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26 Greyhounds Earn Landmark All-Conference Track & Field Honors; Spirk, Howard & Baumann Receive Major Awards

John Spirk '19, Zion Howard '21 and Head Coach Jesse Baumann receive major awards from Landmark Conference after 2018 Indoor Track & Field Championships.

TOWSON, Md. --- The Moravian College men's and women's indoor track & field teams have had a total of 28 student-athletes honored by the Landmark Conference for their performances at the 2018 Landmark Indoor Championships last weekend competed at Susquehanna University.

The men's squad, which captured its ninth straight and 10th overall Landmark Conference indoor title, had 14 student-athletes earn 21 All-Conference honors while the women's team, which returned to the top spot in the conference with its 10th title in 11 years, had 12 student-athletes garner 17 All-Conference selections. Head Coach Jesse Baumann and his assistants Jonathan D'Ottavio (throws), Steve Rahn (sprints/hurdles), Michael El Kazzaz (pole vault), Bill Ferguson (jumps) and Sarah Werner (sprints) were honored as the Landmark Men's and Women's Coaching Staffs of the Year while junior John Spirk was picked as the Men's Track Athlete of the Year and freshman Zion Howard was selected as the Men's Rookie of the Year.

"Jesse Baumann and his staff deserve this tremendous recognition as both Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Coaching Staff of the Year," stated Director of Athletics & Recreation Mary Beth Spirk. "Jesse would be the first to deflect these accolades to his staff and student-athletes, who are all terrific, but it ultimately starts at the top. Jesse is the consummate professional who is an exceptional leader for his staff and his teams. We are proud to have Jesse lead our track and field programs and know they will have continued success with him at the helm."

Spirk earned three First Team All-Conference honors in the meet. He won the 60-meter hurdles for the third straight year with a meet-record and personal-best time of 8.26 seconds, and Spirk also captured the 400-meter dash title in a personal-best time of 51.18 seconds. He ran the leadoff leg of Moravian's winning 4x200-meter relay squad that posted a time of 1:32.92.

"John has been the best hurdler in our conference all year, so it was no surprise that he won the 60m, but dropping 0.12 as an experienced hurdler in the 60 is really impressive," Baumann commented. "Obviously, it was an incredible race for him. With the 400, his seed time wasn't the strongest in the field, but he hasn't raced that event all that often this year. We knew from tempo workouts and his 4x4 at the Armory he had a shot to win. He got out well, had the lead at the break and never looked back running a great time in the process. He was a little gassed by the time the 4x400 rolled around but he still gave us the lead off the first leg and contributed a lot to our team's winning effort Saturday. Like Zion, he's currently only 0.02 seconds from qualifying for NCAAs in the 60 hurdles so we'll try again in Boston this weekend."

Howard earned two First Team All-Conference honors and a Second Team at the meet. Howard won the 200-meter dash in 22.33 seconds, and he ran the anchor leg of the winning 4x200-meter relay team. Howard was the runner-up in the 60-meter dash in 7.01 seconds.

"As we anticipated, Zion had a great day," stated Baumann. "He didn't have the best start in the 60m which cost him the narrow margin. However, his top end speed is the best in the conference right now as we saw when he closed in the 60 and made it as close of a race as it was, and then he had a monstrous anchor on the 4x200 to seal the victory for us. In the 200, he had Mann from Elizabethtown on his outside shoulder in lane 6 which really helped to be able to feed off him the first half of that race. He made up the stagger within the first 75 meters and powered home to his best time of the year. It was the same time he ran on a banked track a few weeks ago which is tough to do and shows he came to compete today. He's currently 0.02 seconds from making NCAAs in the 60m dash so we'll try again next weekend up in Boston. It's been a great season for him, and my hunch is the longer events like the 100 and 200 on wider turns will really benefit him when we get to outdoors."

The men had 10 other student-athletes garner All-Conference First Team accolades for winning conference titles including senior Andrew Mitchell in the 800-meter run, sophomore Greg Jaindl in the 5,000-meter run, junior Scott Goodwin in the pole vault with his second straight title, and freshman Shane Mastro in the shot put. Juniors Chris Antoine and Brian Stock joined Howard and Spirk in the 4x200-meter relay as champions while the quartet of senior Mike Kopach, sophomore Justin Beasley-Turner and freshmen Peter Gingrich and Jarred Kyra earned All-Conference First Team honors by winning the distance medley relay.

The Greyhounds had four student-athletes pick up Second Team All-Conference honors for runner-up finishes including Jaindl in the 3,000-meter run, Stock in the long jump, freshman Michael Elo in the triple jump and sophomore Ryan Harper in both the shot put and weight throw.

The women's team had nine student-athletes receive First Team All-Conference accolades as conference champions including sophomore Lily Cooper in the 60-meter dash, junior Anna Osman in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Carly Danoski in the 800-meter run, junior Amari Schooler in the 60-meter hurdles for a third consecutive winter, senior Beth Ann Davies in the pole vault for the second straight year, and junior Jordan Luciano in the long jump. Cooper and Luciano combined with sophomore Meghan Lazarchak and freshman Camaryn Wheeler to win the 4x200-meter relay while Osman, Danoski and Lazarchak teamed with junior Danielle Tomko to capture the 4x400-meter relay.

Schooler also earned Second Team All-Conference honors as the runner-up in the 60-meter dash while freshman Tatiana Lopez was second in the 60-meter hurdles and freshman Jenevieve Eberly was the runner-up in the long jump.

Moravian is scheduled to return to action on Saturday, March 3 in the Tufts University National Qualifying Meet in Massachusetts.