NEW 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
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