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April 23, 2004
Vol. 45 No. 21

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Lepley leads track in Messiah victory

With less than two weeks until the Middle Atlantic Conference championships, six of the 13 teams that will compete for the prize of track and field conference champion participated at the Messiah Invitational on Saturday.

The Crusader men's and women's teams both ran away with first-place finishes in what surprised women's head coach Marty Owens said he hopes is a preview for the MACs.

"I know we had the ability to win, but I didn't think it was going to happen," Owens said. "Knowing that the MACs are coming up, we started relaxing a bit. I mean, I think after 12 events we were down 21 points, then the next thing I know, after 17 events, we're up six. I was kind of like 'uh, what happened?'"

Freshman Emily Lepley gave another strong performance, improving her NCAA Division III provisional time in the 100-meter hurdles, breaking her own school record after placing first with a time of 14.81 seconds. Lepley also went on to win first place in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking in at 1:05.96.

Lepley, along with juniors Jen Lockman, Ashley Eyster and Jen Minnig, won the 400-meter relay with a time of 49.31 seconds. A proud Owens beamed, "They're [the 400-meter relay team] really getting down there, really getting consistent. They're real close to getting a national qualifying time."

In other action for the women, freshman Lauren Manley took second in shot put with a throw of 36 feet, 3/4 inch and the bronze in discus with a distance of 114-1, placing her fifth on Susquehanna's all-time performance list in both events.

Senior Shannon Barnett also came away with a solid performance, clearing 5-2 in the high jump to walk away with second place.

"We didn't win a lot of events, but we placed where we needed to. Overall, we had a real good day," Owens said.

The men's team had five first place finishes, with two provided by junior Matt Hill. Hill took home a first place in the hammer throw, with a distance of 138-8, and the shot put at 43-8 1/4. Sophomore Andy Weitkamp was right on his tail, finishing second with a throw of 130 feet, 2 inches.

The other three top finishes came courtesy of senior Ryan Gleason, who took the steeplechase with a time of 9:26.68, junior Kyle Sanders, who won the 400 meters with a time of 49.96 seconds, and sophomore Rob Daniele, who cleared 14-6 inches in the pole vault.

With the MACs just around the corner, Owens says that the Penn Relays and the Dickinson invitational are going to be viewed as nothing more than a chance for some fun, adding that he didn't want the team to "over-do it."

"We want to go in [to the MACs] fresh," he said.

"The more I look at some of the [season's] results, it's looking more like a four way race for the top. Moravian looked like the team to beat, but who knows now. They haven't looked well on paper," Owens said.

SPORTS HEADLINES

Crusaders falter in key games

Lepley leads track in Messiah victory

Crusaders top Gettysburg, end losing streak

Softball wins third in a row

Carfello nets two goals in win

Holt shoots 73, team wins Invite

Rosen to represent Crusaders at MACs

Susquehanna says goodbye to athletes

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