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April 23, 2012

New Personal Bests Set at Moravian Invitational

The United States Merchant Marine Academy women's track and field team competed this past weekend at the Greyhound Invitational hosted by Moravian College. 

The field of competition was stellar, including a variety of strong D-I programs such as Lehigh, Lafayette, Monmouth, Wagner, Rider, Colgate, St. Francis (PA), TCNJ, Susquehanna, Moravian, Goucher, Muhlenberg, Franklin and Marshall, York (PA), Medgar Evers, Messiah and Montclair St.  The Greyhound Invitational serves as a tune-up meet for the Landmark Conference Championships which will be held next weekend at Moravian College as well. 

The meet began on Friday with the hammer throw and shot put with the rest of the events taking place on Saturday.  The weather was favorable both days as temperatures throughout the competition hovered around the mid-70's.

 The women had a great start to the meet with the hammer throw.  Junior Tara Mulligan continued her dominance in this event placing as the highest D-III competitor with a throw of 40.19m (131'10").  This was a solid mark for her to get back on track after fouling all three throws the week prior. Mulligan placed 12th overall in a tough field finishing only behind athletes from D-I institutions. 

Freshman Paige Hallier (pictured) showed continued improvement in the hammer throw besting her farthest throw of the season by over four feet.  Her mark of 30.98m (101'8") was 10th among D-III competitors and placed 30th overall. "I have been thoroughly impressed with Paige's dedication and work ethic," said Head Coach Gregory Lott.  "She was a late arrival to our squad and has really been working to catch up. She is getting better every week and has shown a competitive fire that will serve her well as she gets even more competitive within the conference."

On the track, the women continued to break new boundaries.  The freshman duo of Kelly Whalen and Amber Kinter both set collegiate best marks in the 800m running 2:31.06 and 2:36.46 respectively.  Senior Lauren Rattan debuted in a new event, the steeplechase, with a time of 13:22.47 placing 15th overall.  Freshman Michelle Danhoff set a new personal record in the 100H placing 22nd overall with a time of 18.52.

The Mariners closed the day on a high note running the 2nd fastest outdoor 4x400m relay in Academy history.  Rattan, Kinter, Danhoff, and Whalen combined for a time of 4:37.43.  Coach Lott praised his team's performance, ""It was a great end to the day and should give the ladies strong confidence going into the Landmark Conference meet."

Kings Point will be in action next weekend as they head back to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the Landmark Conference Championships.