PHILADELPHIA – It is one of the most celebrated track & field meets in the country. Each year, thousands of athletes descend upon the "City of Brotherly Love" to compete in The Penn Relays, and this year 13 of Salisbury University's own student-athletes made the trek to see how they stacked up against some of the best in the country.
As it turns out, the Sea Gulls fared extremely well against some stiff competition, both on the track and in the circle. Sophomore Chelsea Tavik, who was recently named the 2011 CAC Female Athlete of the Year, shattered her own school record (previously 42' 3/4") in the shot put with an NCAA provisionally-qualifying mark of 44' 7 1/2". She finished ninth in the women's college division, just one place shy of advancing to the finals.
Additionally, two women's relay teams took their positions in the blocks; the 4x100-meter team comprised of sophomore Courtney Donnelly, as well as freshmen Whitney Handy, Alex Greissinger and Kara Tolson, posted a time of 51.88 seconds. Handy, Donnelly and Tolson also teamed up with sophomore Claire Lawrence to compete in the 4x400-meter relay, covering the 1600 meters in a blazing 4:02.18. Their time, which earned them a third-place finish in their heat, was just over a tenth of a second shy of Salisbury's school record.
The men's 4x400-meter relay, comprised of senior Matt Miller, junior Zach Symons and freshmen Devin Moreno and Derrick Snyder, also finished third in its heat. The foursome crossed the finish line in 3:30.21.
Two Sea Gulls, one on the women's team and one on the men's squad, competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Senior Chris Barnard registered a time of 9:33.25, while junior Becca Stinner clocked in at 11:35.41.
Sophomore Matt McMurdo notched an impressive finish in the javelin throw, recording an NCAA provisionally-qualifying distance of 195' 0"; McMurdo had already earned the provisional qualifier earlier this season, but the mark was a two-inch improvement on his previous-best distance of 194' 10". The Chalfont, Pa., native's distance in the men's college division left him a mere two centimeters shy of advancing to the final round, but earned him a ninth-place finish nonetheless.
The Sea Gulls now gear up for the New Captains' Classic, scheduled for May 7 in Newport News, Va.