PSAC league champions: Shippensburg men take lopsided victory
Shippensburg men are 2021 outdoor track and field champions, after outscoring league rivals in a lopsided victory this year.
The Raiders scored in 20-of-21 events at the 2021 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships, totaling 273 points to win its 12th consecutive conference title and finish within five points of the league championships scoring record in competition at Seth Grove Stadium.
Shippensburg never trailed at this year’s conference championships, completing a wire-to-wire victory by winning nine events (six onSaturday) and having multiple place-winners in 14 events. SU’s impressive point total was seven more points than the combined point total of second place (East Stroudsburg, 106.5), third place (Slippery Rock, 91.5) and fourth place (Edinboro, 68).
Drew Dailey (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) was named the 2021 PSAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships Most Valuable Athlete. Dailey became the first Raider to ever win the 800 meters and the 1,500 meters in the same season, and he also ran the third leg of the victorious 4×400-meter relay that concluded the meet.
Josh Herbster (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) was named the 2021 PSAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Outstanding Field Athlete. Herbster won the hammer throw on Thursday and also placed sixth in the discus and seventh in the shot at this year’s championships.
Balanced, impressive scoring
Shippensburg’s scoring breakdown was remarkably balanced and equally impressive: 77 points from the seven events of sprints/hurdles/relays, 75 points from the four throwing events, 63 points from the five mid-distance/distance events, and 58 points from the five events of jumps/multis. As a hypothetical, if the sprints/hurdles squad or the throws squad would have competed as their own team, they would’ve finished fourth in the team standings.
SU had three or more place-winners in five events – with the most productive beingFriday’s discus (24 points),Saturday’s triple jump (23 points) andSaturday’s 1,500 meters (22 points).
The Raiders went 1-2-4 in the triple jump, with senior Shaquille Mitchell (Stroudsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg) claiming his first conference title on a new personal best of 47 feet, 10 inches (14.58m). Mitchell saved his best effort for his last competition, as it is his third scoring performance and his second All-PSAC honor (3rd in 2019, 4th in 2018). He cleared the 14-meter mark three times in his jumping sequence, all efforts which would have won the competition.
Shamar Jenkins (Souderton, Pa./Souderton) only landed one successful jump on his first attempt before being sidelined, but he made the most of it by securing an All-PSAC second-place finish of 45 feet, 9 inches. It is his second consecutive runner-up finish at the conference meet. Mo Whittle (Tobyhanna, Pa./Pocono Mountain West)) finished fourth on a top mark of 44 feet, 6 ¾ inches.
The track was yielding Raider points left and right, with the 1-4-5-6 finish in the 1,500 meters being SU’s best in the event since going 2-3-4-5 in 2012 (Gillette, Schelander, Beegle, Spangler). Dailey’s time of 3:57.95 was a victory by three seconds over Edinboro’s Ward Ries – the Raiders and Fighting Scots combined for the Top 6 finishes.
Alexander Ermold (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) placed fourth in 4:03.47, Ryan Scicchitano (Lebanon, Pa./Cedar Crest) was fifth in 4:04.52, and Ian Sherlock (Hopewell, Pa./Northern Bedford County) was .15 seconds behind Scicchitano in sixth. It was the debut PSAC outdoor 1,500 for each runner.
Earlier in the day, Dailey won the 800 meters in 1:53.45 – making him the first Raider PSAC Champion in the event since Tom Troxell’s magical 2012 run when he went from last place to first place over the final 200 meters. Dailey and Troxell are the only Raiders to win a PSAC title in the 800 in the last 23 years. Scicchitano was eighth in 2:05.17.
Stephon Brown (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East), like Dailey, finished the day as a three-time PSAC Champion. Brown claimed an individual victory in the 400 meters, holding off Mansfield’s Sean Ringgold to win his debut PSAC outdoor 400 meters with a time of 48.65 seconds. It makes it two straight Raiders to win the 400, as Aaron Arp Jr. won in 2019.
Brown also ran the opening leg of the victorious 4×100-meter relay and the 4×400-meter relay. The start of the day on the track featured Brown, Whittle, EJ Dorwil (Philadelphia, Pa./George Washington) and Eric Kirk (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville Area) winning in 41.41 seconds – nearly a full second ahead of second-place Slippery Rock. The end of the day on the track featured Brown, Josh Booth (McConnellsburg, Pa./McConnellsburg), Dailey and Charles Bowman Jr. (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East (Virginia)) winning in 3:16.37 to win by more than seven seconds over second-place East Stroudsburg.
