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GREGG TITLE HIGHLIGHTS BISON’S FIRST DAY AT PAC TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS

April 29 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The first day of the 2011 PAC Track & Field Championships were completed Friday at Bison Stadium and the Bethany College track and field teams had one conference champion who also provisionally qualified for NCAA Championships and one other All-PAC honoree to its credit by the end of the opening session.

The BC men scored 14 points on a light day of completion to rank third so far behind only Westminster (48) and Washington & Jefferson (36). Bethany’s women scored eight points and are fifth so far.

The highlight of the day was unquestionably freshman Ben Gregg (Eighty Four, Pa./Bentworth). The first-year competitor blew away the field in the javelin by launching a throw that traveled 195 feet, four inches. In addition to capturing the league crown in the event by nearly 19 feet over the second place finisher, he also surpassed the provisional qualifying standard for NCAA Championships in the event.

Coming into this weekend, Gregg’s throw would rank 15th in the nation, so he stands a chance in becoming the first Bison to go to nationals since Matt Cruse went in the 110 and 400 Hurdles in 2008. In addition, Gregg is also the first Bethany javelin thrower to win the conference title since Zach Cavalier, who provisionally qualified for NCAAs in 2000 by winning the conference championship (193-2).

The other four Bethany points were scored by freshman Greg Williams (Washington, D.C./Shippensburg) in the triple jump. He measured out at 42-6.75 to earn fourth place overall and miss out on All-PAC accolades, which go to the top three finishers in each event, by less than three inches.

Although they did not score points in the meet yet, a trio of Bison advanced out of the preliminaries in the 100 to Saturday’s final. Freshman Aarick Jones (Wadsworth, Ohio) turned in the fastest time of the prelims and will be the top seed for the final after breaking the tape in 11.27 seconds. Also reaching the final race on Saturday was sophomore Marcus Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Thomas Jefferson) with a preliminary time of 11.35 and Williams at 11.53.

Bringing home All-PAC distinction on the women’s side was senior Desiree Finley (Nanticoke, Pa./Hanover Area). She claimed Second Team honors in the pole vault after clearing 10-2, which was less than an inch off her school record.

Finley was also one of two Bethany women to come out of the 100 hurdles prelims Friday and earn a spot in the final Saturday. She earned the fourth-fastest time on the first day by crossing the finish in 16.29 seconds. She’ll be joined in the final by senior Kelli McAbier (Gnadenhutten, Ohio/Indian Valley), who moved on with a time of 17.16.

In the 100, freshman Paige Prato (Gibsonia, Pa./Deer Lakes) will have a chance to run in Saturday’s title heat after she registered a time of 13.02 in the prelims.

A full slate at the championships begins Saturday at 11 a.m. with a trio of field events. The track events kick off at noon with the 3,000 Steeplechase.