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Track and Field competes in PSAC’s

Tyler Helsabeck

Staff Writer

Although Slippery Rock won, Millersville was well represented in the PSAC Championships of women’s indoor track and field over the weekend. The Marauders enjoyed one winner over the weekend in Edinboro: Kiara Allen, who won the 60 meter dash in an impressive 7.66 seconds.

After it was all said and done, Millersville finished a respectable sixth place out of 16 teams. This tied their best finish in the PSAC Championships, but it is actually more impressive than finishing sixth in the past, considering that there were more teams in the event this year than ever before.

Millersville’s highlight of the weekend was Kiara Allen beating out Bloomsburg’s Alyssa Barthelmes by 0.06 of a second to win the 60 meter dash.

“Kiara has worked hard to reshape who she is as a person and an athlete,” said Head Coach Andy Young. “She is very strong as she can squat at least 2 times her body weight and she goes pretty hard in practice consistently. She has stayed pretty healthy and lives a lifestyle that is conducive to performing well in athletics.”

Allen agreed, saying, “I attribute a lot of my success to my coaches and the training they have put me through.”

The win in the 60 meter makes Allen the first ever Marauder to win this event at the PSAC Championships. In addition to being the sole victor from Millersville, she is the first winner at the PSAC Championships since Priscilla Jennings won in 2008.

“After finishing as the runner-up in 2014 and 2015, winning an indoor PSAC title was very emotional for me. The lack of an indoor title was something that weighed heavy on my shoulders. My coach always would joke and say if you want to leave your legacy, you need one of those [an indoor PSAC title] and I finally reached my goal my senior year,” Allen said.

Allen was not the only one Marauder to medal over the weekend. After finishing sixth of eight in the preliminaries, Erin Madison improved her 400 meter dash time from earlier in the day, finishing second in the 400 meter while posting a time of 58.27 to earn a second place spot.

In addition to the performances of Allen and Madison, Millersville also had top ten finishes in several other events. In a photo-finish, Millersville was ousted from the medal stand in the 4×400. The quartet of Madison, Amanda Long, Clara Fordney and Courtney Ingold posted a time of 3:58.24, just 0.24 seconds behind third place West Chester. Arianna Camel had a solid race in the 60 meter hurdles, posting a time of 9.1 seconds.

Most of the Millersville accolades from the weekend would have to be accredited to the track events. However, there were a few bright spots on the field including Sunflower Greene making the shot-put final and ranking seventh place at the end of the day.

The 2016 season was an uphill battle for Millersville, but the 2016 PSAC Championships were a solid end to a hard-fought season.

“We had some challenges, including a 40% budget cut in student allocations from student senate to our team this year, we don’t have indoor training facilities for track and field at Millersville and certainly we always battle with team drama but despite those things our team came together and controlled what they could and tried not to worry much about things that they couldn’t control,” Coach Young said. “That is certainly a highlight.”

As for the rest of the PSAC, Slippery Rock won for the second time in three years with 135 points. Shippensburg (117) and Edinboro (71) rounded out the top three for the women. Millersville edged out Kutztown 40-39 to cling to sixth place. On the men’s side, Shippensburg won (212), Slippery Rock finished second (95.5) and East Stroudsburg finished third (70). It should also be noted that Millersville does not have a men’s indoor track and field squad.