Track team improves from last year

Yang Chen, Sports Editor

The Pitt-Johnstown track and field team has finished its indoor season.

Track and field team head coach Carl Keifer said the team had a much better performance than last year.

“Matt Karlheim placed fifth at 200 meters and 400 meters. He has improved his 200 meter time by 0.16 seconds to 21.12 seconds. If he could move up 0.05 second in 200 meters, he can get qualified to the NCAA.”

At 400 meters, Karlheim’s improvement is more than a second; from 50.57 seconds in 2018 to 49.54 seconds this year and from 10th place to fifth place.

“Luca Pugliano placed seventh at 800 meters. If he had cut two seconds off his time, he would have got winner,” Keifer said.

Senior John Knox in his first time at heptathlon placed fifth.

“He just tried it for fun,” Keifer said. “Because of (the) less-than-ideal running track at the Wellness Center, we could get better performance in this outdoor season.”

Senior Jake Zembower is part of Pitt-Johnstown’s 4X400 meter, and he ran the 60-meter dash in 7.44 seconds. 

He said he is going to support the team and try to get better performance in the outdoor season.

“I would like to thank the coaches for their dedication to our team.

“I have ran faster in the past four years. My 800 meter record improved from 2:04 to 1:55.

“My 800 meter time of 1:55.73 wasn’t a great performance for me.

“Running in track and field is helping me with my speed in cross country, and running at cross country is helping me with my tolerance.

“It is a good way to prepare for my last indoor season championship meet with a little less pressure at the meet.

“It has been a fun career here and to see (the)team develop throughout four years. My graduating class has really helped to build the team, which has greatly changed for the better since my freshman year,” Zembower said. 

Zembower wasn’t the only one who said the 2015 class helped the team. 

“I would like to thank the team, especially my class, for making it a great experience. It will be interesting to pass the torch to the next group and I hope that they will continue to keep building and bettering the team once we are gone,” Karlheim said.

Another member from Karlheim’s freshman class, senior Jayshawn Whitfield, was a runner-up in the high jump during the 2017-18 indoor season. 

“This meet was not one of my better because my steps were not good and I fouled on all my jump attempts,” Whitfield said.