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Greyhound Men Capture 11th Straight and 12th Overall Landmark Conference Indoor Championship

The Greyhounds after winning their 11th straight and 12th overall Landmark Conference Indoor Championship at Susquehanna University.
The Greyhounds after winning their 11th straight and 12th overall Landmark Conference Indoor Championship at Susquehanna University.

SELINSGROVE, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's track & field squad won its 11th straight and 12th overall Landmark Conference Indoor Championships in the conference's 13-year history Saturday in the 2020 meet hosted by Susquehanna University.

The meet came down to the final event for the men, the 4x400-meter relay, before the Hounds secured a 10-point victory over runner-up Elizabethtown College. Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Jesse Baumann and his staff of assistants – Jonathan D'Ottavio, Dan McSurdy, Rob Shaffer, Abby Schaffer, Chris Ossont, Eric Morton and Meg Noble – were honored as the Landmark Conference Men's Coaching Staff of the Year.

"This was among the best "team" victories I can recall in the time I've been here," stated Baumann. "We had to chip away and scrap for each point. We certainly had some standout individuals who scored a number of points for us like Shane Mastro and Ryan Harper in the throws, or Greg Jaindl in the two distance races, but overall this was the sum of a number of guys scrapping for every inch and millisecond. Nick Cephas out leaned a deep hurdle field. Sherwin Stewart managed to make the most of his 2nd attempt to pull out a triple jump we knew he's been capable of for a while now. Justin Beasley Turner shook off the disappointment from a discouraging mile race to control the 800 and close with a heroic final leg on the 4x400. Sean McFarland had a huge surge around 275m in the 400 which we needed to turn the tide in that race, then really gutted out a big 200 when he was spent from all he had to do today. Taylor Porter McPherson was arguably our MVP today with what he did in the high jump, diving at the line in the 400, or giving us the lead in the 4x400 in his 5th event of the day. It took dozens of monumental efforts like that to help pull things off today.

"It probably wasn't the best for our hairlines, but the meet literally coming down to the 4x400 is what our sport is supposed to be about," Baumann continued. "We only had a six point lead, and if Elizabethtown beat us by 3 places we'd lose the meet. Taylor Porter, Dom DeRafelo, Evan Lutz, and Justin Beasley Turner were all on at least their 3rd race by that point, but they knew we needed them to step up for the team. In the end, all legs kept us in contention and Justin anchored us to one of the most exciting victories we've had in recent memory. It was an extremely tough meet, but it was certainly earned and overall was a Great Day to be a Hound."

The Greyhounds won five individual events and had one relay title as each of the student-athletes earned Landmark All-Conference First Team honors for winning. Junior Sean McFarland captured the 400-meter dash title in a time of 51.64 seconds while senior Justin Beasley-Turner won the 800-meter run in 1:55.72 and senior Nicholas Cephas took the 60-meter hurdles with a PR of 8.73 seconds. Senior Ryan Harper captured the weight throw title with a PR of 15.98 meters (52-5.25), the third-best throw in school history while junior Shane Mastro won the shot put with a toss of 14.46 meters (47-5.25).

Beasley-Turner ran the anchor leg of Moravian's winning 4x400-meter relay with senior Evan Lutz and sophomores Taylor Porter McPherson and Dominic DeRafelo to post a winning time of 3:30.22. Senior Greg Jaindl had runner-up finishes in the 3,000-meter run in a time of 8:51.07 and the 5,000-meter run in 15:25.62 while Porter McPherson was second in the high jump at a PR height of 1.78 meters (5-10) to earn Landmark All-Conference Second Team accolades.

McFarland also finished third in the 200-meter dash in 23.18 seconds, and he took sixth in the finals of the 60-meter dash in 8.32 seconds after a preliminary time of 7.33 seconds to reach the finals. Porter McPherson just missed the finals of the 60-meter dash, placing seventh in the preliminaries in 7.35 seconds, and he was third in the 400-meter dash in 51.79 seconds and sixth in the 200-meter dash in 23.51 seconds. Lutz finished fourth in the 400-meter dash in 52.28 seconds while freshman Ethan Cherubin was eighth in the 60-meter hurdle preliminaries in a time of 9.31 seconds.

Junior Peter Gingrich took fifth in the 800-meter run 1:59.04 while freshman Darlyn Fermin was sixth in 2:00.61 and sophomore Brad Clemson placed tenth in 2:05.65. Fermin also placed sixth in the mile run with a PR time of 4:29.19 while Beasley-Turner finished eighth in 4:35.93. Sophomore Shane Houghton placed fifth in 5,000-meter run in a PR time of 15:55.30.

Cephas, Cherubin, Lutz and freshman Sherwin Stewart combined to finish third in the 4x200-meter relay in a time of 1:35.94 while Clemson, DeRafelo, freshman Liam Duffy and freshman Bryce Feddeman took third in the distance medley relay in 10:56.20.

Cephas also finished fifth in the long jump with a PR distance of 6.67 meters (21-10.75) while sophomore Max Schuman was tenth at 5.87 meters (19-3.25). Shuman was third in the pole vault at a height of 4.10 meters (13-5.25) and seventh in the triple jump at 12.02 meters (39-5.25) while Stewart took third in the triple jump with a PR mark of 12.99 meters (42-7.5). Freshman Kyle Smilon placed ninth in the high jump at 1.63 meters (5-4.25).

Mastro had a PR toss of 15.48 meters (50-9.5) in the weight throw to place third while sophomore Tim King was fifth at 14.91 meters (48-11), junior Derek Scott placed sixth at 14.67 meters (48-1.75) and freshman Dan Jenkins was eighth at 13.71 meters (44-11.75). In the shot put, Harper finished third with a mark of 13.61 meters (44-8) while Jenkins was sixth at 12.06 meters (39-6.75) and Scott was eighth with a distance of 11.45 meters (37-6.75).

The Greyhounds are slated to compete at the 2020 All-Atlantic Region Indoor Track & Field Championships being hosted by Nazareth (N.Y.) College on March 6-7 as the final opportunity to reach the top 20 in each event to qualify for the 2020 NCAA Division III National Championships on March 13-14 in North Carolina.