Shippensburg earns fourth consecutive PSAC championship by 40 points
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. -- Shippensburg, buoyed by five conference titles and 21 place-winning performances on the final day of competition, overcame a Day 2 deficit to record its fourth consecutive PSAC outdoor championship on Saturday, defeating second-place Kutztown by a 40-point margin.
Shippensburg, which scored 151 points en route to the league championship, claimed its fourth consecutive “Triple Crown” with the victory – an accomplishment that signifies conference titles in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field in the same year.
“I cannot stress just how proud I am of this group,” head coach Dave Osanitsch said. “They could’ve rolled over and given in, but they never complained, they stood their ground and said that nothing was going to stop us.
“The competition in the league is really great and we give a huge bit of congratulations to Ray Hoffman and Kutztown. The Golden Bears did an awesome job this weekend, and had a simply tremendous second day racing out to the early lead. They were phenomenal.”
The most seasoned member is senior Caitlin Stuetz, who defended her conference titles in the 100 and 400-meter hurdles and ran the second leg of the victorious 4x400-meter relay squad – resulting in her receiving the PSAC Track and Overall MVP awards.
On Saturday, she completed the 100-meter hurdles in 14.08 seconds to match her school record that she had shared with Michelle Morcom before running the 400-meter hurdles in 1:00.81 – a season PR of more than one second that moves her to 13th in the national rankings.
“There are some special people that just get it done and are the model of consistency,” Osanitsch said. “Caitlin [Stuetz] is one. You know she’s going to line up and do very well. She has proven that she is the greatest hurdler in Shippensburg history.”
SU scored 20 points alone in the 100-meter hurdles, as junior Lyndsay Barna placed fourth, sophomore Danesha Butler fifth and junior Daniesa Lyles eighth.
“It was pouring down rain and Caitlin [Stuetz] didn’t seem fazed by it; our team just kept piling on the points,” Osanitsch said. “I think Stuetz in the hurdles really set us off. Our girls did not get stressed.”
Joining Stuetz on the 4x4 relay that capped off the day was sophomore Bri Fells, junior Monique Clemons and freshman Megan Lundy – the quartet finished up in a season PR of 3:51.31.
The 4x1 relay was composed of Clemons, sophomore Lauren Ellsworth, sophomore Yanie Gaston and senior Courtney Martin and set a new school record – finishing in a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 47.10 seconds.
Martin finished her collegiate career in fine fashion, posting a PR in the 200 meters of 24.98 seconds for a third-place finish – her first-ever sub 25-second time. She also placed sixth in the 100 meters (12.37 seconds). Her outstanding run as a Raider concludes with nine PSAC place-winning performances – including three in the 100, two in the 200 and four consecutive years on the 4x1 relay. The relay victory was her first conference championship and the third-place finish in the 200 was the highest individual place of her career.
Rounding out the track place-winners was junior Stephanie Pryor, who placed third in the 1,500 meters with a PR of 4:39.78. Pryor finished second in the 10K held Thursday.
Not to be lost in Saturday’s slew of performances is the effort of senior thrower Sarah Brotzman, who defended her PSAC championship in the discus with a PR throw of 146 feet, 2 inches, which is an improvement on her personal best of almost five full feet.