Track and field has strong start at YSU Invite

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Track and field has strong start at YSU Invite

Michael Morris, sophomore, participated in the high jump where he placed 7th at the YSU College Invite on Friday.

Michael Morris, sophomore, participated in the high jump where he placed 7th at the YSU College Invite on Friday.

Photo by Robert Berger

Michael Morris, sophomore, participated in the high jump where he placed 7th at the YSU College Invite on Friday.

Photo by Robert Berger

Photo by Robert Berger

Michael Morris, sophomore, participated in the high jump where he placed 7th at the YSU College Invite on Friday.

Written By Robert Berger, Co-Sports Editor

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Anna Shields of the Pioneer track and field team left Youngstown Ohio number one in the in the National Association of Intercollegiate (NAIA) in two different events.

“This feels great,” Shields said. “I’m so happy to be here doing what I love. I started off a little too strong, but my finish was a personal best so I can’t complain.”

The women’s 5,000 meter was the first event Saturday at the Youngstown State University (YSU) College Invite. Shields took charge from the start as she gained a track lengths lead on competition. By the end of the race, she was lapping runners on her way to the finish line.

“She’s been training so hard, which is why she came out so hard,” said head coach Kelly Parsley.

Finishing with a time of 17 minutes, 32 seconds, Shields was 17 seconds ahead of second place finisher junior Michelle Klim of Youngstown State. She reached the NAIA, a qualifying standard for the National Championship meet March 2-4 in Johnson City, Tenn.

The Torrington, Conn. native continued to set standards when finishing third in the 800 meters with a time of 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Both of her times established school records

Junior Katie Guarnaccia qualified for nationals at the B qualifying standard in the 5,000 meters behind Shields. She finished fifth in the race with a time of 18 minutes, 21 seconds. Her time is the fifth-best in the NAIA this year.

“It’s a relief that I qualified [for nationals] because I can focus on improving rather than qualifying,” Guarnaccia said. “Compared to other indoor race, I have only ran better than this once, so I can’t be mad.”

Also representing Point Park in the 5,000 meters was freshman Jenny Murtha, who finished with a time of 19 minutes, 19 seconds, a personal best. Murtha now ranks 11th in the NAIA in the 5,000 meters.

In the men’s 5,000 meters, sophomore Sean Hilverding finished 14th overall and first for the Pioneers with a time of 15 minutes, 47 seconds. Heading into the race, Hilverding was shooting for 15 minutes, 35 seconds, but was thrown off when officials miscounted laps.

“I went into what I thought was my final lap and was giving it my all,” Hilverding said. “ By the time I got to my actual last lap, I had no energy left.”

After Saturday, Hilverding ranks ninth in the NAIA in the 5,000 meters.

Breaking a school record on the track was sophomore Desmond Marrow, who placed 16th in the men’s 800 meters. With a time of 1 minute, 59 seconds, it was the first time a Point Park runner has finished below two minutes in the race.

On the field, freshman Chance Callahan set the school record in shot put, with a 10.37-meter toss.

Matching his own school record on the field was sophomore Tyrone Robinson in the pole vault, finishing eighth overall with a height of 4.25 meters.

On the women’s side, Kiana Daley threw 10.59 meters in the weight throw, topping her own school record.

Junior Jryi Davis and freshman Tyler Carter finished fifth and sixth respectively in the men’s triple jump. While fifth is not where Davis was hoping to finish, he was not dissatisfied with the results.

“Today was a whole new level,” Davis said. “I got to face division one athletes. I wasn’t far off from them, so I now know I can compete at that level.”

YSU welcomed 20 schools including the University of Pittsburgh, Slippery Rock University, Robert Morris University, Notre Dame of Ohio and YSU.

“This is a great start to the season, and it will only get better from here,” Parsley told his teams at the end of the day. “This is the best we’ve ever looked at this point of the season.”

The men’s and women’s track and field teams will travel to Geneva, Ohio this weekend for the SPIRE Institute Midwest Indoor Open.

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