California, PA - At 11:10 Saturday morning, Ben Wilson easily sailed over the bar at 1.70 meters and history was made. The Penn State Fayette Track team was official.
The Roaring Lions sent a small contingent to the California Early Bird Invitational to compete against 22 NCAA Division II and III schools. Wilson, a freshman from Uniontown, competed in the high jump and the 100 hurdles. Micheal Elliot(fr., Beth-Center) ran the steeplechase and the 400 meter hurdles. While Devin Pisarski(Fr., Connellsville) ran the 5000 meters.
Wilson finished the high jump with a leap of 1.90m(6' 1") to finish 9th in the event. Wilson also ran the 100 meter hurdles where he finished third in his heat with a time of 17.44. "The transition for the hurdles was a little different, because they are 3 inches higher in college."
A high school 300 meter hurdler, Elliot combined his distance running and hurdling to try out the 3000 meter steeplechase. Elliot was a member of this year's conference Champion cross country team. "it was one of the hardest things I ever did, but I would do it again", Said Elliot, who finished in 12 minutes 18 seconds. He also finished third in his heat of the 400 meter hurdles(1:05), which is 100 meters longer than the high school intermediate hurdle race.
Pisarski, also, transitioned to a longer race, as he ran the 5000 meters. He was a state finalist in the 800 meters, a year ago. He finished in the middle of the pack with a time of 17:16. Pisarski will concentrate on the 1500 and 800 meters this year. "I was nervous today, I will be more confident in the 800 and the 1500," said Pisarski.
The team will bring it's contingent of athletes to the Frostburg Invitational on April 1. "I felt that many of our athletes were not ready to compete on a high level at this invitational. Most of our other athletes needed a week or two longer to get prepared," said Coach Joe Carei
But, Carei was pleased with the day and looks forward to the season. "We proved today that we have the athletes to compete against bigger schools. I am excited to see what our other team members can do," he said.
Notes: Wilson and Pisarski were also members of the Cross Country team that won the PSUAC conference and finished 13th in the Nation.
Incidentally, since this is our first meet…the results are all school records!
Anyone wishing to compete for the track team can contact Carei at 724-437-3287 or email email@example.com.