The Gettysburg College track & field teams will begin a new season when they compete at the Dickinson College Invitational this Saturday under second-year head coach Aubrey Shenk.
The women's squad is led by senior Alexandra Van Tuyl, a two-time conference champion in the heptathlon. She also placed in all three jumping events at last year's CC outdoor meet, taking fourth in the triple jump, sixth in the long jump, and eighth in the high jump. Indoors, she was the Centennial Conference bronze medalist in the high jump, and also placed fourth in the triple jump and eighth in the 55-hurdles. Van Tuyl ranks among Gettysburg's all-time top-10 in nine different events and is second in the heptathlon with her PR of 3,843 points.
The Bullets also return a highly-versatile athlete in junior Emily Heeren, who excels in several different events. She placed fourth in the discus at the Centennial Conference outdoors championships last season, and she was also seventh in the triple jump at the CC indoor meet. She is also one of the team's top pole vaulters.
Junior Joy Hallfors, junior Amanda Koslo, sophomore Eva Hinkeldey, and sophomore Celia Hartz also return after scoring at last year's Centennial Conference meets. Hallfors, a jumps and hurdles specialist who competes during the indoor season but plays for Gettysburg's softball team in the spring, took fifth in the long jump, sixth in the 55-meter hurdles, and eighth in the high jump at last season's CC Indoor Championship. She is ranked on the school's all-time top-10 lists in five different primary events.
A 200-400 specialist, Koslo placed seventh in the 400 at the Centennial Conference Outdoor Championship last spring. She ranks third all-time at Gettysburg both indoors and outdoors in the event. Hinkeldey placed fifth in the pole vault at the conference indoor meet last year while Hartz was the seventh-place finisher at the CC outdoor championship in the discus.
Four additional distance runners also return after earning varsity letters last year. Junior Yaa Addison, sophomore Alex Bull, senior Amanda Pellowe, and junior Anna Schneider will help provide depth, as will junior Kerry Campbell, who ranks in the top-10 all-time at Gettysburg in the indoor 800, mile, and 3,000.
The men's team lost several of its top performers to graduation, and four Bullets who finished in third place or higher at the Centennial Conference Championships have moved on. But the team returns several talented athletes, including junior sprinters Andrew Bay and Sean Thon.
Bay, who is tied for second all-time at Gettysburg in the indoor 55-meter dash, is back after placing fifth in the 100-meter dash at the CC outdoor meet and sixth in the 55 indoors while Thon took sixth outdoors in the 200. Senior Mitch Dowd also comes back to aid the sprinting contingent after joining Bay and Thon on the 4x100-meter relay team that placed second at last year's CC Outdoor Championship and clocked the ninth-best time (43.07) in school history. Junior Tom Senseney, one of the Bullets' top competitors in the 400-meter dash, also returns.
A number of strong distance runners and carry-overs from the cross country team will also help carry the men's squad. Junior Joe Sharp is the team's top returning 800 runner and helped set a school and conference record as a member of the 4x800 relay team that claimed the CC title in 2010. Senior Brenden Repack, the men's cross country team's top runner, also returns after setting the indoor school record in the 3,000 last season. He also competes in the steeplechase.
Three other distance runners who lettered a year ago return in sophomore Patrick Hill, junior Tyler Keith, and junior Brad Wiseman.
After competing at Dickinson, Gettysburg will take over a month off from competition due to Christmas break. The Bullets will return to action Jan. 27-28 at the Bucknell Open and Multi Meet.
Posted: Thu, 15 Dec 2011