Five Medals Grabbed On Final Day Of League Meet For Xavier
May 6, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - The Xavier track and field team wrapped up the 2012 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships by winning five more medals on Sunday, giving the Musketeers total of eight awards over the course of the two-day meet.
A total of eight medals were won by nine athletes, which included the first pair of runners to bring home two medals from a conference meet. In addition the women's team set a new team point total for an outdoor league meet.
Junior Rachel Clark became the first Xavier athlete to bring home two individual medals from a single conference meet. She earned her medals by placing third in the 1,500-meter run and second in the 800-meter run.
Clark used the final 200 meters in the longer of her two races to move from sixth and capture bronze, the first award of her career. She also netted a school-record time of 4:27.44 in the event.
An exhausted Clark returned just 90 minutes later to earn silver with another school-record time (2:10.15) in the 800-meter run. In all Clark accounted for 14 points for the Musketeer women.
Senior hurdler Emily Tyler turned in a career-best performance in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles. The silver medal is the second in a row for Tyler, who has three in her four years of running. She blew away her school-record time to post a 14.08, which was nearly three-tenths faster than Saturday's preliminary time.
Tyler's other silver medal came in the 60-meter dash at the league's indoor meet in February. She wraps up her collegiate career as the school's record holder in five individual events and two relay events. She is the all-time leading medalist on the women's side.
Senior Nick Williams, the men's all-time medal winner, also went out in style by earning his sixth and seventh Atlantic 10 medals. His individual medal - the sixth of his career - came in the 200-meter dash where he placed third and clocked a 21.48 from an outside lane. He also contributed Xavier's biggest surprise of the day.
An unexpected result came in the 4x100-meter relay where Williams, junior David Gibson, senior Kurtis Polacek, and freshman Ryan Konstanzer combined for a new school-record time of 41.68, which was good for third place. The bronze medal is the first won by a Xavier relay team and comes after finishing fourth the last three years.
Saturday's medal winners included sophomore Craig Krcal in the men's pole vault, sophomore Ashley Vincent in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, and sophomore Abby Fischer in the women's 10,000-meter run.
Xavier's eight medals were the most earned by the combined programs. The previous best total was five set earlier in the year at the indoor meet.
The women's combination of freshman Samantha Birchfield, sophomore Susannah Shelley, junior Kaitlin Price, and senior Kelsey Erlenbaugh delivered a school record 3:55.02 in the women's 4x400-meter relay.
That record setting time finished a historic league meet for the women's team. In all seven records were set, twice in the 100-meter hurdles, and the team collected 39 points. The point total bested all indoor and outdoor previous scores. As a team the women finished ninth and the men's team earned 21 points to place 10th.
Sophomore Adi Taraska reached the finals in the shot put where set tossed a new personal-best distance of 12.89 meters (42-03.50) and finished ninth.
Six personal best's - including Clark's school record - were set in the men's and women's 1,500-meter runs. Freshmen Corey Zielinski (3:58.18) and Connor Buchholz (3:58.53) and sophomore Keith Schenkel (4:04.60) did for the men's team.
A small amount of runners will remain in season and attempt to lower their times for the NCAA Regionals meet in two weekends. Xavier will take those hoping to qualify to the Last Chance Meet at the University of Louisville on Friday.