TOWSON, Md. --- The Moravian College men's and women's indoor track & field squad have had a total of 19 student-athletes honored by the Landmark Conference for their performances at the 2019 Landmark Indoor Championships last weekend competed at Susquehanna University.
The men's team, which captured its 10th straight and 11th overall Landmark Conference indoor title, had 12 student-athletes earn 18 All-Conference honors while the women's squad, which returned to the top spot in the conference with its 11th title in 12 years, had seven student-athletes garner 18 All-Conference selections. Head Coach Jesse Baumann and his assistants Jonathan D'Ottavio (throws), Sarah Werner (sprints) Dan McSurdy (hurdles & sprints), Megan Noble (distance) and Doug Houser (pole vault) were honored as the Landmark Men's and Co-Women's Coaching Staffs of the Year while senior John Spirk was picked as the Men's Track Athlete of the Year for a second straight year, senior Anna Osman was selected as the Women's Track Athlete of the Year and freshman Natalie Stabilito was honored as the Women's Co-Rookie of the Year.
"It is my pleasure to congratulate Jesse and his staff in garnering another Coach of the Year award," commented Director of Athletics Mary Beth Spirk. "Jesse will be the first to tell you that he had nothing to do with all his championships and Coach of the Years both in indoor and outdoor track and field over his tenure. The truth is that he works tirelessly, handles his student athletes with a firm but caring approach and gets the most out of all his athletes. We are proud of all his accomplishments and know that the future of our cross country and track and field program is in tremendous hands with Jesse at the helm."
Spirk earned a pair First Team All-Conference honors in the meet. He captured the 60-meter hurdles for the fourth straight year in a time of 8.33 seconds, and Spirk also won the 400-meter dash title for the second straight year in a time of 51.64 seconds. He also set a PR in the 60-meter dash with a fourth place time of 7.34 seconds.
"To have a shot at winning a meet like Landmarks you need a few bell cows, and we're fortunate to have a few like John," stated Baumann. "We altered our plans during the week to shift him from some of the relays because we felt he could have a bigger impact by doing some individual events, even though it'd be a big challenge on short rest, especially with the three finals in an hour. However, we wanted to take that risk. We were a little weary later in the week when he wound up coming down with a cold that was circulating through our campus, but he's a gamer and managed to hold his own in the hurdles and run a really strong 400 leg. He was gassed going into the 60 but was able to hold on for fourth place which played a huge role in us being able to win as a team on Saturday. We're really encouraged to see his hurdle times dropping as he bounces back from a hamstring injury that set him back in the middle of the season. He's on the cusp of NCAAs and deserves to go as much as anyone."
The men had four other student-athletes garner All-Conference First Team accolades for winning conference titles including junior Greg Jaindl in the 5,000-meter run, senior Jon Anthony in the weight throw, sophomore Shane Mastro in the shot put and freshman Max Schuman in the pole vault.
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, senior Brian Stock in the long jump and junior Ryan Harper in both the shot put and weight throw. Stock, junior Evan Lutz, sophomore Sean McFarland and freshman Taylor Porter McPherson were the runner-up in the 4x200-meter relay while Lutz, Porter McPherson, junior Justin Beasley-Turner and sophomore Peter Gingrich were second in the 4x400-meter relay.
Osman ran in a total of eight races in the meet and won four events including the 60-meter hurdles in a PR time of 9.69 seconds and the 400-meter dash in 1:01.28. She ran the leadoff leg of both the winning 4x200 and 4x400-meter relays, and Osman finished third in the 200-meter dash in 27.92 seconds and fifth in the 60-meter dash in 8.62 seconds after a qualifying time of 8.21 seconds, the second fastest in the trials.
"Anna volunteered to take on a huge task with all the events since she knew it'd be a tight team race," Baumann explained. "In my eight years here, I think she may have run the most events of anyone we've ever had compete at Landmarks, and on top of that she ran extremely well setting season's bests marks in every event except for the 200, and even that was due to her PR coming from on a banked track a few weeks ago. I can't think of many other athletes who not only would have done what she did, but be the ones pushing the idea. You obviously win as a team at a meet like this, but we could not have pulled off the victory if not for her selfless efforts for the sake of the team."
Stabilito was the runner-up in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:24.61, and she also placed fifth in the mile with a time of 5:24.90.
"Natalie's last 200 meters in the 800 was one of the highlights of the meet," stated Baumann. "The meet was far from determined by that point so we needed to squeak out every point we could get. At the 600m mark, she was sitting in about 5th place but drew upon her trademark kick to pass all but her teammate, Carly, and help flip a lot of points in our favor. She led off with a great race in the mile as well against a very deep field and was a big reason we were able to succeed this weekend. She's not intimidated by the moment, almost to a fault, often getting out a little too aggressively, but that's also what has made her as successful as she's been for our program in both cross country and track. I use the term "gamer" a lot, but if anyone exemplifies what that means, it's certainly "Stabby." We're very fortunate to have her representing our program for these next three-plus seasons."
Senior Carly Danoski doubled up with a pair of titles by winning the mile run and the 800-meter run, and Danoski joined with Osman and sophomores Morgan Weaver and Camaryn Wheeler to win the 4x400-meter relay. Osman, Weaver and Wheeler teamed with senior Jordan Luciano to capture the 4x200-meter relay.
The women's final First Team honoree was sophomore Natalie Novotni, who won the 3,000-meter run, and Novotni was also a Second Team selection with a runner-up finish in the 5,000-meter run. Luciano earned All-Conference Second Team accolades in the 200-meter dash and the long jump while Weaver was the runner-up in the 400-meter dash.
To view the entire 2019 Landmark All-Conference Indoor Track & Field honors, visit http://landmarkconference.org/sports/track/2018-19/releases/02262019-indoor-track-awards
Moravian is scheduled to return to action on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2 at the first All Atlantic Region Track & Field Championships being hosted by Ithaca (N.Y.) College