The 4×1 relay was represented in the open finals of the 100 meters – Whittle and Kirk each ran 10.76 seconds in the 100 to notch All-PSAC finishes of second place and third place respectively – while Dorwil was seventh in 10.95 seconds. Kirk also scored in the 200 meters, placing fifth in 22.34 seconds. The 200 meters were run as two heats of timed finals afterFriday’s prelims were shuttered due to inclement weather.
SU went 2-3-4 in the 400-meter hurdles to score 19 points in that event. Booth ran a spirited race to pace the group with a lifetime best of 53.83 seconds – his first sub-54 second time – to earn the All-PSAC second-place finish. Bowman Jr. was third in a season best of 53.98 seconds, while Matt Lenahan (Hatboro, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) made it to the awards stand for the first time with a fourth-place time of 55.82 seconds.
Bowman Jr. once again recorded All-PSAC finishes in both hurdle events, as he took second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.37 seconds. In his two outdoor seasons with the Raiders, Bowman Jr. finishes as a four-time All-PSAC hurdler after winning conference titles in both hurdle events in 2019.
In the penultimate track event of the meet, Chayce Macknair (Lewistown, Pa./Mifflin County) was the runner-up in the 5K and Aiden Gonder (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Red Land) ran seventh. Macknair’s time of 15:02.55 was about a second ahead of third-place Connor Volk-Klos, while Gonder ran 15:17.94.
While the track action was resulting in Raider points left and right, the field action was mirroring that production.
For the first time in the 89-year history of the PSAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, a school had five of its athletes score in the shot put. Pat Maloney (Collegeville, Pa./Methacton) led the charge by placing third on a top throw of 51 feet, 3 ½ inches. It’s a PR of more than two feet for Maloney, who became the first Raider to break the 50-foot mark this season.
Jacob Gieringer (Oley, Pa./Oley Valley) was fourth on a top throw of 49 feet, 3 ½ inches, while Cam Strohe (Bangor, Pa./Bangor Area) finished in sixth place for the third straight conference championship on a top mark of 47 feet, 9 inches. Herbster was seventh, and Brooks Bear (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal) was eighth.
Javelin delayed by lightning twice
The javelin was among the events effected by a lightning delay for the second straight day – this pause lasting about an hour. Undaunted, three Raiders stepped up and combined for 16 points in the event. Alec Stimson (Gawler, Australia/Trinity College), who has battled through so much during his Raider tenure, delivered a throw of 185 feet, 5 inches on his first effort in the finals to achieve an All-PSAC, second-place finish and his first scoring performance in the event. Mike Folcarelli (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) and Nate Crowl (Elysburg, Pa./Southern Columbia) were both making their PSAC debuts and finished in fourth and sixth respectively.
Jordan Winslow (Belleville, N.J./Milton Hershey (Pa.)) and Kenny Rhyne (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) went 2-4 in the high jump. Winslow cleared 6 feet, 6 ¼ inches on his first attempt but could not get clear the bar at the winning height of 6 feet, 7 ½ inches (2.02 meters) – nearly getting over on his last attempt. It is his second scoring effort in the event after a fourth-place finish in 2019. Rhyne’s top clearance was 6 feet, 4 ¼ inches.
Overall, Shippensburg scored at least 10 points in 17 of the 21 contested events. The only event in which SU did not score was the pole vault, as they did not have an entrant.
5. Eric Kirk 22.34
1. Stephon Brown 48.65
2. Charles Bowman Jr. 14.37
1. Stephon Brown, Mo Whittle, EJ Dorwil, Eric Kirk 41.41
1. Stephon Brown, Josh Booth, Drew Dailey, Charles Bowman Jr. 3:16.37
3. Pat Maloney 51′ 3 ½” (15.63m)
4. Jacob Gieringer 49′ 3 ½” (15.02m)
6. Cam Strohe 47′ 9″ (14.55m)
7. Josh Herbster 46′ 4″ (14.12m)
8. Brooks Bear 45′ 8″ (13.92m)
12. Jordan Leake 42′ 10 ¾” (13.07m)