Lupica, Garcia-Garrison lead Bison to 4th invitational win

Ally Furbay, Staff Writer

On Jan. 24 the men’s track and field team had cause for celebration in Gerhard Fieldhouse. With a fourth straight Gulden Invitational title and nine first-place finishes, the Orange and Blue definitely had something to be excited about with an overall score of 225.50 points.

Since the invitational was changed to a scored meet in 2012, the Bison have come out on top every year. Fresh off of winter break training, the Bison are now seeing the benefits of their hard work.

“This meet was designed to serve as our first real break-out meet and I felt that as a team we did just that. There are always some areas that could see some improvement, but I thought this meet did a great job at jump-starting our season and providing some momentum to improve through the rest of the season. It was great to see results from all of our training thus far and I’m really excited to see where we go from here,”  Kevin Tapper ’15 said.

The Bison dominated team and individual events, winning both relay events and acquiring eight IC4A qualifying performances. 

Christian Lupica ’15 competed in the 60-meter hurdles (8.00 seconds for final) and the 200-meter dash (22.00 seconds), finishing with titles in both as well as IC4A qualifying times. Lupica already holds the school record for these two events.    

Lupica also won the Gulden Invitational MVP award for the third year straight, but remains dedicated to the improvement of his performance as the season progresses.

“I definitely expect to perform better both individually and as a team as the season goes on. I have been mildly injured the past few weeks and had to cut back on the amount of training I was able to do, so I wanted to use the Gulden Invitational to race myself back into shape and get myself back to where I need to be fitness-wise as quickly as possible,” Lupica said.

Andrew Garcia-Garrison ’15 also performed well, winning the 1,000 meter run with an IC4A qualifying time of 2:25.29.  

The Bison had three other IC4A qualifiers including Tapper in the 400 meters (49.87), Louis Tobias ’17 in the 800 meters (1:55.67), and Westwood in the 800 meters (1:56.02). Westwood also won the mile in 4:21.12.   

Other IC4A qualifiers included Anthony Menza ’16, who finished second in the 500 meter race in 1:05.31, and Jack Fellows ’15 who placed second in the weight throw with a toss of 57-02. Fellows was also the runner-up in the shot put.  

The jumpers finished with three top-three scores, with Nicholas Lombardo ’18 taking second in the high jump, Tapper taking second in the triple jump, and Zach Winters ’16 finishing third in the pole vault.  

On Jan. 30 and 31, the Orange and Blue look to send runners to two different meets. One group of runners will stay at the University to compete in the Bison Open & Multi while the other group will travel to Nittany Lion country to compete in the Penn State National Invitational.

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