for the 2008 ECAC Outdoor Championships in the event.
The other women’s school record to fall was in the 4x100 relay, as the foursome of sophomore Jessica Sarro (Deer Park, N.Y./West Hempstead), junior Emily Bota (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands), Bodo and freshman Kaelin Creange (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) finished the race in 51.14 seconds to better the previous record by .42 seconds.
Highlighting the men’s accomplishments were sophomore Matt Cruse (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) and junior Taylor McNeil (Old Saybrook, Conn.) earning all-conference in three events each. Cruse was Second Team in both hurdle events, as he posted a season-best time of 14.76 in the 110 hurdles to finish behind defending conference champion Dorran Coley from Thiel (14.62).
Cruse and Coley also had an incredibly tight race in the 400 hurdles, with Coley (54.30) nipping Cruse (54.32) at the tape for the title.
McNeil’s all-conference awards came in the sprints. He received Second Team All-PAC laurels in the 100 with a time of 11.05 and later, took third to receive Honorable Mention status in the 200 with a time of 22.48. McNeil not only brought home All-PAC accolades, but he also qualified for ECAC Championships in both events.
Both McNeil and Cruse also ran on the 4x100 relay team that was second. Teaming with freshmen Daniel Farray (Queens, N.Y./McClancy) and Clint Wilson (Moundsville, W.Va./Bishop Donahue), the relay finished in a time of 43.18 seconds.
Wilson completed the All-PAC performers by tying for third place in the high jump with a best jump of 6-0.75 to receive Honorable Mention honors.
Bethany’s next action will be at the Allegheny Invitational May 9, as competitors try to improve their times or performances for the ECAC meet, which is scheduled for May 17-18 at Springfield (Mass.) College.