Devil Men Show Well, Win Holiday Track & Field Invitational
By Dennis Young
The Dickinson College men's track and field team performed well in its second meet of the season, the Holiday Invitational, hosted the Kline Center.
Perhaps the finest performance of the day came in the 3000 meters, where sophomore Omar Hyjek (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) powered the lead early in the race and won, going away in 8:43.04. His time is the eighth fastest in school history, and marks a return to form for Hyjek.
And behind Omar was a sea of red as Dickinson had the first six finishers, and 11 of the top 14 overall. Notable marks came from sophomore Greg Clark (Chester Springs, Pa./Hill School) at second in 8:59.92, senior Dave Breen (Bolton, Mass./Nashoba), fourth in 9:00.87, and sophomore Dave Klein (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) fifth in 9:01.34. These are all personal bests, and three more Devils in the pack ran their career fastest times to bring the total number of PR's, to eight.
In the shot put, three Devil men threw over 40 feet. They were, in second, fourth and sixth place, respectively, senior Corwyn Gordon (Hanover, Pa./South Western) with a throw of 13.95 meters/45 feet, 9.25 inches, sophomore Casey Caslin (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) at 13.33m/43-09, and junior Joe Stahley (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg) at 12.30m/40-04.25. Caslin's toss was a PR, indoors or out, for the second week in a row, marking a strong improvement in technique under new throws coach Tappah Dinnall.
First-year Archie Odenyo (Bristow, Va./Episcopal) won the triple jump decisively with a mark of 43 feet, one-half inch. On the whole, jumps were a bright spot on Saturday, as sophomore Aaron Pannell (Trenton, N.J./Notre Dame) and Odenyo were second and third, respectively. Both jumped just over 20'3", with Pannell beating Odenyo by a quarter inch.
Pannell had a strong day on the track as well, winning the 55 meters in 6.59 seconds and placing second in the 200 in 23.62. He was one of the best sprinters in the Centennial Conference last year, and if he adds the long jump to his repertoire (today was his first time jumping in college), the Red Devils could significantly increase their point total this winter.
Finally, while the times were unspectacular (running the 400, 800, and mile on Dickinson's tightly cornered track can be hellishly difficult), the home team performed well in the middle distances. Sophomores Ryan Steinbock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) and Kyle Long (Baltimore, Md./Park School), and senior Paul LeFrançois (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) finished second through fourth in the mile.
Senior Mike Mansuy (Collegeville, Pa./Methacton) added a second place showing in the 800 meters.
Next up for the Red Devils: finals week (this is Division III), then the five-week winter break concludes with a weeklong training trip in Florida. They return to competition on January 22 at Susquehanna.