Freshman Leah Graybill (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) re-wrote her indoor school record in the 200 meters on Saturday as the Shippensburg University women’s indoor track & field team returned to competition after a six-week holiday break. They gave a solid showing at the Gulden Invitational hosted by Bucknell University inside Gerhard Fieldhouse.
SU, with two weeks of training under its collective belt entering the meet, totaled 17 performances that satisfied the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying standard. It was the team’s first competition since the Bison Opener back on December 7.
The Gulden Invitational is a scored meet, but Division I teams are separated from Division II and Division III teams in the final standings due to Division I requirements. SU tied with East Stroudsburg for the lead among Division II schools with 39 points. Bucknell ran away with the meet, with Delaware and Saint Francis finishing second and third.
Graybill won the 200 meters, besting all Division I and Division II runners with a time of 25.49 seconds (25.10 seconds converted to banked/oversized track). It’s an improvement of .07 seconds from her debut at the Bison Opener that broke the previous school record of Lauren Ellsworth set in 2013.
She almost achieved a second school record, tying for third place in the 60-meter dash with a finals time of 7.75 seconds. Graybill ran 7.79 seconds in prelims. The school record is 7.72 seconds, held by Ali Wyland.
Other Raider Qualifiers
Three Raiders ran 26 seconds or faster in the 200 meters. Junior Rachel Bruno (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) finished third, running 25.49 seconds, with senior Zarria Williams (Mount Laurel, N.J./Camden Catholic (Ohio Christian)) finishing seventh in 26.00 seconds. Williams also nabbed a PSAC cut in the 60 meters, running 7.96 seconds.
Freshmen Lieke Black (Ambler, Pa./Wissahickon) and Kayla Brooks (Hanover, Pa./South Western) each qualified for the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Their fastest times came in prelims, with Black running 9.71 seconds and Brooks right behind in 9.72 seconds.
Brooks, a multis specialist for the Raiders, had a busy day. She was also SU’s lone high jumper, equaling the league standard with a clearance of 4 feet, 11 inches, and achieved a top long jump of 15 feet, 9 inches.
Shifting to 400 meters, senior Jordan Higgins (Hatboro, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) was the lone Raider to meet the league standard in the open race, placing fifth in 1:01.13. Black, Higgins, Graybill and Bruno teamed up to finish fifth in the meet-concluding 4×400-meter relay, leading the ‘A’ unit in 4:03.41. By comparison, SU’s 4×4 ‘A’ relay last season ran 4:11 in the first race after the break.
Highlighting the mid-distance unit was sophomore Kyra Gerber (Dillsburg, Pa./Northern York), who placed fourth in the 800 meters on a conference qualifier of 2:25.12. Freshman Isabelle Gulgert (Herndon, Va./South Lakes) nabbed a PSAC cut in the mile, running 5:28.96. Gerber, Gulgert, freshman Mackenzie Kurtz (Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) and sophomore Sydney Morgan (Ephrata, Pa./Ephrata) teamed up to complete the 4×800-meter relay in 10:07.90.
In field competition, freshman Sara McKean (Shinglehouse, Pa./Oswayo Valley) finished seventh in the long jump on a tap mark of 17 feet, 1 ½ inches. Freshman Madison Williard (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) achieved a top triple jump of 34 feet, 7 ½ inches, and senior Sarah Bourdon (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle Area (Towson)) cleared 10 feet, 10 inches in the pole vault. All three are PSAC qualifiers.
Highlighting the throws was a second-place finish in the shot for junior Kate Matrisciano (Whippany, N.J./Whippany Park (Sacred Heart)), whose top put of the day traveled 43 feet, 6 inches. Matrisciano and sophomore Madisen Kling (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) each satisfied the league standard in the weight throw, with Kling pacing the Raiders on a toss of 45 feet, 6 ¼ inches.
Shippensburg splits its squad next weekend, with one contingent traveling to Penn State for the National Invitational and another returning to Bucknell for the Bison Open & Multi.