Track and field shines at Lehigh Invitational: Senior Andrew Travis shatters Gettysburg College long jump record with leap of 22-6 1/4
By Andrew Milone, Staff Writer
Senior captain Travis Andrews slashed the school’s previous long jump record by eight inches setting the tone for a Gettysburg College men’s indoor track and field team that showcased their top level talent against Division I athletes in the Lehigh Invitational this past Saturday. The highlight of the meet was clear to senior teammate David Kaiser who said, “it was one hundred percent Travis Andrews.”
Andrews’ final jump of the day was 22-6 1/4 beating out all twenty-four competitors and breaking a record held by Kaiser since the 2013 season. It was quite a day for Andrews as his highlight reel included a seventh place finish in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.35 seconds and an eight place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.48 seconds.
Andrews’ leadership is based around his hard work and example set on the track and field as a top competitor on this team. His long jump on Saturday against many Division I competitors gave a jolt to the Gettysburg side who were only competing in their second meet of the season.
Kaiser finished with a ninth place finish in the 60-meter dash and a tenth place finish in the long jump. Andrews’ example has certainly motivated Kaiser to change his season goals in order to keep up with his teammate.
Kaiser said, “I changed my sights to sprinting, so I wanted to get a record in the sprints for this season. I was losing a bunch of weight for that and trying to get in shape for more sprinting instead of jumping, but now with Travis extending the record, I have to focus a little bit more on jumping.”
Senior captain Andre Hinds placed seventh in the shot put with a heave of 44-10 1/4 showcasing his all-star talents from a year ago.
The distance crew had quite a day as well. The distance men were led by junior Ben Taber who competed in the 3000-meter race with a pace of 8:55.14 finishing fifth while first-year Alex Petrecca demonstrated his endurance in the mile with a time of 4:38.31, which was good for seventh.
Senior captain Nathan Cody, who didn’t compete in the meet, said, “The team is strong across the board this year, and we can really be competitive.”
First-year Thad Cwiklinski led the Orange and Blue in the 400-meter dash where he crossed the finish line at 54.22 seconds for fourteenth place.
Cwiklinski believes the mid-distance squad has a lot to look forward to in the coming months. “We are going to have a really strong 4×400 team,” said Cwinklinski. “Some of my relay team members have been talking [about] the distance medley relay at the indoor conferences, so potentially we think we have a shot at that [too].”
Sophomore Thomas Clark leads the charge as the team’s multi-event competitor, and this past meet certainly gave him confidence that the heptathlon record will soon be broken. “This season I want to break the school record. That’s the goal. I am 200 points away in multi events; that’s like an inch in long jump or a few seconds in my 1000-meter race,” said Clark.
Coach Aubrey Shenk certainly did a great job bringing in a talented group of first-year athletes, and new assistant coach Bryson Hartzler is a new face to the Orange & Blue who brings a lot to the table.
“Coach [Shenk] has done a great job of getting a lot of freshman in different events so we have a lot of jumpers, a lot of throwers which we didn’t have before, and they are pretty consistent, “ said Kaiser. “Coach Hartzler has brought so much structure to the organization.”
Sixteen letter winners have marked their return to the Gettysburg men’s indoor track and field team, along with eight who scored points in the indoor or outdoor conference championships last season. Not to mention, many of the first-year students are practicing and competing at high levels.
Look for this team to continue striving for records as they compete in the upcoming Dickinson DuCharme Invitational this Saturday, Feb. 6 at 10 a.m.