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MCNEIL EARNS MVP, BISON WOMEN TAKE 3RD AT PAC TRACK CHAMP.

May 1 - GROVE CITY, Pa. – The Bethany College track and field teams enjoyed a stellar day at the 2010 PAC Championships Saturday at Grove City, as senior Taylor McNeil (Old Saybrook, Conn.) earned Men’s Track MVP and the Bison women finished third out of seven teams.

The BC women scored 85 points to edge out Grove City by one for third place behind Westminster (173) and Waynesburg (126). Bethany’s men totaled 48 points to finish sixth overall, while Washington & Jefferson took home the team title on the men’s side.

McNeil, who became the first Bison male to win MVP track honors since Brian Dickman earned his second consecutive award in 1995, won a pair of events and scored in both relays during the day. His initial conference title came in the 100, where he qualified with the fourth fastest time in the preliminaries. Then in the final, McNeil broke the tape in 11.25 seconds to edge freshman teammate Marcus Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Thomas Jefferson), who turned in a time of 11.28 seconds for Second Team All-PAC honors.

The 100 was Bethany’s top event for the men’s side, as freshmen Ed Holmes (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown) and Willis Powell (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown) took fifth and sixth respectively.

The other PAC title for McNeil was in the 200, as he finished with a time of 22.52 seconds to place ahead of Thiel’s Alex Eaton by .45 seconds. The Bison senior sprinter also teamed with freshman Jarrell Smalls (Whitemire, S.C.), Johnson and Holmes to take fourth in the 4x100 relay (43.47) and then ran with freshman Raymear Pinchom (Willingboro, N.J.), sophomore Joe Douglas (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) and Powell to take sixth in the 4x400 relay.

For Bethany’s women, they registered nine All-PAC accolades to finish third, their highest team finish since taking third out of five teams in 1998. Senior Jodi Bodo (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville Catholic Central) had a hand in five of those all-conference performances, including three individual events and both relays. Her top showing was in the 400, where she took second with a time of 57.97, and she also tied for second in the 200 by finishing in 26.30 seconds. Finally in the 100, Bodo’s finals time of 13.06 was good for third place and Honorable Mention All-PAC status.

In the relays, Bodo ran the third leg in the 4x100 relay with junior Kelli McAbier (Gnadenhutten, Ohio/Indian Valley), sophomore Kaitlyn Black (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) and senior Rachael Katsur (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) and the foursome took second with a time of 50.76. And in the final running event of the meet, the 4x400 relay of junior Desiree Finley (Nanticoke, Pa./Hanover Area), Black, freshman Emily Andrews (Absecon, N.J./Holy Spirit) and Bodo earned second with a time of 4:07.31, their fastest of the season.

Finley also enjoyed a big day overall, as in addition to her work on the 4x400 relay, she was also Second Team All-PAC in the 400 hurdles (1:06.85) and placed third for Honorable Mention laurels in the pole vault (9-8).

Bethany’s other All-PAC performances were recorded by freshman Erin Reske (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern), who had a time of 43:20.85 in the 10,000 for Honorable Mention status, while Black also took third in the 400 with a time of 1:00.42 and later, took fifth in the 200 (27.59) to score in her fourth event of the day.

Some members of the Bison men’s and women’s teams will continue to compete this spring, as they will return to action Friday at the Slippery Rock Invitational.