By Pat Zazzarino
After obtaining sixth place on the first day, the Golden Bears fell to 10th place out of 12 teams on Sunday, March 2 at the conclusion of the PSAC Indoor Championships at the Gerhard Field House at Bucknell University. The Maroon and Gold accumulated a total of 18.5 points, defeating Bloomsburg (8 points) and ultimately losing to first-place Shippensburg (211 points).
On the first day, KU rested at 6th place with 12.5 points. Senior Jake Austin achieved a career-mark finishing in 18th place at the 5000-meter (15:38.48). Austin landed on KU’s top-ten list in his last collegiate indoor race.
Sophomore Richard Gatewood also performed well, posting the best finish for Kutztown, obtaining third place in the long jump (6.79m).
The team of freshmen Michael Callahan, sophomore Devonte King, junior Brad Mayer and senior Zach Fleming displayed strong effort in the 4X800 relay, grabbing fifth place (7:57.91).
While day one yielded some great points, it would be day two that one Golden Bear in particular would be less than seconds away from setting his goal of breaking the university’s mile record.
Zach Fleming ran the mile and earned his career-best time of 4:16.93, mere seconds behind Kutztown’s school record set by Ryan Reich in 2001 (4:61:82). Fleming currently holds the university’s second best time (4:17.02), which he ran during the Lafayette/Rider Winter Games only two weeks ago and is on Kutztown’s top-ten list. Fleming also placed 6th in the 3000 (8:56.89) coming in at 16th place.
The teamwork of junior Brad Mayer, sophomore Ron Smith, freshmen Austin Gallagher and junior Mychal Robinson took seventh in the 4×400 relay (3:27.71). Mayer also finished the 800-meter run with a final time of 1:57.97.
Junior Brendan Lamy placed ninth with a season-best launch (14.70m) and sophomore Chris Varichione had a 14.22-meter heave in shot-put, landing him in 12th place.
Freshmen Ricardo Kennedy finished in 18th place in the high jump (1.87m), but Lanny Buck is the only Golden Bear that currently holds a NCAA provisional mark. Whether or not the mark will be good enough for the national championships is currently pending.
If it is qualified, KU will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. for nationals on March 14-15.