(Posted April 10, 2010)

GRANTHAM, Pa. - The men's and women's track and field teams traveled to Grantham, Pa. to take part in the Messiah Invitational, Saturday afternoon. Out of 14 teams present at the competition, the men finished fifth, as the women finished sixth out of 14 as well.

The Eagles had three event winners, while eight others finished in the top three. In all, the teams combined for four top Landmark postings during the Messiah Invitational.

T.J. Breya (McClure, Pa./East Juniata) led the men's team, winning the 110-meter hurdles event with a time of 15.58. That time beats the fastest 2010 Landmark Outdoor Track & Field time, set by Breya at the Western PA Championship, on March 27. He also finished second in the 400-meter hurdles, beating all but one in field with a time of 57.80.

Other podium finishers for the men were Nik Klena (Franklin, Pa./Oil City) who came in second during the 800 meter race, with a time of 1:57.77, which bests his top time this season, as well as the top Landmark Conference time for the outdoor season.

Vinny Smith was the only other top three performer on the track for the men, as he finished third in the 110-meter hurdles. Breya and a runner from Gettysburg were the only one to better his time of 16.16 in the finals.

For the field events, Ryan Baird (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) was the top finisher for Juniata. He posted a second place finish in the pole vault, launching himself over the bar sitting 4.15 meters (13'7.25") high.

Senior Ryan Johnson (Mountaintop, Pa./Crestwood) came in third place as he swung the hammer 42.99 meters. That distance is another Landmark Conference best this season, as he topped his own performance from a week ago at the Penn Invitational.

On the women's side, Angela Shaffer (Prospect, Pa./Slipper Rock) continued her outstanding freshman campaign as she beat the field in long jump competition, jumping 4.74 meters, which bests her career outdoor jump of 4.66 meters set on March 27. In addition to her field event win, she finished second in the high jump leaping 1.52 meters (5'00"), and second on the track in the 100 meter hurdles, finishing in 15.71 seconds.

Lauren Taylor (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) is the other Eagle who won an event on Saturday. She vaulted her way to the top of leader board of the Invitational, as well at the best Landmark Conference pole vault height this season with a leap of 3.10 meters (10'2").

The Lady Eagles swept the top two positions in the pole vault event as Stephanie Varner (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon) finished second with a vault of 2.95 meters (9'8").

Juniata had another strong showing in all the field events once again this week on the women's half, as Kristyn Ginter (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) came in third tossing the javelin a distance of 34.29 meters (112'06"). That throw bests her personal record of when she launched the javelin 33.85 meters (111'01") back on March 19.

The men finished with 68.50 points and in fifth out of fourtheenth teams. York (Pa.) College won the team event with 139 points, followed by Messiah College (131.50), Dickinson College (106), and Mary Washington University (92).

The women finished with 67.5 points and in sixth out of fourteenth teams. Running away with the title was Messiah College who scored 218.5 points, followed by Elizabehtown College (96), Mary Washington University (88.5), Delaware Valley College (72), and Catholic University (69).

Both squads will be back in action next weekend, April 16 and 17, when they travel to Moravian College to take part in the Greyhound Invitational.

Complete results of the men's 2010 Messiah Invitational
Complete results of the women's 2010 Messiah Invitational


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.