Last updated: January 29. 2014 12:27AM - 2646 Views
By Bill Arsenault For The Times Leader

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Mandissa Marshall continues to be on a roll competing in the pole vault, and the George Mason University senior continues to get better with each outing.

Marshall (Crestwood) kicked off the indoor track season by winning the team’s Father Diamond Invitational in Fairfax, Va. She earned Atlantic-10 co-Performer of the Week with a 13-1 ¼ effort. She followed that up by winning at the Great Dane Invitational at the Armory in New York City with a meet-record height of 13-6 ¼. She was named Field MVP.

Last Saturday, she was the top Division I competitor (the winner was a club athlete) at the Virginia Tech Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg with a season-best effort of 13-9 ½. It’s also a school record, bettering her old indoor mark of 13-8 ¾ set last season. She holds the outdoor mark with a 14-1 effort.

“Mandissa is off to a great start,” said assistant coach Kevin McGorty, who works with the pole vaulters. “Technically, we are still working out a couple of things with her takeoff but I have been really happy with her progress.”

Marshall captured the ECAC indoor title last season and has qualified for the event three straight years. McGorty is looking past that.

“Hopefully with a few more solid weeks of practice, Mandissa should be one of the top 16 vaulters in the nation and make it to the NCAAs,” he said.

BACK-TO-BACK FOR BAKER – Marist junior Jacob Baker of Shavertown (Wyoming Seminary) captured the 1-meter dive (284.18) in a 159-141 victory over Boston College and came back last Saturday to capture the 1-meter (296.63) in a 118-117 victory over Seton Hall. They were the first victories of his college career.

“Jacob’s victories capped off a very strenuous intercession training trip in Puerto Rico so they were very well deserved,” diving coach Melanie Bolstad said. “His victory against Boston College was very critical to the team’s victory.”

Now Baker has his eyes set on earning a berth in the NCAA Zone Qualifier (March 10-12 in Blacksburg, Va.).

“Jacob is just 2-plus points away from qualifying, so he is just one dive away,” Bolstad said.

The Red Foxes close the regular season at Binghamton on Saturday, but Baker will also get a chance to reach the plateau in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships (Feb. 13-15 in Buffalo, N.Y.) and the ECAC Championships (Feb. 28-March 2 in Annapolis, Md.).

JIMCOSKY A DOUBLE WINNER – Dickinson freshman Amanda Jimcosky (Northwest) captured both the high jump and the long jump at last Saturday’s Ursinus Collegeville Classic. She cleared 4-9 ¾ in the high jump and 16-1/4 in the long jump. She has been in the top five in just about every event she’s competed in this winter.

“Amanda has been a rock for the women’s team,” jumps coach Chris Johnson said. “She always brings a great attitude to practice, is incredibly coachable and has demonstrated consistency in her performances as well as eagerness to improve.”

Jimcosky’s winning effort in the long jump at Ursinus ranked fifth in the Centennial Conference. She has the top effort thus far in the high jump (5-1 ¾).

“The school record for indoor high jump is 5-3 so hopefully that is a goal she can reach soon,” Johnson said. “As she continues to build upon what she has already accomplished, I have no doubt that she will pursue each new obstacle with tremendous tenacity.”

WAGNER AMONG LEADERS – Freshman Marcus Wagner is one of the top swimmers, not only on the Ursinus men’s team, but in the Centennial Conference as well.

Wagner (Dallas) ranks second in the 1,000 freestyle (10:06.11), and fourth in the 500 freestyle (4:47.63) and the 1,650 freestyle (16:50.98) on the league’s performance list.

Not only is Wagner hitting those marks, he’s piling up victories for the Bears. Last weekend, in a 107-98 victory over Franklin & Marshall, he won the 500 and 1,650. In a 109-90 triumph over York, he won the 500 and 1,000. And in an easy 125-60 victory over Cabrini, he swam just one race, the 200 freestyle and won with a time of 1:49.53.

“Marcus continues to be one of our team’s hardest workers in an out of the pool,” coach Mark Feinberg said. “He leads our fastest lane and our distance group, attacks our weight lifting and agility training and has one of the top GPAs on the team.

The Centennial Championship is set for Feb. 21-23 in Lancaster.

“Marcus will be a favorite to land in finals (top eight) in all three of his individual events and play a major role in at least two relays,” Feindberg said.

EYER’S CONSISTENT – Senior Zach Eyer (Berwick) has been a solid middle-distance runner during his career with the Bloomsburg men’s track team. At the recent Class of 1932 Invitational at Colgate, he finished fourth in the 500 (1:09.59) and ran the leadoff leg on the 1,600 relay, which finished third (3:36.17). Last Saturday, at Bucknell’s Gulden Invitational, he just missed earning a berth in the PSAC Championships by posting a 2:01.77 in the 800-meter run.

“Zach has been consistent during his time at Bloomsburg,” coach Bernie Empie said. “Each year he has improved and continues to be the anchor of the middle distance group.”

The coach is hoping that Eyer can get a PSAC time.

“Zach worked hard during the fall and has looked good starting with our first meet back from the Holiday break,” Empie said.

The Huskies return to Lewisburg for the Bison Open on Saturday.

KUMAR HOME ON THE RANGE – Sophomore Swetha Kumar (Berwick) is a member of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia women’s rifle team.

“Swetha came to us last year with limited experience,” coach Peter Dalidowicz said. “She practiced religiously and broke into our lineup late in the season and averaged 345 in small bore and 407 in air rifle. This year, she continues to be an inspiring competitor, steadily improving her skill sets.”

Kumar’s average thus far this season are 439 (small bore) and 453 (air rifle).

“One would never imagine such a pleasant and quiet woman to shoot with such tremendous intensity and tenacity,” Dalidowicz said.

Dalidowicz said that Kumar is a dream to coach.

“She’s a great listener and absorbs everything I put forth like a sponge,” he said. “We will count heavily on Swetha next year to become a major player.”

PAISLEY CHIPPING IN – Freshman Ryan Paisley is a key member of the 10-1 Towson men’s swim team. Paisley (Hazleton Area) finished fifth in both the 100 free (48.34) and 50 free (21.95), and helped both the 200 medley and 400 free relays finish second in a 177-119 victory over Delaware last Saturday.

In the previous meet, a 183-115 triumph over George Mason, he won the 100 free (47.81), finished fourth in the 50 free (21.95), and helped the 200 medley and 400 free relays finish second.

“Ryan has made significant improvements this year and we are expecting an outstanding end of the season for him,” coach Patrick Mead said. “Hopefully, he will score points at our championship (Colonial Athletic Association) and he will play a critical role on a number of our relays.”

The CAA Championship is Feb. 26-March 1 in College Park, Md.

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