Track and Field visit NC for 49er’s Classic

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s Track and Field teams traveled to Charlotte, NC over the March 16-17 weekend, to take part in the UNC Charlotte 49ers Classic. The 49ers Classic is an NCAA Division-I level and hosted tournament that will begin the Point Park’s spring 2023 season. Both teams took part in several of the single and team events, with multiple placing in the top 10. 

“I don’t think any of us felt a lot of extra pressure,” said freshman field athlete Anna Jebose. “Obviously we always want to perform to the best of our abilities, but we have been preparing for the season for a while now and we are ready to go.”

Both teams had athletes in each event, with several achieving personal bests over the weekend. Senior Jordan Yaniga started off with a personal best 13.61 in the 100 meter dash, with sophomore RaKeya Ellsberry claiming her own in the 200 meter at 28.26. In the 100 meter hurdles, junior Natalea Hillen at 15.63 placed 20 out of 56 in her PB. Jebose finished 20 out of 40 in the hammer throw with a distance of 39 meters, and fellow freshman Maya Laterza finished 10 in the javelin with a 31.17 meters. 

The men’s team saw more individual success, starting off on the track side of the events. Junior Daimere Stephens-Stewart finished just outside of the podium in the 100 meters, claiming fourth with a time of 10.52, tying with third place but with the wind aided advantage. Freshman Jacoreyus Demps finished with PPU’s second best time at 10.89, claiming 23 out of the 70 runners in the event. Stephens-Stewart also PB’d in the 200 meters, claiming sixth with a time of 21.60, and Demps finishing 13 with a time of 22.05. Sophomores Ramiro Ulunque and Elijah James finished ninth and 11 respectively in the 800 meters, with both collecting PB’s a 1:55.36 and 1:55.83 time. Seniors Logan Gonzales and John Ziegler PB’d in the 1500 meters, with a time of 4:13.14 and 4:15.91 respectively. Junior Dorian Boatswain also PB’d in the 400 meter hurdles, with a time of 1:00.82, good enough for 21. The 4×100 meter relay team finished sixth out of 19 teams with a time of 41.58. 

In the field events, junior Collins Eze equaled his PB in the high jump with a height of 1.85 meters, good enough for ninth in Group B. Eze also PB’d in the long jump, reaching 6.48 meters, which achieved him 20 out 47. Junior Leon Vann PB’d in the triple jump with a distance of 12.76 meters, while freshman Chevaughn Fletcher snatched ninth in the shot put with a distance of 14.50 meters. Both junior Cooper Lytle and sophomore David Attram PB’d in the hammer throw, with a distance of 38.15 meters for Lytle and 37.41 meters for Attram, good enough for 17 and 21. The javalien was the winner for the Pioneers, with Point Park taking first and second, thanks to the throws of sophomore Jakob Blatnik and senior Daniel Jacobs. Blatnik led the way with a throw of 62.33 meters, with Jacobs following up on a throw of 59.87 meters. Fletcher also finished ninth in the event with a throw of 48.57 meters. 

“Our goal is to bring home more championships this season, and continue to grow the program here (at Point Park),” said Gonzales. “We’ve improved the program over these last few years and we feel we deserve to be competing at this level.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams will now look ahead to the Carnegie Mellon Invitational for their next match, set for March 24 and 25 in Pittsburgh. The Carnegie Mellon Invitational will be the team’s last event in the month of March, as their outdoor season will get underway for the spring semester, as they lay eyes on the RSC and NAIA championships once again. Schedule updates are available on the Point Park athletics website.