Merkle leads Geneva to big day at PAC Championships

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Merkle.jpgNEW WILMINGTON, PA - Senior Alayna Merkle (Chambersburg, PA) finished first in both the 800 and 1500 meters at the Presidents′ Athletic Conference Championships to lead Geneva to an impressive finish. The women tied last year′s champion, Waynesburg, for fourth place and the men finished fifth.

"Based on the seeds going in, the women would have finished fifth and the men sixth so it was great to finish up a spot on each side," said Geneva coach Brian Yowler. "These are the best overall team finishes that we′ve had in the PAC. I doubt we could have performed better than we did this weekend."

In addition to Merkle′s efforts, the Golden Tornadoes had five second place finishes. Junior Jordan Rupert (Greenville, PA) and freshman Rebekah Rupert (Greenville, PA) both finished second in the javelin, junior Sara Williams (Wellsboro, PA) was second in the shot put, sophomore Dalton Paxson (Rochester, PA) was second in the 110 hurdles, and the men′s 400 relay team of Ryan White, Cameron Unrath, Josh Guiser, and Jacob Mellinger also finished second.

"Dalton′s effort was the performance of the day," Yowler said. "He was seeded eighth and dropped nearly 1.5 seconds on his time."

By placing in the top eight, Geneva athletes automatically qualified for the NCCAA Outdoor Championships this week in Rome, Georgia. In addition to the athletes listed below, two more have qualified for the NCCAAs by meeting the numerical standard - Matt Logan in the shot put and Michael Savino in the 110 hurdles.

Geneva′s finishers in the top eight:


Alayna Merkle, 1st in the 800 meters, 1st in the 1500 meters, 5th in the 5000 meters

Rebekah Rupert, 2nd in the javelin

Sara Williams, 2nd in shot put

Anna Kluitenberg, 5th in the 3000 meter steeplechase

Samantha Fisher, 6th in the long jump

Mary Keen, 8th in the discus

Rebecca Merkle, 8th in 10,000 meters

400 relay team (Kimberly Orihel, Caroline Wright, Lydia Steele, Jamie Mahan) finished 4th


Dalton Paxson, 2nd in the 110 hurdles, 6th in the 400 hurdles, 7th in the high jump

Jordan Rupert, 2nd in the javelin

Jacob Mellinger, 3rd in the 200 meters, 5th in the 400 meters

Cameron Unrath, 3rd in the 100 meters

Isaac Barringer, 4th in the discus

Josh Guiser, 4th in the 100 meters

Ken Kutcel, 8th in the 5000 meters

Bill Oplinger, 8th in the long jump

400 relay team (Ryan White, Unrath, Mellinger, Guiser) finished 2nd

Geneva College invites students to accept the challenge of an academically excellent, Christ-centered education. Offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, Adult Degree Programs with fully online and campus-based options, and seven graduate degrees, Geneva has programs that place students at the forefront of higher learning. Adhering to the inerrancy of Scripture, a Geneva education is grounded in God′s word as well as in a core curriculum designed to prepare students vocationally to think, write and communicate well in today′s world.