Wheeling, WV – Sometimes competing in the women’s heptathlon can be quite taxing on an athlete. Rarely are those athletes able to excel in all seven events as they try to focus solely on those specialty events that will help them score points in the overall competition. On Saturday, senior Liz Michalak tried a different route in rising to the top of the heptathlon standings at The Bill Van Horne Invitational at Wheeling Jesuit University. Michalak finished in the top five of all seven events winning only the shot put event but put together a solid resume of points that totaled 3726, which was good enough for first place by more than 100 point over the next closest competitor. Michalak and teammate Samantha Fisher (2514 points) each qualified for the NCCAA national meet in the heptathlon.
Joining Michalak as NCCAA national qualifiers from Saturday’s action on the women’s side were Shannon Rech (3000 meter steeplechase) and Alayna Merkle (5000 meter). Merkle’s time of 19:03 was good enough for sixth place overall and 22 seconds faster than any other time she has run in her career. The other highlights in women’s action came in the shot put where Kathrine Michalak finished second overall with a distance of 11.78 meters. Teammate Kathryn Regalado finished fifth in the shot put at 11.28 meters. In the discus, Mary Keen finished seventh overall with a mark of 35.10 meters.
Junior distance runner Nick Edinger continued his amazing career with a first place finish in the 5000 meter race. Edinger crossed the line with a time of 15:21.93 which was a personal best and just one second off of Geneva’s all-time record. Edinger passed three runners in the final 100 meters to claim the overall victory against a field of mostly NCAA Division II competition. Owen Struck gave a solid performance in the 1500 meter event with a tenth place finish while Charles Walters was also solid in the 5000 meter race with a 13th place finish. Mark Filitz gave a good showing in the triple jump with a mark of 12.48 meters and a sixth place finish. In the throws events, Tyler French finished fourth in the shot put and eighth in the discus. Finally, freshman Jordan Rupert finished with a distance of 49.29 meters and a fifth place finish in the javelin.
The Golden Tornadoes will face some PAC competition next Saturday when they travel to the meet at Washington & Jefferson College.
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