Courtesy of Elizabethtown, Moravian, and Susquehanna Athletic Communications
GENEVA, Ohio - Sam Gerstenbacher and Melissa Fitzgibbon of Elizabethtown, Greg Jaindl, and Carly Danoski of Moravian, and Sara Arbogast of Susquehanna competed on the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship.
Gerstenbacher competed in his first finals section after qualifying 12th in the preliminaries of the 3,000m steeplechase held on Thursday. The junior finished in the same spot he was seeded for the final, 12th, to conclude his year for the Elizabethtown College men's track and field team. Much like last year's championships, the athletes dealt with warmer temperatures in the mid-80s late Saturday morning. Already guaranteed a higher place finish than last year's national meet (17th), Gerstenbacher crossed the finish line in 9:26.84 to take 12th place.
Jaindl, who was racing in the finals for the first time at the NCAA Championships, finished 13th of 14 runners in the final of the steeplechase with a time of 9:36.69. Jaindl had run a preliminary time of 9:17.19 to place 13th of 20 on Thursday and advance to Saturday's championship race.
Fitzgibbon competed in her first-ever track & field national championship event. In the 5,000m final, Fitzgibbon finished 22nd overall. The freshman, who ran an 18:28.24 to win the 5k at the first meet of the season for Elizabethtown on her own track, had to drop significant time just to get into the national picture.
She took over half a minute off that time by the York College Twilight Meet in mid-April. Fitzgibbon then ran a Landmark Championship record at Goucher College on Sunday, May, 5. The following week, she posted her qualifying time at Swarthmore to get into the field of 22. In Saturday's 5k championship final, Fitzgibbon ran 19:57.71 and took 22nd. She is the first to qualify in the event for the Blue Jays since Traci Tempone in 2013. Fitzgibbon's season-best from Swarthmore, 17:09.84, is less than three seconds off Tempone's school record.
Danoski, who was making third appearance at the NCAA Championships and second outdoors, was the female Greyhound to compete, racing in the preliminaries of the 800-meter run. Danoski, who entered as the 13th seed, ran a time of 2:15.69 to finish 18th of the 22 competitors. The top two finishers in each of the three preliminary heats and the next three fastest times advanced to the finals on Saturday. Danoski's time on Friday was the 14th best in school history, giving her 12 of the top 15 times in program history in the 800-meter run.
Arbogast represented the Susquehanna University Women's Track & Field team today at the NCAA Division III Championships today and completed a 20th place finish in the Triple Jump to cap off a stellar sophomore season.
Following a dominant week at the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet and the AARTFC Regional meet in Cortland, she and her coaches traveled to Geneva, Ohio for Nationals to compete against some of the top Track and Field Athletes in the country.
Arbogast leaped a distance of 11.23 meters (36'10.25") and finished 20th overall in the country.