Track starts on the right foot

Nate Bottiger, Staff Writer

Pitt-Johnstown’s women’s track team has completed their first invitational of the season, hosted at Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pa.

The invitational, called the Susquehanna Orange and Maroon Classic, was Jan. 22.

Head coach Jim Herlinger said the invitational gave his team marks for the beginning of the season, so that they can work toward accomplishing higher marks by the end of the season.

“Your first opponent is yourself, you try to better yourself.”

Herlinger said team members provided solid performances at the invitational that yielded good performances from a few individuals and the team’s 4×200 relay crew.

Sophomore Sarah Snyder finished third overall out of 20 runners in the 60-meter hurdle with a 10.41 second final heat time.

Snyder said she hopes to improve this mark in their next invitational, and to attempt to set some new personal records in the process, which is one of her goals for the season.

“It wasn’t one of my better times, but it felt good,” said Snyder.

“I’m hoping to improve and get better.”

Sophomore Jennifer Drover finished ninth at the end of the day, but she provisionally qualified with a triple-jump mark of 8.67 meters, for the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships April 27-28.

Herlinger said Drover’s mark should give her incentive to acquire an automatic qualification for the conference championships.

Freshman Lauren L’Herbier finished in seventh place in the final heat of the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.74 seconds, in which she competed against 21 other runners.

The 4×200 meter relay team consisting of freshman Erin McMahon, freshman Amanda Shriver and junior Stephanie Szczur and sophomore Kelsey Parfitt finished fifth overall out of nine teams.

L’Herbier finished her day with a fifth place finish out of 21 athletes in the 60-meter dash 8.66 seconds, and Sasha Peterman fourth out of nine runners in the 3000-meter run with a time of 12:25.53.

After a strong showing in their first invitational, a third place overall finish out of 20 runners, sophomore Sarah Snyder said she hoped to improve on her marks in the second invitational, and possibly set some new personal records.

Snyder took second in her preliminary heat with a time of 10.28 seconds that advanced her to the finals where she received an injury that could cause problems for her this season.

Herlinger said Snyder’s injury is speculated as a tear in her Achilles tendon, but that an MRI scan is needed to confirm the severity of her injuries.

Herlinger said overall the team looks to be performing solid, and that the second invitational showed gradual improvement from the first.

“Overall it was a pretty good performance, and I think everyone did better on a personal level,” Herlinger said. ”We do need to polish things a little more.”